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Healthy Nutrition Made Easy

As a home health aide, Shannon helps her clients maintain good nutrition. She ensures that they eat healthy food while she cares for them in their homes. When people eat and drink, they take in nutrients that help their bodies stay healthy, maintain body functions, and grow. Some of Shannon’s clients take supplements, but their basic good nutrition should come from the food and beverages that Shannon prepares for them.

When Shannon was studying to become a CNA, she learned about the different nutrient groups and their benefits. The main part of most people’s daily food intake is the carbohydrates group, which includes foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal. People need carbohydrates for energy and fiber. Another nutrient group that also provides energy is the protein group, which includes meat, fish, eggs, beans, and dairy products. A third group is the fats group. People need to eat a small amount of fat to keep warm and to help them digest certain vitamins, but eating fatty foods is not recommended. Shannon learned that people should always choose healthy foods over fatty foods because people naturally eat some fat in their diet in the form of oils. Healthy fats include canola oil, olive oil, and peanut oil. Another essential nutrient group consists of vitamins and minerals, which help people to perform and regulate daily functions. Vitamins and minerals also help to form new cells and tissues in the body. Foods that are high in vitamins and minerals include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and lean meats.

Shannon plans her clients’ meals according to the portions recommended by ChooseMyPlate.gov, a website that makes remembering how much of each food group to serve at each meal simple. Shannon prepares a variety of healthy foods from the different groups so that her clients can remain healthy in their homes.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners