A WARM meal in winter.
It might just be the best defense for our elderly against the winter flu.
This winter, Meals on Wheels will deliver almost 500,000 nutritionally balanced meals to more than 10,000 Queenslanders.
The savings to our health system could be enormous.
Each year in Australia, about 18,000 Australians are put in hospital by cold-related illnesses.
Queensland Meals on Wheels' Foodservice Dietitian, Dr Karen Abbey, says a well-balanced diet with a variety of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, dairy and poultry supports the immune system to combat the flu symptoms.
"In the winter months people look to heartier foods to stay warm, but these meals might not necessarily be providing their bodies with what they need to stay healthy if they're not packed with nourishing ingredients," Dr Abbey said.
"It's important for Australians to eat micro and macronutrients, ensuring their immune systems are getting the nutrients they need to respond to infection during winter.
"This applies particularly to Australians aged 75 years or older who are more vulnerable to influenza-like
"The Meals on Wheels service is great because it gives people access to nutritionally balanced, hearty meals that provide them with the nutrients they need in the comfort of their own home."
Meals on Wheels services throughout Queensland currently serve almost 2 million quality meals a year to people in need throughout cities, regional and rural areas, providing valuable support to a variety of clients including those recovering from illness or injury, living with a disability and those who need a helping hand.
Queensland Meals on Wheels State Manager, David Bannister, said the service is so much more than just a meal, providing valuable support to community members who need a helping hand.
"We offer our clients and their loved ones much needed peace of mind, delivering nourishing meals, companionship, safety and wellness checks each day." Mr Bannister said.
The service relies on community volunteers to deliver quality nourishing meals, companionship, safety and wellness checks to 10,000 Queenslanders in need of support.
If you know someone who may require assistance or for information on how to volunteer, visit www.qmow.org or www.facebook.com/MealsonWheels Queensland.
MEALS ON WHEELS QUEENSLAND
With 140+ services and 15,000 volunteers
Serving almost 2 million quality meals per year from Aurukun to Annerley
10,000 clients and 15,000 volunteers.