Meal Preparation And National Nutrition Month

Meal preparation and National Nutrition Month go hand in hand, and as March is recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as National Nutrition Month there is plenty to be said about meal preparation and the nutrition behind it.

Meal prepertionEating healthy is a very important part of every individual’s well-being and when preparing meals for the elderly it’s especially important to practice preparing healthy quality meals. Just choosing the right healthy foods can make all the difference in how an elderly person feels presently and in the future to come.

Meals you often prepare for the senior age individual are not usually difficult to prepare, however they should contain a balance of nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.

Here are some good suggestions for the main three daily meals:

  • Breakfast- For the most important meal of the day you need to include foods high in fiber and rich in antioxidants to help the digestive system as well as boost metabolism and give energy throughout the day. A good example would be oatmeal or cereal with blueberries and/or strawberries.  When making eggs always use just the egg whites as whole eggs are high in cholesterol.  Unsweetened low-fat yogurt is a great idea as well, and you can liven it up with berries or granola, even both if you like.
  • Lunch- For a great lunch idea preparing a baked chicken and steamed vegetable meal can be fulfilling and very healthy. You can also bake fish with the vegetables and have a yogurt desert. Wheat bread tuna fish sandwiches and loose fruit is another idea that is easy, healthy, and tasty. It’s always easy to mix things up and switch around with lunch as well as other meals.
  • Dinner- This is always an easy meal when you’re prepared to prepare so to speak. The main idea is health and nutrition of course, but being pleasing to the eye is important as well. You can use some of the same ideas as for lunch, but add such items such as baked sweet potatoes and sautéed vegetables. Steamed fish and lean meats are essential in nourishing the B vitamins for the elderly. Colorful vegetables are a key to vitamin richness as well.

Healthy Snacks

When caring for the elderly snacks are essential in helping with metabolism, however when serving snacks you need to watch the daily caloric intake. Depending on the diet, you may want to check doctors instructions as we always do here at DPHCS, as a certain diet can require snacks and monitoring such as with diabetes.

Calcium-rich snacks, fruits, and vegetables all take a part in healthy snacks, and the snacks you choose depend of course on the individual you are serving. Some good healthy ideas include:

  • Calcium-rich- Snacks such as low fat cheese cubes or yogurt, or tuna fish on wheat crackers. Calcium helps with an array of health aspects such as bone and muscle strength as well as keeping a healthy heart.
  • Fruits- Most all fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals to give natural health. They are also rich in antioxidants that fight against inflammation and free radicle damage. Eating two cups of fruits, especially berries helps promote great nutrition.
  • Vegetables- The greener and more colorful the better, try to stay away from vegetables high in starch. However celery sticks and dip or steamed vegetables with low fat cheese mixes it up a little.

No matter who the care giver is preparing the meals, here at DPHCS we always keep it healthy and tasteful so that everyone is happy and taken good care of in a way that counts. Now you can be prepared with your meal preparation and National Nutrition Month as well.

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