Ways to eat better

Published on 01 November 2021

aged person assisted shopping for fresh food

As we age it’s often the case that we eat less. That’s why we require more nutritious food to meet our need for vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D and omega-3s. 

The pandemic has also led to more people not getting the nutrition they need. Eating together for meals is a great way to enjoy food and unfortunately, we have not been able to do that.

Here are our eight tips to help you eat better. 

1. Take stock of your diet

Seeking the advice of a dietitian is one way to determine how well you are eating. Another way is to keep a short food diary for a week or two and capture exactly what you’re eating, not what you think you’re eating.

Take note of the times you eat as well as any liquids you consume. If you’ve experienced unplanned weight loss or gain without making any intentional changes to your diet or exercise, keep track of this in your diary too.

Unintentional weight loss can be a sign of dehydration and can lead to falls, osteoporosis, or premature admission to residential care, so it’s important to address this. 

2. Try something new

Challenge yourself with a new recipe or try a new food each week. It could be a small change like a new bread with higher fibre. If you are finding it more difficult to go food shopping or cook meals, AccessCare can support you with this.

We can go shopping for you or accompany you on a shopping trip. You can always order more meals from our Delivered Meals service too.

3. Think small

Small food changes can make a big difference. Herbs, sourdough bread, apple cider vinegar and traditional fermented foods such as sauerkraut are great for getting our digestive system back on track. 

4. Keep an eye on the time

If you are forgetting to eat here are some ideas to assist you:

  • Set a timer to remind you when to eat.
  • Eat smaller meals more often if big meals are too much.
  • Ask for help to clean out your fridge once a month.
  • Consider purchasing a large digital clock that displays the date and day so it’s easier to keep track of things. 

5. Good tools can make the world of difference

Arthritis can make cooking and preparing food more difficult. Obtaining a referral for an occupational therapist can ensure you receive a full review of your needs. It will also give you access to new tools for preparing food.

Some examples include:

  • A fridge the provides a freezer at the bottom, can reduce bending. 
  • Non-slip cutting boards.
  • Plates designed for use with one hand.
  • Easy to use can openers and jar openers to allow you to open things one handed. 

6. Eat together when possible

With the pandemic, many of us have been having most of our meals alone. Boredom and social isolation can impact your diet and reduce your interest in food.

Eating with others is a proven way to boost appetite and wellbeing, so we encourage you to get together with others in a safe way and enjoy meals again.

7. Address any underlying health issues

There are many physical issues that may get in the way of adequate nutrition or a lack of interest in eating.

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing. An assessment by a speech pathologist may be beneficial
  • Pain while eating or ill-fitting dentures. Visit the Dentist for a review.
  • Constipation. A nurse or dietitian can review the causes of constipation and suggest solutions. AccessCare’s nursing team can assist with this. 
  • Medication. Talk to your GP for a medication review. 

8. Set up or increase support services

If shopping and meal preparation are becoming too much AccessCare can assist. At AccessCare we can:

  •  Help to shop. We can either go to the shops with you and support you to do your shopping, or head to the shops for you with a shopping list.
  •  Meal preparation. Our Support Workers can prepare some meals with you.
  •  Have meals prepared and delivered to your door with Delivered Meals.

Did you know that we also have textured meals are also available and suitable for people with medical conditions that affect swallowing. We can also have multiple meals delivered on one day if that’s what you need.

Download the nutrition ebook