You’ve taken over preparing meals for your mom and dad. You cook the same items and figure you’re meeting their needs. Is that really the case or are their needs different to yours?
Lower Calorie Requirements
The number of calories your mom and dad need depend on their activity levels. It also depends on your gender. Up until the age of 36, men need 2,400 to 3,000 calories per day. Women need 1,800 to 2,400 to the age of 31 and then it declines.
After that, it declines to 2,200 to 2,800 for men and 1,800 to 2,200 for women. At the age of 50, it declines again for women. It drops to 1,600 to 2,200. Men remain the same until the age of 56 when it drops to 2,200 to 2,600.
Another drop in calories comes in the 60s for women when the range drops to 1,600 to 2,000. Men drop once more at the age of 76 to 2,000 to 2,400. Generally, only those with high activity levels should be consuming the maximum calories. Any person who is sedentary or only moderately active should stick to the low end.
Changes to Digestion
As you age, your stomach acid production can decline. If that happens, it makes it hard for the body to absorb several nutrients. B vitamins, calcium, and iron are some of the nutrients seniors don’t always get enough of.
By focusing on foods that are rich in those nutrients, it helps. To ensure your mom and dad get enough calcium and vitamin D, look for juices that have added calcium. Breakfast cereals that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D are other foods to consider adding.
The sense of hunger and thirst often diminish as you age. It’s possible that your mom and dad are not staying hydrated. Aim for foods that have higher water content. Melon, berries, stone fruit, and citrus fruit are all good examples. Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, summer squash, and eggplant are good choices when it comes to vegetables.
Lots of Protein
Another outcome of aging is a loss of muscle. Diets rich in protein can help overcome that. Aim for fatty fish, dried beans, and low- or no-fat dairy.
Do you struggle to cook meals that are suitable for your parents that also match your own needs? It’s often hard to prepare meals that everyone loves that also match changing dietary needs. If you hire an elder care aide to cook your parents’ meals, you lighten your own load.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Minnetonka, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.