Evaluating Your Senior's Eating During National Nutrition Week
August 28, 2018September 1st through 7th is National Nutrition Week. As a family caregiver, you understand the importance of making sure your senior eats a healthy diet. What your senior eats makes a tremendous impact on their well-being, their functioning, and their ability to manage any health issues and challenges they are facing. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to determine if your senior truly is eating well, or to make the changes needed to help them make better choices. Evaluating your senior's eating during National Nutrition Week can be a good start at determining what can be improved, and how to introduce healthier foods.Use these tips to evaluate your parent's eating, and start making meaningful and beneficial changes:
- Talk to their doctor about their health issues and conditions to determine if they should be following any specific dietary guidelines. Many health issues have restrictions and recommendations, such as reducing sodium or sugar, or cutting back on fat. Consider bringing along a food diary of a few days to show the doctor so they can make recommendations for what to change.
- Learn to read nutrition labels and use the information to ensure your parent is getting what they need, and not what they don't.
- Emphasize healthy snacks. People often overlook nutrition when it comes to their in between-meals eating, but it is important that your parent use this opportunity to get the nutrition they need, and avoid unnecessary fat, calories, sodium, and sugar.
- Watch their servings. Most people eat far more than the recommended servings of foods without even realizing it. Have your parent choose out a serving of a particular food, and then measure what is recommended so you both can get a visual of what is appropriate. Then find ways to supplement servings of heavier foods so your parent still feels full, such as adding plenty of raw vegetables for their diet.
- Remember their beverages. Drinks can be a hidden source of good nutrition, as well as what you don't want them to have. Make sure your parent is paying attention to calories, sugar, sodium, and other additives in their drinks, and consider upping their hydration and their nutrition by introducing liquid snacks and meals, such as smoothies and soups.