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Authored by CEO, Andria P. Harris, our blog is also a very important way of letting you know how we feel about what we do. For more dialogue on living with Dementia and Alzheimer's, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maintaining a Balanced Diet

Crafting a well balanced meal may be challenging , especially when you are catering for your elders. Challenging because you will have to take their diet into consideration.

It is absolutely important that you abide by their physician’s order, and if you are not sure you may give the dietitian or physician a call. There are situations where you can over or under season meals, or even prepare the incorrect foods. (foods that they are not allowed to have). It is a safety precaution, of course, especially when you are not aware of their food allergies, or other unknown health issues! However it is usually advisable that a menu be verified and checked off by the family member or conservator of the client that you are assigned to. If you are a family member who is assigned care taking, then you must have the menu verified and checked likewise before you prepare meals.

Now, the journey to longevity is healthy eating.

The first meal of the day may be breakfast or brunch, these meals must always be well balanced.

Too much carbohydrates may not be the best way to go, since your elderly client/clients are not involved in manual labors, and that their bodies, may already be slowing down, and will only digest foods that are easily broken down before digestion. Maintaining a diet with the essential vitamins and minerals is better than having too much carbs and sweets.

A mixed fruit bowl, with the necessary fresh berries, fruits, honey, yogurt, cottage cheese, and chia seeds, may be a way to go. You may add a protein as the side dish. The protein may be a recommended portion from his or her favorite meat, prepared for breakfast. An egg is also a good way to go. it may be served scrambled, made medium to well, boiled hard or as an omelet. If you are making an omelet, use fresh vegetables per-steamed. Try not to use too much cheese! If clients are meat tolerant, you may add a small amount of already cooked meat. A small piece of toast with butter or jam, or a few water crackers may be add as recommended. Make it interesting, add some color, plating sliced tomatoes or pieces of fresh lettuce leaves to the plate.

Water is life, therefore serve it in abundance!

Encourage maximum hydration during the first sitting each day.

This way you will notice changes in attitudes regarding eating, excreting, and agility. The body functions at it maximum wellness whenever it is well hydrated.

At breakfast always serve water at room temperature. Use it to administer medication, or as you reply to medication reminders, clients/client will assume the habit of swallowing with water. Add water as liquid for blended fruit juices instead of other ready-made juices. Always, always embellish the table or tray setting with a glass of water, then add other blended vegetable and fruit juices as well.

Use water every opportunity you get,

During the course of a day, most senior may ignore or refuse lunch, especially if he or she had brunch instead of breakfast. When this happens, if breakfast was the initial meal, you may serve a very light lunch; something like a fresh fruit and berry plate, a small slice of a savory pie of their choice, and of course, water. Dinner may be lighter and smaller. It is usually a good idea to always have a savory vegetable chicken or beef soup available to serve at this time. This type of soup is rather delightful if prepared broth-like, instead of creamy. A bowl of broth soup is a lot more attractive, with its added chopped or diced fresh vegetables, and is a great way to introduce more liquid to the diet. Creamy soups are also very pleasant, however when you serve this you may want to garnish, and make sure that there are no lumps or bumps in it. Serve water, or slices of watermelon with this soup.

Soups are much easier to eat and digest, therefore it is always a welcomed and desired dish by many seniors. You may serve a bit of water crackers, however remember that your goal is to present more nutrients with less carbs, especially at dinner, the supposedly last meal before bed.

Medication and Supplements.

Most senior are prescribed medications and some supplements by their physicians, therefore med should be given or remembered at the times specified. Water or a savory juice may be given for swallow. Administering med with coffee or teas is not recommend. Remember that hydration is your goal!

Deserts and Sweets

It is a very good idea if you know how to bake, this way you may introduce a healthier option for deserts. Great deserts may be; fresh fruit tarts, vegetable breads and pies, oatmeal and raisin cookies and unsweetened chocolate chip cookies, yam or sweet potato puddings.

Key

Serve all meals in moderation. Do not over or under serve, over or under season.

Keep it simple, easy to eat, attractive and tasty.

It is food, so make it a pleasure to eat.

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