It’s clearly no secret that a healthy diet is a must for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional requirements for adults change as we age. To this end, nutrition professionals at Tufts University have created the MyPlate system, which is a more advanced version of the previous food pyramid, giving up-to-date nutritional guidance to help ensure adequate nutrition for seniors.
Recommendations for Meeting the Nutritional Requirements of the Elderly
The MyPlate for Older Adults model includes facts on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in salt, sugar, and fat; however, it also gives direction on subjects like suggested physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of special concern for older individuals.
Given that activity levels are often diminished, seniors tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still need the same or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for optimum health. MyPlate for Older Adults suggests the following nutrition for seniors:
- Bright-colored vegetables, like peppers and carrots
- Deep-colored fruits, such as melons and berries
- Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, including brown rice
- Low- and non-fat dairy products, like yogurt and low lactose milk
- Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which are lower in saturated and trans fats
- Spices instead of salt
- Liquids like water and fat-free milk
- Physical activity, including walking, resistance training, and light housekeeping
Also, other recommendations include taking advantage of options that are more simplified to prepare and decrease waste, like bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and single-portion containers of fruit.
How Home Care Can Help Improve Nutrition for Seniors
An in-home caregiver is a key component in ensuring good nutrition for seniors, for several reasons. A caregiver can take care of grocery shopping, a chore that can be difficult for many older adults with mobility issues. Caregivers can also prepare healthy meals according to any prescribed dietary plans. Not only that, but they offer companionship during mealtimes if a senior chooses. This makes meals much more enjoyable for a senior who may feel lonely and isolated.
At Stay Home Care, one of the leading home care agencies in Nashville, TN and the surrounding areas, we know it can be a struggle to help ensure adequate nutrition for seniors. Our dedicated caregivers can help plan and prepare nutritious, appetizing meals in accordance with your loved one’s specific nutritional needs. Contact us at 615-964-7726 to learn more about our top-rated senior care in Nashville and the surrounding communities we serve or to arrange for a free consultation, right in the comfort of home.