As anyone who has ever raised children knows, teenagers can seem like bottomless pits, able to eat anything and still claim they are hungry less than an hour later. As we age, however, the trend tends to go the opposite direction. Seniors have slower metabolisms and generally need less calories than their younger selves. However, if this tendency goes too far it can actually present a health risk.
Protein and water are key to maintaining strength and preventing falls or visits to the ER due to dehydration. At SYNERGY Home Care, clients are encouraged to eat protein-rich breakfasts that are simple and easy to prepare and to drink or sip water throughout the day. Keeping track of how many glasses you’ve had is a good way to make sure you’re staying hydrated. For seniors, the rule of thumb stands: drink eight, 8-ounce glasses per day.
If food has begun losing its appeal, here are some tips for making it more interesting:
- Prepare food with variety of color and texture
- Use aromatic herbs and hot spices to add flavor
- If diet permits, add cheese, bacon, butter, or vegetables with olive oil
- Add toasted nuts
- Avoid casseroles that hide individual flavor and dilutes taste.
Aside from food itself, there are other ways to gain health benefits during meals. Studies have repeatedly shown that eating together is beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. Simply eating with friends or family is a good start, but creating a dinner club can be a fun way to bring people together.
Dinners can be held once a month or once a week and hosting should be rotated from house to house. Each host prepares the main dish and guests bring nutritional side dishes. To keep it interesting, consider having theme nights with foods from different regions or based on a specific event or concept. For example, a movie-themed night might include food featured or referred to in a specific film.
Creating simple, easy ways to remind yourself to eat and drink will pay off in reduced health risks and a better quality of life. Bon appetit!
To learn more, visit the SYNERGY Home Care website or call SYNERGY at 360-338-0837.