Weight gain in later years is fairly common. Weight gain happens when both metabolism and activity levels slow down. It happens to all of us, and it is hard to come to terms with the fact that we can’t eat the way we used to.
Should you worry when you notice that your parents are slowing down and gaining weight? The answer of course is “yes,” because excess body weight is known to contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and just plain inability to get around.
Cakes and cookies are wonderfully delicious comfort foods but bad things happen when they take the place of nutritious meals. If your parents live in a retirement community you may feel that nutritious meals are a part of package, but please notice that midmorning, afternoon, and evening coffee hours are very popular. Coffee hour with sweet snacks are social highlights and they are attended regularly.
Nutritious meals may be offered at home, at senior centers or at care facilities but that doesn’t mean that they will be consumed if other food items are made available.
It could very well be up to you to stock their pantries with nutritious food items instead of cookies and chips. Make a point of stocking the freezer with homemade, nutritious frozen items or have catered meals delivered to their door. Without being a nag suggest that fruit and nutritious snack bars are better choices to have with afternoon tea. Work with your senior to keep easy to prepare nutritious food items available. Try to break the cycle in a fun and innovated manner. Good nutrition is a round the clock, every day, concern and it takes a village to make it happen.