Life can be stressful. It sometimes feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, or even enough days in the month. It’s easy to stretch yourself too thin and forget about taking care of the most important person in your world—you. This is a particular problem for caregivers.
This update is a follow-up to an earlier article about Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
Topics: Child Nutrition
Aging in place allows seniors the benefit of remaining in the familiar environment of their own home and maintaining more independence. While assisted living centers and nursing homes provide security and medical care for those who need it, aging in place is a better option for many. Resources like meal delivery help seniors remain independent at home for as long as possible. Here is what you should know about meals for seniors.
With winter just around the corner, it's time to start preparing your aging parents for inclement weather, particularly if they live in another city or state. When a winter storm hits, your parents may not have easy access to meals or other essentials. Here are some tips for long-distance caregivers:
What is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act?
According to the Food and Research Action Center (FRAC), more than 1 in 5 children live in households facing a constant struggle against hunger. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization (CNR) Act provides the federal funding for school meals and child nutrition programs. The purpose is to ensure low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods. Every five years, Congress reviews the funding levels and develops new policies to strengthen and improve the programs. The current law for CNR is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010. The deadline for reauthorizing CNR was September 30, 2015. This leaves many wondering what will happen to the children served by the programs funded by this act.
1 Out of Every 3 Patients Admitted to the Hospital is Malnourished! Many Americans are surprised to learn that malnutrition is a very real problem among hospitalized patients in the U.S. In fact, research has shown that approximately one of every three patients admitted to a hospital is malnourished. Left untreated, about two-thirds of those patients will become more severely malnourished during their hospitalization.
Approximately one-third of patients who are not suffering from malnutrition upon hospital admission will become malnourished by the time they are discharged.
Malnutrition Increases the Risk of Complications from Diseases
Malnutrition has far-reaching effects, causing impairment on many levels. Poor nutritional status impairs the immune system, delays wound healing, causes unhealthy changes in body composition, reduces muscle strength and can decrease the function and efficiency of vital organs and systems, such as the kidneys, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and more. Malnutrition is also associated with fatigue, apathy and depression. These effects and others contribute to poor treatment outcomes as compared to well-nourished patients, including longer recovery times and increased risk of complications.
With the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, the National School Lunch Program requires a greater variety of vegetables be served throughout the school week. However, getting children to try vegetables has proven to be a challenge. As a result, many schools are implementing farm-to-school programs. The National Farm to School Program was authorized by Congress in 2004, with the intent to supply fresh, locally grown foods to schools. Children are more willing to try new foods if they interact with the grower. Local farmers also benefit from financial opportunities by supplying schools and food distributors.
Nine out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium. Too much sodium is a health concern for all ages, but particularly for older Americans. Kidney function declines with age, so seniors have a more difficult time removing excess sodium from their bodies. While the body needs an adequate amount of sodium to function, too much sodium can lead to stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
Not too long ago, I was walking through a neighborhood after a thunderstorm had passed by. I noticed an elderly woman with a walker, trying to cross the road. The recent downpour had created a wide puddle along the street that was several inches deep. She explained to me that she had new shoes on and she didn’t want to get them wet by stepping into the water. She needed to cross the street, because the bus that went to the local grocery store would be coming soon. We managed to get her across the puddle with minimal damage to her new shoes. I waited for the bus with her and found out grocery shopping was her Monday routine. Actually, it was her routine several times a week. She doesn’t have family nearby to help with shopping. During each trip to the grocery store, she buys only what will fit in the basket of her walker. After 15 or so minutes, the bus had not come. Since I do not rely on public transportation, it took awhile for me to realize that it was Memorial Day and the busses were not running on their regular schedule. I offered to get my car and take her to the store, but she decided her best option was to get back over that huge puddle and go back home. It was unsettling to me that she might not have food at home to eat. Unfortunately, there are too many seniors out there with the same issue.
Topics: Home Delivered Meals
School breakfast improves achievement scores
A recent study conducted by David Frisvold, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Iowa, finds students who attend schools that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's School Breakfast Program (SBP) have higher achievement scores in math, science, and reading than students in schools that don't participate. This is consistent with other studies about school breakfast. A brief prepared by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), summarizes the findings from research on school breakfast: