Food is Medicine!
Nutrition strategies for caregivers:
- Assess the client's overall ability to manage and prepare his or her meals. This can easily influence the nutritional value of what they eat. They may depend heavily on pre-packaged or processed food. Even junk foods or fast food.
- Target approximately 1 to 1.5 grams of protein/kg of body weight or around 70-100 grams/day will meet the needs of most, whether taken orally, requiring enteral tube feeds or some combination of the two. Fish, poultry, eggs, lean meats, dairy and abundant vegetables are good sources in addition to providing other important vitamins ,minerals and sufficient fiber.
- Encourage reading and understanding of food labels as a guide to meeting daily nutritional needs.
- Don't be afraid to be creative, unless an individual is on a special diet where certain foods are prohibited.
- Engage with others in your client's support network. Communicate and coordinate with a fellow caregiver, friend or neighbor who spends time in the home, to better understand your client's likes, dislikes and nutritional needs.
- Lastly, Think of Food as Medicine : Sugar and flour based foods work against weight management, pain control, energy levels and blood glucose control.