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Meal Planning for an Elderly American, Essay Example

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Words: 555

Essay

The development of a successful meal planning strategy for an older person living the United States requires an understanding of his or her current nutritional deficiencies and any types of chronic illness or other factors that might contribute to dietary weaknesses in their current nutritional profile. The primary objective with nutrition for older persons is to sustain the quality of their lives for as long as possible and to reduce the necessity for healthcare treatments and other measures that may result from chronic illness or other factors, while also supporting their ability to remain independent for longer periods of time.

Questions to consider when planning a menu for an older person:

  • Do you have any foods that you really enjoy? What are they?
  • Are there any foods that you do not like and do not want incorporated into your regular diet?
  • Are there any foods that you are allergic to?
  • Do you have any chronic illnesses that might limit your sodium or sugar intake, such as hypertension or diabetes?
  • Do you have any dental concerns that prohibit you from chewing food properly?
  • Do you have any swallowing concerns?
  • Are there any other concerns that you would like to share?

 

Profile: The example profile is for a 73 year-old female living with her husband of 48 years in a small ranch home. She has three grown children and five grandchildren, all of whom live within an hour’s driving distance. She is a retired nurse and was employed at the same hospital for 39 years. She is currently enjoying her retirement and travels with her husband occasionally to different parts of the US and to Europe. She is relatively healthy and has no issues with swallowing, no food allergies, she loves fruit and also has a sweet tooth, but she does not enjoy tomatoes in their original form because she does not like the texture. However, she will eat tomato-based products. She was diagnosed with hypertension five years prior and currently takes medication, but has no other known chronic illnesses to date. She still drives and has full mobility in her daily routine. She has a healthy appetite and walks for 30-45 minutes approximately 4 days per week and is active in a ladies’ group that meets every other week. She and her husband also attend church services every Sunday morning.

Meal Plan

The proposed menu for the female referenced above is as follows:

Breakfast: 2 egg whites with 1 tbsp. cheese, ½ cup of steel cut oatmeal sweetened with stevia and blueberries, nonfat plain yogurt sweetened with strawberries, one small glass of cranberry juice and coffee with skim milk and stevia.

Lunch: A medium-sized salad with boneless, skinless chicken breast seasoned with Mrs. Dash (no salt) and other herbs and spices, including carrots, cucumbers, and other vegetables, a small fruit salad with strawberries, pineapple, and raspberries, a glass of unsweetened ice tea, and a glass of water.

Snack: 1 medium banana in the late morning and 1 apple in the mid-afternoon, along with a small pack of raw, unsalted almonds in the later part of the afternoon.

Dinner: One piece of salmon glazed with a small amount of butter and spices, a side of brown rice seasoned with spices, a side of broccoli and cauliflower, and a glass of water and also a glass of red wine. Dessert includes a small brownie with a small scoop of lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt.

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