Healthy Eating for Seniors – It’s More Than Just a Resolution!

Healthy Eating for Seniors

Healthy eating for seniors provides benefits all year long.

New Year’s resolutions: we love or hate them, make or break them, or feel so discouraged about them right from the get-go that when January 1 rolls around again, we don’t even bother with them. One of the most common resolutions for people of all ages is to try to follow a more balanced and nutritious diet, which is a noble goal, but one that often falls by the wayside when our schedules become so hectic that drive-through takeout seems like a better idea than a home-cooked meal.

Yet healthy eating for seniors in particular is vitally important to their overall health and wellbeing, and well worth a little extra time and effort for the older adults we love. We’ve provided a few simple steps seniors can take today to improve eating habits now, and all year long.

  1. As the sense of thirst diminishes some during aging, it can take a little extra attention to ensure seniors are staying hydrated and healthy. Try keeping a small pitcher of ice water near the senior and encourage him/her to sip on it throughout the day. 100% juices and low-fat or fat-free milk are also a good choice, but shouldn’t take the place of consuming plenty of plain water.
  2. Plan ahead. Try preparing a week’s worth of healthy meals on one designated day, packaging them up in the fridge or freezer for easy reheating. The National Institute on Aging provides this helpful resource to determine which foods, and in what quantities, are best for older adults.
  3. Make it colorful. Most vegetables are packed with nutrients that vary based on color, so try to incorporate as many different types as possible. Keeping chopped veggies on hand makes it more convenient to select them for a snack over cookies or a bag of chips.
  4. Spice it up. Tastes change over time, and foods that were once enjoyed may now seem bland and unappealing to a senior. Adding herbs and spices can liven up flavors without the need for extra salt.
  5. Go soft. For seniors with dental problems, incorporate softer choices: roasted veggies instead of raw, canned fruit instead of fresh, low-sodium canned tuna instead of steak.

Be sure to check with the senior’s primary care physician as well for guidance, and for recommendations on whether vitamins or supplements are necessary if the senior is unable to gain enough nutrients from food.

Visiting Care Giving Services, the leaders in senior home care in St. Charles and surrounding areas, can help with trained, experienced care professionals who can assist with shopping for nutritious foods, planning and preparing balanced meals, and providing friendly companionship to make mealtime more enjoyable. Make healthy eating for seniors a priority this year with the help of Visiting Care Giving Services! Call us at (636) 493-9058 to learn more.