Food for the Elderly
FOOD FOR THE ELDERLY
Eat less fat
Most people become less active as they grow older, and their energy requirements from food drop as a result. So cut down on fats if you’re worried about putting on weight.
You don’t have to cook every day
Stock up on some handy convenience meals for days when you don’t feel like cooking. Long-life ones are particularly useful as you can store them without a fridge or freezer, and they are quick to heat up in a saucepan or a microwave oven. Serve with a salad for extra vitamins, or have a piece of fruit for dessert.
Your bones aren’t growing any more, but they still need calcium to stay strong. Drink plenty of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, and keep eggs and cheese in stock for quick, high-calcium meals.
Finding the fibre
High-fibre foods are important to help beat constipation, which can plague some older people. If chewing vegetables and other fibre foods is difficult, try softer fruits such as berries instead. Raspberries are rich in fibre, and so are bananas and dried fruits such as apricots and prunes. Cereals will be easier to chew if you eat them with hot milk.
Loss of appetite
Elderly people who live alone sometimes lose interest in food because the social side is missing. If this is a problem, consider regular arrangements to share meals with friends or family members who live close by. Keep the food simple – sandwiches, salads and pasta, for example, which are healthy and quick to prepare.
You may not be getting enough if you don’t go out much, since it’s manufactured by the body from sunlight. You can increase your intake by eating more margarine, eggs and oily fish such as sardines, kippers and mackerel.liver oil supplements will also help.
Two meals for the effort of one
When you cook mince, do enough to provide meals for two days, but use it in different ways. For example, you could have shepherd’s pie one day and spaghetti bolognese the next.