How to Plan Nutrition Rich Meals for Senior Adults?
by goldenUser ,January 27, 2023
For an elderly person, eating nutrition-rich food is not just a choice but a necessity. Malnutrition among senior adults is at 26% and growing rapidly. As they get old, they need more vitamins and other substances to keep them healthy and moving. Our regular food is not good enough for their specific needs and that’s why we need to create a dietary plan for aged parents and loved ones. Most Adult day health care provides a nutrient rich meal for every member so that they can enjoy it with everyone else. Here are some points to remember while creating a meal plan for senior adults.
Signs of Malnutrition in Senior adult
- Weight loss
- Feel tired and fatigued
- Unexplained mood changes like moodiness, anxiety and depression
- Constipation and diarrhea, result from poor digestion
- Hair loss and dry hair
- Dry and brittle nails
Creating Nutrient-rich Meals Plans for Senior
In order to create a perfect balance diet plan for senior adults, first we need to understand their requirements.
What Type of Vitamins and Nutrition Do They Need?
The daily requirement for vitamins and other nutrients changes for senior adults from younger people. Here are some must-have vitamins to add to every senior’s diet.
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for senior adults as it strengthens their bones. Every adult needs at least 1200 mg of calcium daily. We can add yogurt, tofu, broccoli, dark leafy green, okra and more to their diet plan.
Iron helps our body to create an important protein, hemoglobin. Make sure to add at least 8mg of iron to their daily food intake. Some of the well-known sources of iron are beet greens, lima beans, fish, red meat and more.
Magnesium provides support for our nerves and immune system. It keeps their bones strong and their heartbeat steady. Make sure to add 420mg of magnesium to the diet for men and 320 mg for women. We can use whole grain, banana, dark chocolate, avocado, beans and lentils to make the food nutarian rich for seniors.
A senior adult needs to eat something that provides enough nutrients and also keeps some common health issues away. Potassium keeps helps the body to keep the bone strong. It can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure and kidney stone. Senior adults need at least 4700mg of daily potassium intake. Some of the potassium-rich ingredients are sweet and regular potatoes, white beans, tomato, swish chard and Adzuki beans.
Adding fiber-rich food into senior adult’s diet plans helps them digest better. It can prevent constipation and help with heart issues. Daily intake for senior men is 30 grams and for women, it’s 21 grams. We should include some of the fiber rich fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, apples, blackberries, and white and yellow beans in their daily food.
- Vitamin D and B-12
Vitamin D provides healthy and strong bones which prevent older people to fall. Our body creates vitamin D with sunlight but we also need more than that. Seniors need at least 600 to 800 Internation units of vitamin D which they can get from mushrooms, egg yolk, and fortified dairy products. Similarly, B-12 creates red blood cells and the proper function of nerves. It can also help with generating healthy cells and better cognition. Seniors need at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 which they can get from meat, eggs, fortified dairy product and cereals.
How to Boost Nutrition Intake for Senior Adult?
- Create a Healthy and Nutrient Dense Diet
Make sure to provide food that has all the required vitamins and minerals. Add food that provides nutrients more and remove those which do not have more nutritious value.
- Small Meals and Snacks
Seniors cannot eat as much as we can. That’s why make sure to create small meal plans and include snacks. This way, they can enjoy the food without worrying about the quantity and still get their regular intake of vitamins.
- Use Spices and Herbs
Make the meal tasty with natural spices and herbs. Make sure to learn more about their dietary restriction before using any of the species. This will help them enjoy the food more as old people lose some part of their taste.
- Make it Colorful
Use all the healthy ingredients to make it attractive. Most fresh vegetables have different colors, use this combination to make a healthy meal.
- Make it Social
Allow them to dine with other people. Most community bases adult services provide meals to everyone and make it an exciting social event. This will help with their appetite and allow them to get more nutrition.
Most elderly people feel a loss of appetite and other issues which lead them to get malnutrition. It’s important to provide them with healthy food that provides enough vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it could sustain them. Golden years adult day health care provides meals that are designed by professional nutrition. It will help them feel better, stronger and independent.