THE COPD CAREGIVER GUIDE: Eating Right with COPD
Mealtime advice for COPD caregivers
To ease breathing difficulties and avoid infection, Karen Novak, a registered dietitian and nutrition educator at St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT, suggests these mealtime tips:
Offer a varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Such foods are rich in antioxidants which enhance lung function.
Keep the calorie content up with nutrient-dense foods. Avoid snacks that lack nutritional value.
Serve six small meals rather than three large ones. Feeling too full makes one feel short of breath.
Provide fluids to thin mucus. Eight cups daily, served between meals, should help allow the mucus to be coughed up more easily.
Serve the main meal early for all-day energy.
Formulate a healthy eating plan with a dietitian or physician.
Keep meals relaxing. A calm, attractive setting helps one, quite literally, breathe easier.
Reduce salt intake. It causes water retention, which makes breathing more difficult.
Avoid foods that cause gas or bloating, such as apples, avocado, beans, broccoli, cabbage, soda, and melon.
Continue oxygen use during and after meals to ease digestion.
Have your loved one rest between bites. Chewing can be exhausting if it interferes with breathing, so cut portions into small bites or serve soft foods.
Avoid meals that are too hot or cold. Excessive temperatures can trigger coughing.
Also check out these sections of the COPD Caregiver Guide: