As we get older it can be helpful to understand how our bodies dietary needs change. We value the importance of home cooking and offer meal preparation as part of our home help service. So many customers ask us how to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals so we thought we’d take a look at some recommendations to help you give your body what it needs.
Initially the basic principles are the same for all ages and The NHS Eatwell Guide splits what we need into four main food groups that we need to include:
These can be fresh, frozen or canned. Make sure you include plenty of dark green vegetables such as leafy greens or broccoli, and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes as these give added vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods.
Try to aim to eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. The reason why there is so much focus on wholegrain is because these are full of nutrients including protein, fibre, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals. These can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.
Dairy and alternatives
Have three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese) that are fortified with vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy.
Try to vary these by choosing more beans, pulses, fish and eggs.
Whilst these are good principles, we also have specific dietary needs as we get older.
Our energy requirement reduces with advancing age due to a decrease in basal metabolic rate and often decreased levels of physical activity.
Try to make the fats you eat healthy ones (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) and switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
It is important to reduce portion sizes if your activity levels are low and cut down on sugary snacks such as cakes and buns if you are carrying a few more pounds that you should be.
Your skins ability to synthesise Vitamin D decreases with age. Older people are therefore recommended to take a supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily as well as regularly eating foods such as fish, of which at least one portion a week should be oily. This can help protect against heart disease and can be beneficial if you’ve already suffered a heart attack. Fortified breakfast cereals can also help.
Gut health can be boosted by including pro-biotic supplements, live yoghurt and of course fibre – this is where the wholegrain comes in again!
Finally, for heart health try using cholesterol lowering spreads and soya may also help to rid your body of the ‘bad’ types of cholesterol.
Just follow these simple tips and you can be sure that you are giving your body the best. That has to sensible as after all - we are what we eat!
(Although these are general principles, we advise that you check with your GP for specific information appropriate to you before making changes to your diet.)
Accredited by the Suffolk and Norfolk councils and The Care Quality Commission registered, we offer compassionate and professional home care with dignity and respect. Whatever type of care you choose for your loved one, we are on-hand to answer any questions you have.
If you’d like to find out more, please call any of our branches:
First Choice Home Care - dedicated to the provision of quality care and support
After years of battling poor mobility Jack celebrates his birthday healthy and happy.
There's nothing like sharing the thrill and excitement of a Birthday card from HRH Queen Elizabeth. Of course, it's not an average day and it’s not an average story…
Jack's story spans an incredible lifetime. A war veteran he served in the RAF, working as a Radio Operator, which he plays down with modesty and discretion. In the midst of rationing he married his childhood sweetheart Pat when he was just 27 years old.
“I knew the minute I met her she was the girl for me” he recalls. “we just got on so well, she had the most fabulous smile and caring nature”
After the war they set up home in London and Jack became a commercial photographer and also a father. He’s very family focused and proud of his son, his two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
“I always remember to be grateful for every day, but especially birthdays” he said with a smile. “Golden, happy days”.
First Choice Home Care have supported Jack with professional home care for over two years. When we first offered help Jack's mobility was poor with little independent movement, he was more or less chair bound.
Since we've provided care and support, he's not only become more positive but manages to remain living at home and most importantly can now get around by himself.
"When we first started to support Jack, he needed the aid of two carers, specialised equipment & was unable to walk. Over the past 2 1/2yrs he has rehabilitated & now walks with his frame unaided.
It’s an incredible feeling to look back and see how improved Jack’s lifestyle is now. We are a happy team, and I think that helps support and encourage our customers to feel secure.
There’s no doubt that Jack is in charge and going to make the most of every day. He adapts and approaches the challenges of old age with a positive attitude and cheery determination.
“Carers have found Jack in the garden, out for a walk & even upstairs (against all advice) he is an amazing gentleman, and very, very independent"
Our hopes for the year ahead are that he continues to enjoy his family and friends, making the most of every opportunity and celebrates in style.
We wish him the very best 100th year!
It's been a year of success stories for our Harleston branch with the most recent news a real celebration for all the team.
Harleston's Registered Manager, Hannah Brock has successfully graduated Level 5 Leadership for Health and Social Care. Receiving her colours at a Graduation Ceremony last week; she was joined by her family and said:
"I am thrilled and very proud. It's been a great day and so nice to have so many friends and family supporting me along the way"
"First Choice Home Care offer full training and support to all our team and I would encourage everyone to extend their skills and knowledge. The training facilities at our Snetterton Branch offer professional support"
Hannah started her Level 5 at her previous employment; however, she was unable to complete a lot of the tasks required to achieve her qualification. Joining First Choice Home Care as a Deputy Manager she bloomed and was soon promoted to Registered Manager. Her experience enabled her to complete her course successfully.
She Graduated at East Suffolk College which is part of the University of Suffolk on the 4th October 2019. It took her two years to complete her Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care Adults Management.
The First Choice Home Care Harleston branch, based at 2 Church Street, takes an active part in the local community supporting local and national charities. They offer a range of domiciliary services supporting older people including home help as well as specialist professional home care for customers suffering from Parkinson's and Dementia.
" Hannah has really done us proud; she is a highly regarded and valued Registered Manager and we are delighted she has passed level 5 with flying colours. Our congratulations from us all at First Choice Home Care"
Recently rated GOOD by the Care Quality Commission, the First Choice Home Care Harleston Branch are consistently achieving top recommendations and remain a key home care service agency within East Anglia supporting Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils.
"We are a close team, and all take pride in delivering professional and friendly home care services.