Diet for the elderly should not only be nutritious, it should be tasty too. This becomes a little tricky when there are constraints on what the elder can eat and has to avoid. It should also be easy to chew and digest. It should be simple to make, especially if you are cooking for the entire family, as well. Here are some tips.
- Flavour instead of salt
The elderly usually need to take less salt. To avoid cooking separately for them, reduce the amount of salt in the entire meal which is a healthy option for the rest of the family too. Add other flavors to make the food tastier. Pepper, jeera, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry leaves, and most of our South Indian spices can add more zing to the meal without having to add extra salt.
- Easy to chew choices
Seniors find a lot of food tough to chew because they suffer from decreased saliva. They may also have problems with dentures. It is important to make their food soft and easily chewable. This doesn’t have to decrease their choices. Most South Indian vegetables are easy to eat. Give their veggies or meats another couple of whistles in the cooker. By making these small changes for the elder, you can ensure that you are still giving them the same tasty food that the rest of the family is eating.
- Get advice
You’re not the only one in this boat. There will be friends, family, and colleagues who have gone through the anxiety and responsibility of having to homecare a geriatric. They are sure to have come up with some quick to make South Indian meal recipes that can be nutritious and tasty.
- Ask your elder
Elders do have specific, favourite foods and it would help if they are included in deciding the menu. Give them a choice of easy to make recipes to choose from. If they get what they like to eat, they will finish it without a fuss.
- Give them comfort food
Elders have myriad mental and physical problems and very often, it leads to loss of appetite. This can be extremely stressful for the caretaker because they have to ensure that the elder gets adequate nutrition. Very often, you would find that the elder just wants something simple but comforting, like rice and dal.
- Give them good nutrients
Make sure that you are avoiding what they can’t have like extra spicy food and sugary foods but include what they can. You should consult a dietician to see what kind of foods would provide the nutrition that your senior needs.
- Nutritious snacking
One of the best ways to ensure that your elder is eating something nutritious without a fuss is to slip it into a snack or a drink. Some good choices are smoothies, chaats and sundals.
- Bump the sugar
If your elder has a sweet tooth, try and pander to it in a healthy way with sweets made of jaggery or honey instead of sugar, like sweet pongal or sooji.