How to Enjoy a Longer, Healthier Life

When many of us hear the word ‘malnutrition’, we may think that the problem is very far from us. Sadly, malnutrition is a problem that impacts many older Australians as was evidenced in the results of the Royal Commission into Aged Care. Often people may lose weight unintentionally as they get older, however, this is not a healthy part of ageing. In fact, the evidence suggests that as we age it is better to carry a little extra weight to help see us through times of illness when our appetite may not be at its best.

Eating the right foods each day will provide your body with enough protein and calories to prevent muscle and weight loss, and reduce your risk of malnutrition. As we age, maintaining muscle mass and a healthy weight can help to stay independent, active, and most importantly promote longevity.

Some people, as they age, may see a reduction in appetite. Lite n’ Easy’s Senior Dietitian Ashleigh Jones says, “If you have a smaller appetite, it is important that you do not wait to feel hungry and instead try to eat something every 2 to 3 hours. You should aim to have small, frequent meals, and eat foods that are naturally higher in calories and protein.”

Some ways to increase your calories and protein intake across the day:

  • Add custard, yoghurt, or cream to snacks and meals.
  • Serve vegetables with a drizzle of oil or some melted cheese.
  • Spread toast or sandwiches thickly with butter and other spreads.
  • Avoid filling up on watery drinks such as tea or coffee, or even water. You can enjoy those beverages when you’re not eating.
  • Snack on high protein and calorie dense foods such as a handful of nuts, cheese crackers, some toast with thick cream cheese or peanut butter, yogurt, or a milkshake.
  • Find favourites and add flavour. Adding your favourite chutney or sauces, or citrus or other herbs, spices and seasoning to boost the flavour of the meals.

“It’s also important for seniors to have a varied diet, not only to keep their interest, but also to achieve nutritional balance. Consuming a variety of different foods helps us to create a robust and healthy gut microbiome, maximise our nutrient intake, and avoid deficiencies”, Jones says.

Developed by dietitians and prepared by chefs, Lite n’ Easy offers more than just a weight loss solution. They also offer great tasting meals, designed to promote healthy eating and well-being.

In addition to Lite n’ Easy’s normal menu, My Choice by Lite n’ Easy is a new range of meals which have been developed to help older Australians eat well and live at home longer. My Choice are protein and energy dense meals packed full of taste and goodness. They have been specifically designed by dietitians for older people with smaller appetites.

Home Care Package recipients may also be entitled to a split billing arrangement, where the recipient pays just 30% of the Lite n’ Easy order, and the Home Care Package provider pays 70%. For HCP recipients, this reduces the cost of a meal from around $12 to less than $4, based on a standard 7 Dinner meal pack.

To see how Lite n’ Easy is a great way to enjoy a longer, healthier life we caught up with Elizabeth. “I live alone but have a very busy life. On top of volunteering, I would take my dog for a walk and feed the animals, having only a toasted cheese sandwich or maybe a couple of dry biscuits with cheese and a bowl of ice cream at about 8.00pm.

“Realising that this was not good, I contacted my Home Care Package (HCP) provider to ask about meal provider options and they directed me to Lite n’ Easy. I started ordering and have not looked back. I love Lite n’ Easy!

“I tell people I have my own personal chef and send photographs of the food to my kids who worry about me not eating properly. I now know that whatever time I finish my working day, I can go to my fridge or freezer and choose my dinner, heat it in 8 minutes, serve it up on a plate or bowl, and sit down in front of the TV for the evening.

“I feel better, I have less dishes to wash, and the food is delicious – Roast Lamb for lunch last Sunday and it was great!

“I have told all my friends in similar situations how efficient it is and they have been very impressed. I invite them to look in my freezer and see the selection.”

Courtesy Lite n’ Easy

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