A common area that I have helped people with is how to maintain adequate energy intakes and maintain intakes of quality protein. As the population ages, it becomes more important to maintain healthy nutritional intake, as the ability to do this tends to decrease. Over time, one’s appetite may decrease due to disease processes or prescription medications. The ability to chew quality protein sources can decrease as dental status deteriorates. Economic and financial factors also become important in being able to afford adequate and nutritional food choices.
My philosophy to solving many of these issues is summed up with the phrase “less is more.” Yes, less money, less chewing, and less volume of oral intake is needed with this simple solution. Some of the tastier and more comforting foods that come to our minds can be transformed into calorie and protein packed foods by the simple addition of powdered nonfat dry milk. Soups, mashed potatoes, hot cereals, and shakes/smoothies can have nonfat dry milk mixed easily into them. All of these food items are very cost effective and easy to eat. They become even more rich and luxurious with the addition of nonfat dry milk. The best news is that for each 1/3 cup of nonfat dry milk you consume, your food is fortified with approximately 120 calories and 12 grams of protein.
These food items are tastier, comforting, and much more cost effective than any of the commercial medical nutritional supplements that can be found at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
Kathy Oliver is a Dietetic Technician, Registered and has been working with the aging population for over 25 years. Her experience includes training home health aides who care for the elderly in their own homes, and educating their family members about how to better nourish their loved ones at home after returning from rehabilitation. Kathy’s clinical nutrition experience also includes working in management roles and cooking.