Eating good food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Life can become spicy or bland or just boring depending on what’s’ in and what’s not, in our mouths. We can salivate with pleasure or roll our eyes in sufferance.
To stay strong and fit, protein rich foods are essential. A proper diet rich in protein with adequate amount of fats and carbohydrate, along with a healthy life style go hand in hand for adults over 65 years of age.
WHO report states that a majority of disease that an older person suffers from often a result of a lack of proper diet. Diabetes and osteoporosis both degenerative disease may have genetic reasons but diet plays a huge cause too.
Reasons for more protein in the elderly are,
• 1.Loss of muscle mass
• 2.Vulnerability to infections
• 3.Weak bones
• 4.Other old age disorders.
• 5.Weak appetite for a variety of reasons.
Here are 20 mouth-watering protein diets for elders:
• 1.Warm oatmeal with some nuts (if one can chew)
• Hard boiled or soft boiled egg with a slice of whole wheat toast lightly browned.
• Some fruit. Poached if unable to chew.
• Toast with peanut butter
• Poached or scrambled egg
• Skimmed milk (one glass).
• Cornflakes with banana with low fat milk
• Omelette with some finely cut vegetables and a little bit of cheese
• A bowl of freshly cut seasonal fruit which is soft (Mangoes in the season but limited)
• A “chilla” with light greens /upma .
• Lentil (preferably moong or musoor)
• A vegetable like spinach or sweet potato or any seasonal all lightly cooked in a stew format. Tofu can be added
• A fish dish (for non vegetarians)
• 5.whole wheat toast -2 slices
• Grilled fish/ chicken
• A bowl of vegetables.
• A sweet or a bowl of steamed custard.
While tea remains common, one can alternate with a variety of biscuits, puffed rice, or small toasts with cheese or grated vegetables. Cookies and muffins can make tea time a happy time.
Dinner must be light
• Beans and carrots cooked along with some other greens
• Light chicken dish
• A small sweet
• 3.Soup /Broth, vegetarian or non vegetarian
• Fish cakes with a light salad.
• A small piece of chocolate.
• 5.Mixed vegetable soup
• Pasta with shrimps/ chicken /mushroom and asparagus
• Sweet to taste.
Points to ponder
No one tip or suggestion works for all. Individual structuring required.
Every meal must be served with a smile and should include the primary colours red, yellow and green. Water intake must be looked at. Fibre –rich foods, calcium and vitamin D very much the need of the Elderly. Focus on high calorie, nutrient dense foods and every meal must include high protein.
Aim should be, “Food- time is fun- time”. Hence variety is surely the spice of Life. As someone said, “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what’s for lunch!!”
Hippocrates the father of medicine aptly remarked, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food!!!”
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