Eating and drinking well
It is more important than ever that we stay healthy and avoid hospital where possible, this means looking after our body and mind. Here are some top tips:
- Keep an eye on yourself during this time so you can spot if you are getting what your body needs to stay healthy. It may be dangerously easy, during a period of self-isolation, to start to lose weight or become dehydrated. If you think you are eating less than usual or don’t have much appetite, keep track of your weight or check if your clothes, jewellery or belts are looser than usual.
- If you have a poor appetite, have been losing weight without trying or have a low body weight, you should try to increase the amount of energy and protein you get each day. You may find it useful to:
- Eat little and often
- Use full-fat food and drinks (e.g. milk, yoghurts)
- Enhance your food by adding cream, butter and cheese
- Have extra nutritious drinks such as Horlicks, glasses of full cream milk, milk shakes and cuppa-soups
Check out the tips in the Eat, Drink, Live Well booklet for more information www.ageuk.org.uk/salford/about-us/improving-nutrition-and-hydration/our-resources/.
- Think about making meal preparation easy for when you need something quick and simple – e.g. ready meals, snacks, finger food and meal delivery, More details about this are below or on page 12 of the Eat, Drink, Live Well booklet (access via the link in point 2 above).
- Think about how you will get your shopping – ask a neighbour or family member to help, or call your local Age UK if you are not sure. Many shops are making special arrangements at this time so that older and vulnerable people can shop and get what they need.
- Enjoy your food - why not try some new foods or go back to old favourites? Dig out some old and new recipes to try. We will post simple recipes and ideas on our facebook page facebook.com/GMNandH
- Have plenty of variety in your diet so that you will get all the nutrients you need and maintain a healthy weight. The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what you should eat overall from each food group nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
- Stay active and get fresh air to keep up your appetite. Why not have a walk around your garden or sit / stand at an open door to get some fresh air? Whatever you can manage, whether you can get out in the fresh air or do some chair-based exercises at home, this will make a big difference.
- Stay well hydrated – we need about 6-8 drinks per day to stay well hydrated. This improves concentration, energy and mood, so we can keep our minds active. It will also stop us from getting infections and help to avoid hospital at this crucial time. Why not keep a tally of your drinks so you know if you have reached your daily target? All hot and cold drinks count (except alcohol!).
- Keep your kitchen cupboard and freezer stocked with some simple, tasty foods and long-lasting foods, such as dried milk powder, tinned soup, rice pudding, etc. See page 13 of the Eat, Drink, Live Well booklet for some more ideas (access via the link in point 2 above).
- Stay connected as much as possible. Keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or online. Think about creative ways to stay connected; how about having a family meal via video call? You can also find out what support is available in your community. Contact your local Age UK for details.