The Challenges of Nutritious Meal Preparation in Caregiving
Factories have begun infusing unnatural chemicals and hormones in to modern foods. If a senior requests for their caregiver to prepare them a meal similar to what the senior used to eat in the past, both the caregiver and the senior should realize that while the components of this potential replica meal may possibly look the same, the nutritional value of most modern foods today are not maintained like they used to be at all. This leaves the caregiver in a position where they should be knowledgeable about nutritional needs in seniors overall and how they can select and prepare foods high in nutritional value tailored to the specific needs of the senior they care for.
Knowing how to meal prep can be challenging. As a caregiver, I have worked with a number of seniors to prepare them delicious and nutritious meals. I have found that it is rare to come in to the home of a senior where their meals are already pre-selected- but it can happen. In one rare case in particular, the senior was on a gluten free diet and had educated herself to create a shopping list independently for her meals. Most of the time it is up to caregivers to do this task. Caregivers need to shop smart by purchasing products that maintain their original nutritional value while considering any special diet, allergy, or nutritional needs of the senior they care for. While considering budget, caregivers should purchase foods either labeled organic or items not added with preservatives, chemicals or hormones. These foods are linked to diabetes, obesity, and depression in seniors.
Culture can also play a role in food. While I visited Japan, where people have the longest life expectancy in the world, I learned a lot about how culture can impact food and nutrition. I talked to the farmers still working in their 80s. They explained that their style of growth was based on an all-natural approach. Using growth enhancing substances was considered abrasive and unnecessary. In general, I noticed that the seniors there consumed much more food than seniors in my home town but the food quality was much higher in nutritional value overall.
Modern age has yielded cutting corners in the kitchen. As a caregiver, the difference between cooking a meal and microwaving a pre-made TV dinner is monumental. It is best for caregivers to avoid time savers and spend the time preparing foods thoroughly. Seniors appreciate a caregiver who is knowledgeable about preparing delicious meals and having the ability to infuse their meals with foods that can add nutrition to the senior’s diet. There are so many accessible resources online and in print in regards to nutrition. Sometimes caregivers can even discover them right in the senior’s own homes! Caregivers should find preparing a delicious meal high in nutritional value very beneficial health wise to the senior they care for.
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