HOME INSTEAD COLUMN: Food shopping for an aged loved one
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It can be an issue if an elderly family member doesn’t eat or won’t eat.
Here are some possible causes
• Short Attention span.
• Physical impairment.
Here are some ways to help
• Be sure you’re dealing with a true lack of sufficient calories and nutrition not a fussy eater or small appetite.
• Rule out physical problems by checking with the doctor.
• Avoid coaxing and cajoling.
• Serve meals and snacks at consistent time.
• Allow plenty of time for meals so that the person does not feel rushed.
• Help the person focus on the meal at hand.
• Highlight the plate and cup by putting them on a contrasting solid placemat.
• Avoid patterned dishes or coverings as they may be distracting.
• Focus more on protein that perfect nutritional balance.
• Don’t serve foods that are too hot.
• Look into programmes that deliver a hot meal each day.
Savvy shopping tips for family carers
Before you think about the types of healthy meals you need to prepare for your ageing loved one, it’s important to first overcome the obstacles of shopping.
Here are some tips to help make your next trip to the supermarket a successful one:
1. Shop with others.
Shopping can sometimes be seen as a chore – make it more sociable by shopping with a friend or family member.
2. Look out for special price offers.
Many local butchers, grocers and supermarkets run offers on nourishing produce that is in season.
3. Loyalty cards.
Ensure you have a loyalty card for the store(s) you shop in so you can avail of their special offers and promotions.
4. Don’t be afraid of freezing.
When cooking for one it is easy to over-estimate portions. Instead of throwing away the excess food why not freeze it to use as a dinner option on another day.
5. Always make a shopping list.
Have a standard shopping list with core items such as fresh, frozen and tinned foods that can be stored. This can save time and money.
6. Don’t shop hungry.
Shoppers are always tempted to buy more when hungry. So have a snack before hitting the aisles.
7. Think variety.
It’s easy to get in a rut. Don’t be afraid to try new foods and recipes.
8. Try store brands.
The most costly brands are often placed at eye level.
Store own brands, which may be cheaper and just as good are often placed higher or lower on the grocery shelves.