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Date: March 23, 2023

Author: Karen Vassar

March is National Nutrition Month, a month designed to raise awareness of the things your body needs for optimal health and energy. Take time during National Nutrition Month to learn a few facts about the dietary needs of your senior and how elder care can help them stay on track nutritionally.

Fiber Is Important For Many Reasons

Fiber is something few people get enough of, yet it’s so important. It’s recommended that people get 28 grams of fiber each day. Yet, some of the foods that people think would be a good source of fiber aren’t always the best choice. Take a look at a few of them.

  • A slice of whole-wheat bread – 1.9 grams
  • A slice of whole grain bread – 3 grams
  • A cup of cooked brown rice – 3.5 grams
  • A cup of cooked farro – 5 grams
  • A cup of cooked quinoa – 5.5 grams
  • A cup of cooked pearled barley – 6 grams

The Daily Requirement for Sugar Intake Is 50 Milligrams

Every day, it’s recommended that your mom stays under 50 milligrams of sugar. This isn’t a lot. And, it contains the sugar found in fruits and vegetables. A medium apple contains around 19 milligrams of sugar. A banana has about 14 milligrams, while a sweet potato has six.

Nine Out of Ten Older Adults Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D

Estimates are that 90% of older adults do not get enough vitamin D in their diet. Vitamin D is essential for helping the bones stay strong. While there is vitamin D in dairy products and fortified juices and cereals, the best source is the sun.

But, people who spend too much time in the sun have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. As you need to be in the sun with your skin exposed and not covered in sunscreen, it can be impossible to get enough vitamin D from the sun. It’s important to ask your mom’s doctor if she should be taking a vitamin D supplement.

Many People Get Way Too Much Sodium

The maximum recommended amount of daily sodium is 2,300 milligrams, which is just one teaspoon. Ideally, the American Heart Association feels it’s best to stick to 1,500 milligrams, which is about three-quarters of a teaspoon.

If your mom is a fan of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, just half a cup of that soup has about 500 mg of sodium. If she makes her grilled cheese with American cheese, one slice also has about 470 mg of sodium. Plus, the bread and either butter or mayo used to grill that sandwich add even more.

Frozen meals, canned soups and pasta, and takeout often have far too much sodium. If your mom has high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease, it’s especially important that she watches her sodium intake. Home-cooked meals are better for her.

Your mom’s meals shouldn’t always be a rushed, reheated can of soup or frozen dinner. Elder care aides work with your mom to plan meals she enjoys that are homemade and full of the nutrients she needs. Ask about meal preparation and planning services when talking to an elder care specialist.


Griswold Home Care for Northern Virginia West is a Trusted Home Care Agency serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Montclair, Dumfries, Centreville, Bristow, Fairfax Station, Clifton, Gainesville, Lorton, and the surrounding areas.

Date: March 23, 2023