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Eating well to provide better care
Maintaining a healthy diet is a challenge and a necessity for the caregiver.
You don’t always have an easy task, and if you want to avoid exhaustion, it really is worth eating a balanced diet. Here are some suggestions to help you eat healthy despite your busy schedule.
Never skip a meal
It is better to alter your schedule and make time for a meal than end up hungry and tired at the end of the day.
Go for foods that maintain your energy level
Foods high in protein stabilize your energy level and prevent energy lows. Plan your menu around a portion of fish, chicken or meat, an entrée salad with boiled eggs and cheese, or a hearty soup with chickpeas and Greek yogurt for dessert. Don’t forget to include some raw vegetables, wholegrain bread and a piece of fruit.
When time is short, shortcuts are great!
Cuisinez une double recette puis partagez le repas avec votre proche; conservez les surplus quelques jours au frigo ou quelques mois au congélateur.
- Use a caterer, have ready-to-cook meals delivered or stock up on frozen meals. Check the quality of the ingredients, the protein and fibre. A balanced meal must contain a minimum of 15 grams of protein (20-30 for people 65 and over) and 8-10 grams of fibre. Boost your protein intake by adding a glass of milk, Greek yoghurt, a piece of cheese or a handful of nuts. Some raw vegetables, a fresh green salad, a slice of wholegrain bread and a piece of fruit will boost your fibre intake.
- Double a recipe and then share the meal with your loved one; keep the leftovers in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a few months.
- You can bake a filet of fresh fish in the oven at 425 F (220 C) in just 10 minutes per inch of thickness (20 minutes if frozen). Season the filet with olive oil and lemon juice, sprigs of rosemary, pesto or curry paste.
- Add canned light tuna or salmon to a green salad for a quick meal. Discover edamames (green soybeans) that take only 4 minutes to cook in boiling water. Enrich vegetable soup by adding about a cup of red beans or chickpeas per portion.
- Raw vegetables prepared in advance and fresh or frozen vegetables save a lot of time when you are in a hurry to make a meal. A food processor turns carrots, cabbage and fresh parsley into a salad in a few minutes.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements
Multivitamins and minerals can never replace a healthy diet but they can make up for certain deficiencies without the risk of overdose. Formulas for adults and for those over 50 can be found in stores.
Remember to drink enough water
Dehydration results in tiredness and headaches. Take the time to drink eight glasses of fluid a day: fresh water, milk, tea, coffee, herbal teas and broths. And remember to take your refillable water bottle with you!
Every bite counts and the more variety in your food choices, the better for your health. When good foods are on the menu at every meal or snack time, the risk of deficiencies decreases, while your muscular strength, immune system and energy level all get a boost.
Reviewed by Louise Lambert-Lagacé
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