Healthy Ageing Through Healthy Eating
While most people’s idea of aged care food is overcooked, plain and pureed dishes served in large batches from a commercial sized kitchen, the reality is the aged care sector is increasingly moving ‘up market’ when it comes to their provision of food for residents.
Given the world-leading quality and diversity of Australian produce which can be sourced at relatively low cost and the growing awareness of the role a healthy diet plays in boosting one’s wellbeing, aged care providers such as Japara are responding to those broad demands with a renewed focus on the quality of their meals. And it’s not just improving their resident’s enjoyment of lunch or dinner time that matters, but also crucial considerations surrounding nutrition for the elderly which come into play, notably the fact that through healthy eating and diet residents are more likely to enjoy an overall better quality of life – the most important goal of any aged care provider.
Healthy diet key to better aged care experience
Most people in aged care upon moving into their new home do so having spent decades cooking for themselves and others, enjoying a wide selection of dishes with an exciting range of textures and flavours which has built up their specific food preferences over an entire lifetime. It comes as no surprise many become disappointed with the limited choices now available to them; given the challenges aged care providers face cooking for hundreds of residents up to three times on any given day. However it doesn’t have to be this way, with highly nutritious, delicious meals now on the menu in an increasing number of retirement facilities. Often prepared with the input of nutritionists who also consult residents individually, these meals feature fresh ingredients, pleasant flavours and can be modified as the resident pleases, resulting in a healthy diet integral to ageing well. ACSAG have taken these features on-board, with in-house dieticians working with residents to tailor their own delicious, personalised meal plans!
Nutrition for the elderly: A few simple tips
With Australian aged care providers lifting their standard in the kitchen and dining room, residents can expect a lot more to look forward to when it comes to meal time. However, there are a few simple, additional tips the elderly can follow to maintain a healthy diet and higher quality of life in their own time such as those listed below:
Avoid skipping meals
Easy to do at times, but skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down and a variety of other problems. Try and stick to your 3 meals a day at regular times for an overall better quality of life.
Maintaining a diet rich in protein (whether that be from dairy, fish, meat, beans, nuts etc) is a great way to promote healthy ageing, increasing your strength and mood. When combined with light exercise, protein is an especially powerful part of any balanced diet.
As a general rule of healthy eating, the greener your food the better it is for you. But don’t be afraid to add more colourful veggies to your plate and experiment a little.
Aim to drink the equivalent of 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep your body hydrated and flush out accumulated toxins. A good way to achieve this is by taking a drink with every bite you eat during the day.
Whilst following a nutritious diet of healthy food is essential to ageing well, it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself every now and then to your favourite vice – whether that be dark chocolate or a glass of red wine!
For more information on Japara, our delicious freshly cooked meals, in-house dieticians and personalised menus, please visit us at japara.com.au or call us today on (03) 9649 2100 for a friendly chat with one our staff.