Guidelines Important for Providing Meals for the sick (Invalids person)
Meals for Invalids:
1. If a doctor or dietician has been consulted, it is essential that his/her instructions are carried out carefully. In many cases of slight indisposition, the doctor or dietician is not consulted at all, but it is obvious that the sick person in the hospital cannot take regular normal food. They are given therapeutic diets e.g. liquid diet, light diet, fluid diet, etc.
2. Whenever there is a sign of fever, that is when the temperature is above normal, a liquid diet should be followed. This should consist of diluted liquid juices such as orangeade or lemonade, apple water, diluted blackcurrant juice and milk. These drinks should be sweetened with glucose, which can be absorbed directly into the blood stream and so provide quick energy which undergo
indigestion. Honey is almost as easily digested as glucose if the flavour is palatable to the invalid, this provides a variety.
The fruit juices supply vitamin C which helps to clear the blood stream and strengthen the blood vessels. If there is stomach disorder e:g. in ulcer, the fruit juices should be strained to remove all pulp, which may irritate the living of the stomach.
Fruit juices could be varied with meat broth or vegetable broth or pepper soup. Patients prefer the flavour of fruit drinks or broths, as these are more thirst quenching and refreshing.
Milky drinks may be given in moderation, unless the doctor/dietician indicates otherwise. During the period of fever, a patient should take about 2 1/2 litres or 5 pints of liquid each day. Dispose of any leftover liquid from a sick room because it could be a breeding ground for
There is some loss of strength during illness. This loss of strength is restored by providing easily digested bodybuilding foods such as milk, eggs, white fish and poultry. These foods supply mineral elements like calcium, which are needed during convalescence. The easily digestible protein food in milk, egg, if lightly cooked e.g. eggnog are easily digested.
When patient is able to digest solid food, white fish or poultry is the next food to introduce. Avoid oily fish.
Choose suitable cooking methods like steaming, boiling or baking. Avoid frying for the sick, because strong flavour is not acceptable and indigestible.
For the convalescents, use tender of meat because it is readily absorbed the body.
The appetite of a sick person is usually dull. So provide a variety of attractive meals.
Food should be served and taken small frequent feedings of about 5 to 6 times daily.
The meals should be dished carefully serving dishes and linen should be very clean and put on to a tray which is large enough to make eating easy.
Garnish and serve patient’s food in individual’s sizeable portion. It looks more attractive.
When a patient has reached the late stage of convalescence, meals must be carefully balanced. Provide easily digested food and method of cooking that would preserve nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are important because they provide roughage for the working of the alimentary canal and prevention of constipation. ‘ Avoid more fibrous vegetable in order not to irritate the tract. In cases of diarrhea, all fibrous materials must be avoided until the condition is cured.
Persons suffering from colds, coughs or any other infectious diseases should not handle the invalid’s meals. Utensils, plates, cutlery, and tray cloths for serving meals should be clean.
Invalid or convalescent meals should served at regular intervals. Patients should not be kept waiting, once it is mealtime.
The invalid and convalescent should e comfortable before eating.