Safety Corner...FOOD!!

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From Meal Planning Ideas to Meals On Wheels, there's a lot to cover when you're talking about senior citizens and nutrition. For many, mealtime has lost its fun. Some can no longer shop for themselves or prepare a meal without help or are forced to dine alone. As a result, they have lost their zest for cooking and eating which leads to poor nutrition.

That leads to us looking at Meals On Wheels, which operates in virtually every community in America through independently-run local programs. At the core of the Meals on Wheels service is a nutritious meal, companionship, and a watchful eye on the health and safety of our seniors. Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, functionality, and the ability to remain independent. Healthy eating can increase mental acuity, resistance to illness and disease, energy levels, immune system strength, recuperation speed, and the ability to manage chronic health problems. Get more info about your local programs online at Find Meals and enter zip code.

Now we'll look at meal prep ideas. You can do it! Here are four ways to shake things up in the menu department for seniors:

*Sneak in flavorful fluids - If your client doesn't like drinking pure water, try sneaking other water-based food choices into their diet such as Crystal Light, Jello flavored water, fruits, veggies or protein shakes.

*More herbs, less salt - Herbs, spices, and other options such as garlic, basil, ginger, citrus, and vinegar can flavor foods without the need for extra salt.

*Hold the sugar—Foods that are naturally sweet, such as fruit, peppers and yams, can satisfy a senior's sweet tooth without the potentially dangerous effects of adding sugar.

*Focus on good fats - A diet of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts are the best ways to get the proper fats into a senior's diet.

The effects of aging, dementia, or use of multiple medications can ruin appetites and impact taste buds. Remember that proper nutrition and adequate hydration are vital to healthy aging. Try new things!!

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