By: Expert Author Troy Jones, M.B.A., Owner/Administrator, At Home Assisted Living Services, Anderson IN

Have you ever gotten to the end of a long day providing home care for your aging loved one only to realize that you haven’t eaten anything since breakfast? With the busy schedule and tremendous possibility of being a caregiver for an aging adult, it can be all too easy to forget to eat throughout the day, or to resort to fast food and heavily processed convenience food items to save time. It is critical to your ability to provide caring, compassionate and safe elder care to your aging loved one that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet on a regular basis. Your physical health is crucial to your strength and well-being, both of which they could tremendous difference in the care and assistance that you provide.

When in charge of all the responsibilities of being a caregiver for an aging loved one, it is not always practical to plan for three meals throughout the day. Many nutritionists even recommend that this is not the way you should be eating. Instead, it is better for your body, not to mention your waistline, to eat several smaller meals a few hours apart. This keeps your blood sugar at a healthy level, keeps your metabolism running smoothly and prevents voracious hunger and unhealthy cravings. Engaging in high power snacking for caregiver health is as simple as making sure you have delicious, easy and nutritious snacks and mini meals readily accessible to you throughout the day. This will ensure that a quick break and a fortifying bite to eat are always close at hand.

Some simple ideas for high-powered snacks include:

  • A handful of raw almonds with the skins intact. These provide high-quality protein and fiber
  • Trail mix made of raw or dry roasted nuts, dried fruits and yogurt covered raisins
  • Fresh fruit that does not need to be refrigerated, such as a whole apple, a whole banana or a whole pear
  • Chopped up raw vegetables such as celery sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and sliced green peppers
  • Whole-wheat crackers and sliced cheese
  • Whole-wheat bread and natural peanut butter
  • Single serving cheese snacks
  • A smoothie made of unsweetened yogurt, tofu, fruit juice and frozen fruit
  • Natural granola bars
  • Individual serving packs of tuna fish with either crackers or mixed greens

Store individual serving sized packages of your snacks and mini meals in your caregiver tote bag or the refrigerator so that they are easy to grab throughout the day. Make sure that you are eating at least every 2 to 3 hours, and are drinking plenty of water to remain at your peak of health.