Protein is an important nutrient which helps to build and repair body tissues. It helps us to maintain healthy muscle mass and also contributes to daily energy intake. 1 gram of protein gives 4 calories. For the average person, you only need 0.8g of protein per kilogram of your body weight. Hence, a person who weighs 50kg only requires 40g of protein each day. If an elderly person with medical condition is underweight or malnourished, the protein requirements may increase. However, if you have kidney disease, please follow your doctor’s advice to limit your protein intake accordingly.
Pick tasty high protein foods to enjoy
Foods which are high in protein include poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, tofu and soy products etc. One palm size of cooked meat provides 20g of protein. One glass of milk provides about 7-10g of protein.
Increase the variety of protein sources for aging seniors to encourage daily intake and help to maintain their appetite. Many natural flavours and sauces including use of herbs, spices, sesame, nuts can be added to such protein dishes to encourage seniors to eat more.
Plan protein-rich meals and snacks
A healthy and balanced meal consists of ¼ plate of whole grain carbohydrate foods, ¼ plate of protein foods and ½ plate of ½ plate of vegetables and fruits. An example of a typical healthy lunch will be ¼ plate of brown rice, ¼ plate of fish , ¼ plate of spinach and 1 slice of papaya. For people who need more protein due to malnutrition, they can include high protein snacks in addition to main meals. Some high protein snacks include yoghurt, pudding and cheese.
Pack in the protein with supplements
If you are unable to consume sufficient protein from your foods, you may want to consider protein-rich supplementary drinks or adding protein powder to your foods. There are protein-rich supplementary drinks which in a wide range of different flavours. These drinks are usually milky in texture and flavour. Protein powder can be added to your soups and drinks to help boost your daily protein intake.