Toolkit gives seniors food for thought

Dr Khor (centre) giving a cooking demonstration of two dishes featured in the recipe book - sweet potato oats and chicken and vegetable stew - at the launch event yesterday.
Dr Khor (centre) giving a cooking demonstration of two dishes featured in the recipe book - sweet potato oats and chicken and vegetable stew - at the launch event yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A new toolkit has been launched to get senior citizens eating healthier food.

Produced by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), The Recipe For Healthy Ageing comprises a nutrition guide, a recipe book and an educational poster. It also includes information on nutrients such as calcium and protein.

During the launch event yesterday, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, said that the toolkit, which is part of a nutrition campaign, comes as the Government has declared war on diabetes. Having a healthy and balanced diet is one way to prevent chronic conditions or to manage chronic conditions, she said.

"If we can eat right, we can age well," said Dr Khor, who gave a cooking demonstration of two dishes featured in the recipe book - sweet potato oats and chicken and vegetable stew.

According to the World Health Organisation, diseases that commonly affect seniors more often include heart disease, stroke and diabetes, all of which are related to diet.

Positive dietary changes such as a reduction in salt intake and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables by one to two servings a day can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Yesterday's event, held in Reach Youth Powerhouse at Bukit Batok West, drew more than 30 residents, including housewife Koh Mei Eng, 69.

"I usually just cook what I like to eat without taking note of the nutritional content but after today's session, I've learnt the importance of taking food that is high in protein and calcium," said Madam Koh.

The toolkit, which is available in four languages, will be distributed at a later date through HPB's partners such as FairPrice and Sheng Siong supermarkets. From Friday, they will be made available at community centres.

A total of 250,000 copies of the toolkit will be distributed. The toolkit can be viewed online at www.healthyageing.sg/nutrition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2016, with the headline 'Toolkit gives seniors food for thought'. Print Edition | Subscribe