Some people have fallen for a misconception that foods cooked in a slow cooker aren’t as nutritional. Any form of cooking reduces the vitamins and minerals found in foods, but the lower temperatures help keep more nutrients than boiling or baking.
Another concern people have is that bacteria aren’t being killed in a slow cooker. While the foods do cook at lower temperatures, they still cook foods to safe temperatures. Most slow cookers cook foods at 170 to 28 degrees F, which is hotter than the recommended 165 for poultry.
What Does Your Dad Need for Nutrition?
Protein is one of the items your dad needs to have in his diet. Protein helps with healthy muscles. As you do lose muscle as you age, protein is one of the ways to help prevent too much loss. He also needs to exercise daily to keep his muscles strong.
Fiber is so important to adults. It helps keep water in the intestines, which helps prevent constipation. Fiber also helps lower the risk of colorectal cancer, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Some of the best forms of fiber are barley, quinoa, and steel-cut oats.
Antioxidants found in berries, leafy green vegetables, bell peppers, and citrus fruits are also important. They help the immune system and aid cell repair. They may also help block free radicals from damaging the cells.
Cruciferous vegetables are another thing to consider. Some studies find cruciforms may help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. These are your vegetables that give off a sulfurous smell when you cook them. It includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Vitamin D and calcium are important for bone health. Osteoporosis affects men, too. If your dad isn’t getting enough calcium and vitamin D and his bones weaken, a fall could be devastating. You want him to have strong, healthy bones. Diet and exercise are two of the best ways to keep bones healthy.
What Foods Are Best in a Slow Cooker?
If you’re trying to boost your dad’s nutritional intake, load the slow cooker with vegetables. Cut them into evenly-sized pieces to make sure they all cook at the same rate. Stews with a low-sodium gravy, some beef cubes, rutabaga, onion, carrots, leafy greens like chard or kale, and celery are one option.
Soups are also great for slow cookers. Vegetable-rich barley soup is an easy way to make sure your dad gets the nutrients he needs. For protein and fiber, add lentils to that barley soup.
Elderly care aides are a better way to make sure your dad eats regularly and well. Don’t risk malnutrition as he starts to struggle with daily activities. Let a caregiver cook his meals and snacks. Arrange meal preparation and other helpful elderly care services by making a call.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Rocklin, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423