If you’re from Atlanta, you know food. Throughout Georgia, history and geography have combined to make our culinary traditions some of the most diverse and delightful in the country. Most people don’t even realize how unique our food culture is in Atlanta until they travel elsewhere. Order tea anywhere else and find out for yourself. Lots of people in the United States have never even heard of a boiled peanut, let alone tried one.
The foods we eat are part of who we are. If you’ve ever lived anywhere else and missed Atlanta, you know as well as anyone that certain foods taste like home.
So how do we balance the taste of home with the changes that doctors tell us we must make as we age? Due to more body fat, less lean muscle and less activity, especially for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, our bodies need more nutrients and less calories. This is a challenge for all seniors, but especially for dementia caregivers who must make food that their loved ones want to eat while making sure their nutritional needs are met – a split-pea sleight of hand, if you will.
The answer to this problem is to choose foods high in nutrients in relation to the calories they contain. Such foods are called “nutrient-dense.” For example, low-fat milk is more nutrient-dense than whole milk. Its nutrient content is the same, but it has fewer calories because it has less fat.
To help seniors make the best dietary choices, Tufts University developed “My Plate for Older Adults ”. It depicts simple exercise activities to emphasize the importance of staying active in some way. Also included are a variety of liquids. As people age, there can be a disassociation between how hydrated bodies are and how thirsty they feel. For this reason, drinking water and eating foods with high water content such as lettuce and soups are important contributors of fluid in a senior’s diet.
Half of the plate depicts packaged fruits and vegetables in addition to fresh examples. These choices can be easier for a senior to prepare or reseal and have a longer shelf life, minimizing waste.
Consuming adequate amounts of fiber-rich foods remains important for seniors. This means selecting whole grain products rather than highly refined forms, and whole fruits and vegetables rather than juices.
Regency Home Care of North Atlanta knows there is no place like home, and one of the most important areas of any home in Georgia is the kitchen. We have over 30 years of experience working with families to help keep their aging loved ones safe, healthy and independent. As a part of our home care services, Regency Home Care can assist seniors with selecting and preparing the best foods for their specific dietary requirements while incorporating the flavors and foods that make up the rich culinary tradition of Atlanta. It may be modified, but it can still taste like home. Find out more by calling (678) 999-2446 or filling out or web form.