Many caregivers have concerns that their loved ones are getting a proper diet. This is something to keep in mind, as our appetites decrease as we age and get less active. Our abilities to taste and smell also decline, so older people may not want to eat as much as they should.
Guidelines to Remember
The Department of Agriculture states that seniors should get 1.5 to 2 servings daily of fruit, and 2 to 2.5 cups of rich, dark, leafy greens, including spinach and kale. Also, they should get 1200 mg of calcium from milk, yogurt or cheese, and 6 to 7 ounces of whole grains. They also should get 65 grams of protein.
Some of the easy meals that you can make to meet these guidelines are:
- Oatmeal and berries
- Hard boiled egg with fruit and whole wheat toast
- Wholegrain pancakes or waffles
- Poached egg - put the egg on top of toast and add steamed vegetables
- Quinoa salad
- Eggs and red potatoes - scramble the eggs
- Salmon wrap - skinless salmon wrapped in a whole grain wrap
- Alaskan salmon
- Lamb and potatoes
- Beans and rice
- Shrimp and whole grain pasta
As a caregiver, you should watch for signs that your loved ones cannot cook for themselves properly anymore. Signs to watch for include a lot of spoiled food in the fridge, less energy to get dishes from the cupboard, burners left on, or pans have burns on the bottom.
If your loved one cannot cook for herself anymore, consider some of these meal provider services:
- Meals on Wheels Association of America
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)