When many of us hear the word "malnutrition", we may think that the problem is very far from us. Sadly, malnutrition is a problem that impacts many older Australians. Often people may lose weight unintentionally as they get older, however, this is not a healthy part of ageing. In fact, the evidence suggests that as we age it is better to carry a little extra weight to help see us through times of illness when our appetite may not be at its best.
Eating the right foods each day will provide your body with enough protein and Calories to prevent muscle and weight loss and reduce your risk of malnutrition. As we age, maintaining muscle mass and a healthy weight can help to stay independent, active and most importantly promote longevity.
Some people, as they age, may see a reduction in appetite. Lite n' Easy's Senior Dietitian Ashleigh Jones says, "If you have a smaller appetite, it is important that you do not wait to feel hungry and instead try to eat something every 2 to 3 hours. You should aim to have small, frequent meals and eat foods that are naturally higher in Calories and protein".
Some ways to increase your Calories and protein intake across the day:
Add custard, yoghurt or cream to snacks and meals.
Serve vegetables with a drizzle of oil or some melted cheese.
Spread toast or sandwiches thickly with butter and other spreads.
Avoid filling up on watery drinks such as tea or coffee, or even water. You can enjoy those beverages when you're not eating.
Snack on high protein and calorie dense foods such as a handful of nuts, cheese crackers, some toast with thick cream cheese or peanut butter, yogurt or a milkshake.
Find favourites and add flavour. Adding your favourite chutney or sauces, or citrus or other herbs, spices and seasoning to boost the flavour of the meals.
"It's also important for seniors to have a varied diet, not only to keep their interest, but also to achieve nutritional balance.
Consuming a variety of different foods helps us to create a robust and healthy gut microbiome, maximise our nutrient intake and avoid deficiencies", Jones says.
Developed by dietitians and prepared by chefs, Lite n' Easy offers more than just a weight loss solution. They also offer great tasting meals, designed to promote healthy eating and well-being.
In addition to Lite n' Easy's normal menu, My Choice by Lite n' Easy is a new range of meals aimed to help older Australians eat well and live at home longer. Currently available in NSW, QLD and WA, My Choice are protein and energy dense meals packed full of taste and goodness, and have been specifically designed by dietitians for older people with smaller appetites.
Home Care Package recipients may also be entitled to a split billing arrangement, where the recipient pays for 30% of the Lite n' Easy order, and the Home Care Package provider pays 70%. For HCP recipients, this reduces the cost of a meal from around $12 to less than $4, based on a standard 7 Dinner meal pack.
Think you could benefit from Lite n' Easy? Visit https://www.liteneasy.com.au/seniors/ or call on 13 15 12.
Order today and as a little sweetener Lite n' Easy will throw in a FREE 4 pack of desserts! Simply call 13 15 12 and quote the promo code FREEDES7 when placing your order. Valid for new customers' first delivery only. Cannot be used with any other offer.