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What did you eat today?
If you have to stop and think for longer than a minute before you answer that question, you probably didn’t do a good job with nutrition today. You may have eaten too much (and don’t really want to think about what you ate). You may have eaten too little – or nothing at all. Of course, there are other reasons that you may not remember for food intake for the day…but memory loss and other possibilities are not the topics of this particular post.
What didn’t I eat today?
Maybe you’ve been so busy during the day that you’ve just eaten whatever was at hand. Maybe you didn’t even think about what you were eating (or that you were eating). Maybe you were so busy today, or so involved in a project, that you didn’t even realize the day had slipped by. It’s the end of the day and you haven’t really eaten anything.
…Did I eat today?
It can happen to anyone. Sometimes we just don’t pay attention to the things that don’t seem to have much importance. In the great scheme of things, what we eat isn’t really as vital as the presentation that’s coming up, the present that’s still in “craft” stage, the housework, or a multitude of other distractions that occupy our minds and bodies during a typical day, right?
When did I last eat?
Most of us think about our eating habits at some point during a day and either make a quick correction or a promise to ourselves to do better tomorrow. What happens if you don’t think about it, though? What happens if days go by and you don’t realize that you’ve been eating unhealthily for those days? What if you don’t consciously realize that you haven’t eaten at all?
If you work outside the home, have family at home, or are a very social person odds are that you’ll see food, prepare food, or hear people talk about food at some point during a day. Food…. Did I totally blow my diet today? Did I eat at all today?
If you spend most of your time at home, or alone, things are harder. Do you have anything you feel like eating at home? Do you feel like eating? Have you even thought about food?
Of course you ate…
If you have regular eating habits, this post probably doesn’t make much sense to you. You may be thinking, “What do you mean you forget to eat?” Some people feel hungry at regular intervals (whether their bodies actually need food, or not), and are moved to make that feeling go away. If this is you, just know that not everyone gets hunger pangs – or feels driven to respond to them.
Ask the question…
If there are senior citizens in your life, particularly folks who live alone, please ask them every now and then, “What did you eat today?” People tend to ask how others are doing, how the children are, how the grandchildren are, and other social niceties or questions that let people know they care. Sometimes we even remember to ask about medications. Food doesn’t always enter the discussion.
What did you eat today?
People who are living alone – especially those who are not accustomed to living alone – may not remember to eat. They may get busy doing other things. They may not want to think about eating because it reminds them that they’ll be cooking for one. These and other reasons for senior malnutrition (like poor dental health) are discussed in detail in the posts linked below.
Please learn more and take the time to ask the question of yourself and of the seniors in your life. What did you eat today?
Are My Parents Eating?
“A Table for One: The Hidden Dangers of Eating Alone” – from the A Place for Mom blog.
“Could My Elderly Parents Have an Eating Disorder?” – from the Able Mart blog.
What Should My Parents Be Eating?
My Pyramid Plan – from the United States Department of Agriculture. This page presents guidelines from the food chart (if you remember the the four food groups, think food pyramid now). If you put in the age, sex (and optionally height and weight) of the person concerned, you can generate a guideline for daily nutritional needs. You can even go a step further and print out charts for daily use that indicate your nutrition goals. The chart also leaves space for you to write in your intake, analyze how you did that day, and set goals for the next day.
“Eight Tips for Eating Well as We Age” – from the Parentgiving blog. The title’s pretty self-explanatory. There’s also a download checklist for the 8 tips.
So…did you eat today?
Originally posted 2009-09-07 19:14:55.