Thursday, September 06, 2012
When we're little, our parents are responsible for teaching us how to tie our shoes, dress ourselves, clean up our boo-boos, and how to eat. For the first decade of our lives, our parents are completely responsible for the foods we put in our bodies.
It's interesting to me how as my parents pass from middle age into senior citizens that the role has changed.
After my dad's surgery, I have pretty much taken over the kitchen. As I've mentioned in the past, my parents raised me on mostly produce and fruit, so I have an easier base to start with. I don't have to fight with them too much to eat their veggies.
Since they are both now retired, I'm a little surprised how their nutrition seems to have reverted to more processed foods. In retirement, you'd think they'd have more time to shop and prepare foods, but it seems they have stocked up on 'convenience foods' so they have to go out less.
Today I'm making a pot roast in a crockpot. It's so easy. Just chop up onion, green peppers, carrots and celery; brown chuck roast in a pan; put in crockpot with chicken stock and turn on low for 10 hours. That's it. Easy. That's what I call convenience food. I'm hoping to remind them good food comes from ingredients, and not boxes.
My dad hasn't been eating much since the surgery, which is worrying. I'm not sure if it's an appetite loss. I was absolutely appalled by how little he was eating - I eat more food than he does! A nurse came by to check on him, and fortunately I was able to get her on my side. She said he needs to eat about 180g protein in his recovery. I'm not sure why he's been reluctant to eat. I gave him a chicken breast the other night, and he thought it was too much food. I don't know where it is coming from, but it's concerning. Protein and calories are what's needed to recover.
I bought protein shakes and protein bars to get his protein levels up. I'd rather he eat real food, but it's more important to do something. I checked the package labels, and bought ones that had the least sugar I could find. Not terribly easy to find.
So I guess I'm in the role of home nutritionist. Which is fine with me. I enjoy doing it, and it's keeping me busy.
My dad is doing better, but not out of the woods. The risk is pneumonia and wound infection for several more weeks. We have to try and minimize these risks. And as you know, I believe nutrition is the best medicine.