Our top tips for healthy eating in older age

Home Manager at Fairmile Grange, Mary Maughan-Otten, has outlined how to enjoy meal times in older years, whilst staying healthy. Mary’s top tips are as follows:

1. Vitamin D. Having an insufficient amount of vitamin D in your diet, can have serious health effects as you get older, as it is one of the most important nutrients for bone health. Whilst exposure to sunlight is a great way to absorb vitamin D, you can also get an adequate amount through certain foods, including oily fish (tuna, sardines etc), egg yolks and red meat. By eating these foods, they strengthen muscles and movement, fight infection and regulate cell growth.

2. Healthy balanced diet. It is essential that we all eat a healthy balanced diet, which contains as much nutrition as possible. The catering team at Fairmile Grange always ensure that the food prepared for residents consists of plenty of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and starchy foods, including potatoes, pasta etc. Consuming the right balance of all of these food groups will help to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

3. All-time favourites. Although it is essential you eat mindfully, it is also important that you enjoy your meal times, which is why there is nothing wrong with occasionally eating what you fancy. With that in mind, residents at Fairmile Grange often enjoy trips out, where they eat their favourite dishes, such as fish and chips. To see more information about the trips we plan, please click here.

4. Watch your sweet tooth. Whilst sweet treats are delicious, it is important to not get into a habit of eating too many. If residents are in need of a snack, we replace a sugary treat with a piece of fruit, which can make a big difference to their diets and overall health.
However, residents are encouraged to enjoy desserts in moderation. The catering team prepare desserts which meet the needs of all residents including those who have dysphagia and require soft food diets. One of the most popular examples of these modified dishes are pure scones, which always go down as a treat. To find out more about this, please click here.

5. Become ‘salt aware’. Try and reduce the amount of salt you consume as much as possible. Eating too much salt is extremely bad for your health and has been scientifically proven to raise blood pressure levels. Recognising the negative effects salt has on our residents, the catering team at Fairmile Grange replace salt with fresh herbs to make sure all the food they serve is healthy and rich in flavour.

6. Stay hydrated. Studies show that as you get older, many people don’t drink as much as they used to, which is sometimes due to physiological changes in the ageing process. It is extremely important to drink adequate amounts daily, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Remember this does not just mean water, but also refers to hot drinks and well-diluted squash.

7. Socialise when eating. Food is something we all have in common, which is why sitting down with friends or new acquaintances, whilst eating is a great way to socialise and enjoy your meal time.
With lots of different seasonal events taking place each year, food is a great way to come together and celebrate. Fairmile Grange produce four specific menus each year to reflect the spring, summer, autumn and winter seasons. The weekly menu offers a variety of different choices every day and rotates on a four-week basis. To see more examples of how Fairmile Grange celebrate certain events, please click here.

8. Remembering to eat slowly. Not only does eating slowly mean you will enjoy your food more, but it also helps to aid hydration and makes it easier to maintain weight.