Every father wishes to give his child the best of everything, no matter what the cost. From helping us take our first steps to helping out with our finances, fathers are the best mentors we can ever find. They toil hard at work day and night, even sacrificing their comforts and wants, to earn for our demands.
They played with us when we were young, took care of us when we were sick and protected us when we were bullied. They guided us on how to handle different circumstances, explore career avenues and sail through life. Sometimes, they were even our partners in crime when we were up to some mischief.
However, have you ever spared a thought to what his needs could be? Whether he needs a “How are you text” or that assistance in getting up to date with technology? What our fathers have done for us can never be repaid with material things.
Yet, don’t you think that once we grow up, we should start checking up on their health and happiness? Not as a duty, as a way to reciprocate their love, we must talk to our dads, ask them about their health and keep a tab on their diets too. As they age, their body and immunity goes through many changes. Their nutrition needs to change according to their lifestyle. Being a superhero isn’t easy, right?
So, this Father’s day, let’s take care of our superheroes too, shall we? Here are some ways you can help your dad stay his finest!
Tailor his diet according to his age & health issues
With age, our parents’ bodies undergo a lot of change and hence, their dietary needs undergo a drastic change as well. To provide him with all the necessary nutrients, we should give him a diet that includes a lot of colours – a meal that includes food groups inspired by the different colour families of the rainbow.
The bottom line is that your father’s meals should comprise whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies and a diet that is low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. It should have an ample amount of lean proteins, carbs, fiber, minerals, vitamins and healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fats, healthy nuts and seeds.
Keep an eye on his health
Old age can make your father susceptible to a wide range of health issues. Hence, it is of optimum importance to make sure that your father gets the regular medical check-ups. Monitoring important aspects like blood sugar levels, blood pressure, urine, thyroid, uric acid levels, eyesight power etc regularly should be your responsibility. Set reminders and urge your dad to get regular check-ups.
Help him develop a healthy habit of light exercise.
Accompanying your father in a morning or an evening exercise routine is a great way to keep the body fit while spending quality time with each other. Exercises for the elderly should not be too strenuous and should include light exercises like yoga, brisk walking or jogging.
Adjust cooking methods to suit his needs
Use less oil and salt while keeping in mind your father’s health. It is wise to use heart-healthy oils such as olive, canola or rice-bran. Try to include easy to chew foods.
Encourage him to take up a hobby
Our fathers spent most of their lives struggling to make our dreams come true. Perhaps, once they retire, we must help them to relax and enjoy by encouraging them to take up a hobby or an interest. This might be anything like gardening, cooking, learning a new sport or how to play an instrument.
This would keep them engaged and make them feel productive and worthy. Even encouraging him to travel and explore new places with his friends is a good idea.
Spend some quality time with them
What our parents desire most from their children are love and respect. One of the most honest ways of showing that you care is by spending time with them.
Accompany them for a walk or take them out for a nice dinner or for an entertaining movie. If we take a little time out from our hectic schedules for our parents, it is the greatest gift that we can give them.
Lastly and most importantly, there’s no one day that can replace a year full of togetherness, hearty conversations and quality time. This Father’s Day, promise to spend each day as if it were ‘Father’s Day’! And here’s a big thank you to all the amazing dads who set the best examples for all of us.
The writer is the founder and chief dietician, Nmami Life