Staying motivated to cook healthy meals, especially during winter, can be challenging. However, maintaining a nutritious diet is essential for good health and enjoying life to the fullest. Proper nutrition supports strong muscles and bones and keeps our brains functioning well. Despite this, around 30% of people aged 60 or over who live independently are at risk of malnutrition.

Advice on Healthy Eating for Over 60s

As we age, we need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight but require more of specific nutrients, such as protein. Only one in twelve older Australians consumes the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.

The CSIRO recommends that older adults focus on consuming fewer kilojoules while ensuring adequate nutrient intake, particularly protein. According to Professor Emerita Jennie Brand-Miller, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney, a modestly higher protein intake, around 25% of daily consumption, is ideal. This translates to about 90 grams of protein daily, along with 45% of calories coming from carbohydrates. A higher protein and low GI diet not only supports weight management and muscle retention but also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which can accelerate aging. For more detailed information, visit the CSIRO’s guide on healthy eating for older adults.

If your loved one is either gaining or losing weight, or their blood tests indicate they aren’t getting enough nutrients, it might be because shopping and cooking have become overwhelming. At Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast, our In-Home Aged Care Professionals are trained to help ensure those they care for eat well. Here are some tips to help your loved ones eat well this winter.

Tip 1: Work with them to develop their meal plan

Meal plans can make deciding what to eat simpler and make shopping more straightforward. Plan meals with your loved one in advance and ensure all necessary ingredients are on the shopping list. Keep meals interesting and manageable for them to prepare.

Tip 2: Do the grocery shopping together

Assist your loved one by taking them shopping (with your meal plan list) or arranging a grocery delivery. Having the right food at home makes it easier to prepare healthy meals.

Tip 3: Cook together with your loved one

Cooking together can lighten their load and ensure they have nutritious food to eat. It also provides valuable time together doing something enjoyable. Make it a regular activity that you both look forward to.

Tip 4: Make some meals at home to drop off for them

If cooking together isn’t possible, consider preparing extra portions of your meals and dropping them off to your loved one. This is particularly useful if the meals can be frozen. Our tip is to portion the meals individually before freezing for easy reheating. Casseroles, spaghetti bolognese, and soups are ideal for this.

Tip 5: Consider professional care providers for assistance

If your loved one is losing weight or not eating well despite your assistance, it might be time to seek additional support. In-home aged care can be tailored to their needs and include help with shopping and meal preparation. At Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast, our Elderly Care Professionals often help with meal preparation, catering to dietary requirements and preferences.

Eating well is crucial for maintaining health. If your loved one is struggling with their diet, support them by cooking together or arranging grocery deliveries. If more help is needed, professional home care services like those offered by Home Care Assistance can provide the necessary support.

Support from a home care agency like Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast can significantly enhance your quality of life while living independently at home. For more information, contact the team today.