Did you know that seniors generally have different nutrition needs than other adults? The United States Department of Agriculture created a “Choose My Plate” initiative a few years ago that helps people to eat healthfully and nutritiously. For seniors in particular, it’s important to get enough fiber, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and calcium - we’ll discuss why below. Let’s also take a look at different ways to incorporate these nutrients into a daily diet.
What are the health benefits of fiber, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 for seniors in home care?
Most people know that fiber helps with constipation. But did you know that fiber can also help regulate blood sugar (helping to avoid diabetes) and lower high cholesterol? For seniors especially, digestive problems can be troublesome, especially if a loved one has limited mobility, or finds it hard to get to the bathroom. For these reasons, it’s important to make sure that those in home care get an adequate amount of fiber in their diets.
Vitamin D is important for bone health: it helps your body absorb calcium. In seniors, a Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of falls or fractures, and sometime osteoporosis. Most people get enough Vitamin D simply through exposure to the sun, but this can be difficult to achieve during winter, or for seniors who are homebound. Supplementing your diet with foods rich in Vitamin D is one way to help seniors in home care maintain a healthy balance.
According to WebMD, Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, digestive problems, and permanent nerve damage. Most people can achieve a healthy B12 amount through their diet, but it takes a little bit of effort and planning. Let’s look at some recipes that are delicious, healthy, and good for seniors who need a nutritional boost!
Recipes with fiber, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12
Foods high in fiber include avocado, artichokes, and okra. Cheese, egg yolks, and fatty fish (like tuna or salmon) are high in Vitamin D. You can get a good amount of Vitamin B12 through eggs, shellfish, and dairy products like milk or yogurt. Many foods (like breads, milk, and more) are also fortified with certain vitamins to help Americans up their intake. Here are some recipes for seniors that include one or more of these ingredients for a nutritious meal or snack.
- Baked avocado with egg: This recipe is easy to make, and combines two stellar ingredients, avocado and egg. The combination means you’ll get a good dose of fiber and both vitamins, so it’s a homerun! Baked avocado eggs are a nice change from plain old scrambled eggs or cereal for breakfast, too.
- Salmon with pea puree: Salmon is high in Vitamin D, and the peas add dietary fiber. This meal can be made in under 30 minutes, and the puree is very easy if you have a blender or food processor. It adds a little something special (and healthy!) to a weeknight dinner.
- Cheesy spinach artichoke egg bake: Here’s another homerun - fiber, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 all in one easy meal. This egg casserole can be served for any meal of the day, and it’s easy to make!
Does your loved one have trouble with meal preparation? Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses can help.
Sometimes, when we get older, daily tasks become more difficult. Meal preparation is one of the many services provided by PAN to those in home care. Our caregivers are compassionate, competent, and highly trained to help seniors with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Read through our client testimonial page, or visit our services page to see whether PAN is a good fit to help your loved one - we would love to hear from your family!