Complete Healthy Eating Guide to Eldercare Nutrition
By Ler Yee Bin
"Aiya, old already, no need to eat so much." Sound familiar? Do you think this is the right approach when preparing meals for senior adults? While it is true that the portion size for senior adults should be reduced, it is important to know what are the nutrients that are particularly important as we grow older to achieve HEALTHY AGEING. The 3 vital nutrients:- CALCIUM (To prevent osteoporosis) Lack of calcium may lead to bone fracture in case of falls. Calcium has to be taken with Vitamin D (sunlight) for optimum absorption. Examples of high-calcium food include low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified soybean drink, tofu, tempeh, almonds, broccoli, legumes, and seaweed. PROTEIN (For muscle building) As we age, we tend to lose strength as a result of losing muscle mass. Hence, having a balanced meal with an adequate amount of protein is essential. Examples of high protein food include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, beans, legumes, dairy products, beans and lentils. FIBER (To prevent constipation) Constipation is a common problem with seniors. Having adequate fibre, drinking enough water and exercising regularly can also prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber food include fruits (ideally consume the edible part of the skin also), vegetables, wholemeal and whole grain products. We should maintain a quality life no matter our age. So let’s work towards healthy ageing right now!