This week in Australia we celebrate Nutrition Week and the theme is “try for 5 vegetables per day”! To help us feel good and keep moving and doing the things we love doing – it’s important we eat foods that help us do this, and this absolutely includes our scrummy veggies.
For some of us, like our older loved ones, eating lots of veggies can be a bit harder due to a variety of reasons. Dental issues or wearing dentures, loss of smell, taste, hunger, difficulty cooking and cutting due to disability and injury, dysphagia, allergies, and the list goes on.
And so I’d like to massage the “try for 5” theme and suggest 5 ways to try for 5 vegetables per day with your older loved one.
1. Allow yourself to understand that any increase is a positive increase and don’t stress, go easy, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you don’t reach 5 per day.
2. It’s really vital we ask what vegetables our cared one actually likes to eat and focus on those.
3. Don’t discount vegetables that are canned or preserved, this might be the safest and most convenient alternative for some people and that’s ok.
4. Make sure that you play around with texture with vegetables, consider what’s safe and appropriate and experiment with different ways of preparing and cooking.
5. And finally, make sure there is seasoning, dressing, and flavour on vegetables to make sure they’re tasty.
Eating and enjoying vegetables have beautiful benefits for our bodies which is why we encourage eating more of them. They boast huge amounts of vitamins and minerals, are packed with energy and really importantly have tonnes of fibre.
Some useful links:
For more information about Nutrition Week visit:
Megan’s article on Carer’s Circle about 3 ways to help your cared one finish their meal – and why this is so important – https://carerscircle.com.au/2021/09/13/3-ways-to-help-your-cared-one-finish-their-meal-and-why-this-is-so-important/
Carer’s Circle article on Cooking for one – healthy recipes for older people –
Photo credit: Fresh organic vegetables on Rawpixel
A version of this article originally appeared on Megan van Genderen’s blog – Reproduced with permission.