Caregivers Kitchen: Training for Nutrition and Kitchen Skills

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Windward Life Care® offers the finest home care services for those in need of day-to-day help in the home. We can simplify for you what may feel like an overwhelming task: providing the highest quality in-home care as you or your loved one’s needs change over time. We firmly believe that our first-rate professional expertise comes from all employees, especially the home care aides that assist you or your loved ones every day. How do we ensure that the aides are equipped to provide high-quality care? One way is through on-going training.

Earlier this year we introduced Caregivers Kitchen nutrition training to our aides.  The online course, Basic Cooking: Culinary Skills for Caregivers™, gave them flexibility to complete training from anywhere. They learned practical knowledge and cooking skills with “How To” and recipe videos. The course helped those who are new to the kitchen or are seasoned chefs.

Course Topics Include:

  • Practical Tips for Healthy Meal Planning
  • Food Presentation and Flavor
  • Tips on Smart Grocery Shopping
  • Best Practices for Kitchen Safety & Cleanliness

Staff enrolled in Basic Cooking Skills received complimentary access to the digital textbooks. Online, they can:

  • Easily search for recipes
  • Access helpful cooking tips
  • Review best practices for providing for an elder’s nutritional needs

We have had 17 graduates thus far, each earning the certificate for Food Safety, Nutrition and Basic Cooking Skills. To be certified, each graduate completed 8 hours of training. Due to our commitment to training our caregivers in nutrition and cooking skills, Windward Life Care received the Culinary Skills for Caregivers™ Associate Certification from Caregivers Kitchen.

With Windward Life Care’s personalized approach to caregiving, the Caregivers Kitchen training gives our home care aides another tool to connect with their clients while supporting healthy eating habits. Contact us anytime to learn more about our care at home services and home care aide training program. You can also visit our website to learn more.

”I really enjoyed the Caregivers Kitchen course because it improved my skills in cooking healthy foods and reminded me about kitchen cleanliness. It also helped me with healthy food shopping for my clients. I would recommend the course to all caregivers.“  – G.M.

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Older Adults’ Unique Nutrition Needs

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Healthy eating is essential at every age. As a person reaches the later years in life, the body has different nutritional needs. It is important for family members and caregivers to know the unique dietary requirements for aging adults.

Health Goals for Aging Adults

Planning a healthy diet can support many nutritional goals during this stage of life. These goals should encompass:

  • Sufficient vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin D, fiber, potassium, vitamin B12, healthy fats, and more.
  • Weight loss if the person is overweight
  • Managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Reducing the risk of common disease

To achieve these goals, use a shopping list that outlines some of the most important ingredients to include in the meal plan. These foods are “nutrient dense,” which means that high levels of vitamins and minerals are available in each serving.

Nutrition Concerns for Older Adults

Small dietary changes can go a long way to protect the health of older adults. Tips include:

  • Reduce extra salt. Instead, use herbs and spices to add flavor to the food.
  • Include fruits and vegetables in meal planning to help with important vitamins and minerals that are needed.
  • Drink milk or include other dairy products in the diet for calcium and vitamin D.
  • Choose foods that are fortified with B-vitamins, such as cereal for breakfast.

Overcoming Common Dietary Issues

A few challenges can come up in the planning and implementation of a healthy eating plan. Special considerations need to be addressed, such as the texture of the food and the person’s ability to chew with dentures or damaged teeth. It may also be difficult for a person to swallow because of reduced saliva levels in the mouth.

Keep in mind that medications can sometimes change appetite. If a person is having a hard time finding the desire to eat, then it is important to consult with a doctor for possible solutions.

At Windward Life Care, we are proud to offer Caregivers Kitchen nutrition training to our staff. This program is designed to help home care aides learn effective food preparation techniques to provide safe and nutritious meals to our clients. Our experienced team is here to assist with every aspect of aging. Contact us any time to see how you can benefit from the services that are offered.

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