Community Blog

Healthy Meals for Seniors

By Peter McIndoe

Healthy Meals for Seniors

As you begin to move into your senior years, choosing healthy food is a smart thing to do. No matter how old you are, making good choices is the best thing you can do. When you approach the age of 60, your body begins to change, and your metabolism slows down. The food you eat is responsible to provide the nutrients that you need. Use these tips to select better for a healthier you!

1. Drink plenty of water
Your sense of thirst begins to disappear as you get older. Drink lots of water and drink it often. Milk and juice will help you stay hydrated, but it is important to limit the number of beverages that have added sugar or salt. It is important to learn which liquids are better choices to add along with water.

2. Turn your meals into social events
When you turn your meal into a social event, it makes meals so much more enjoyable. Ask a friend to join you and plan to enjoy each a couple times a week. Some senior facilities may offer meals that are shared with others in the community. There are many ways in which you can make mealtimes pleasing and enjoyable.

3. Choose healthy meals
The Dietary Guidelines for America will give you advice on what you should eat, the amount, and which foods are good choices. It is important to find easy ways to prepare meals that are tasty, so you can get the nutrition that you need.

4. Take note of how much you eat
Portion control is very important. When eating out, consider the portion size and know that you can take part of your meal home with you for later. Many times, restaurants will give you enough for two meals or more.

5. Choose some vegetables
It is important for you to choose some vegetables in different colors to brighten your plate. Most veggies are a great source of nutrition and are low calorie. Veggies also offer you a good source of fiber.

6. Choose foods that protect your teeth and gums
As you move into your senior years, many find that their teeth and gums are changing. If you have dental problems and find it hard to chew certain foods, don’t miss out on the needed nutrition. Choose foods that are softer and easier to eat. Try cooked or canned foods that are unsweetened and low in sodium. Many times, these are much easier to eat and will provide you with the nutrition that you need.

7. Add flavor to your meals with herbs and spices
Sometimes food may taste different as you age. If your favorite foods begin to taste different it is probably not the cook. Your senses are beginning to change and can leave you not enjoying your means. Medications may also be responsible for the change in how foods taste. If this is the case for you, add flavor to your meals by using herbs and spices.

8. Store food safely
It is important to make sure that your food is stored correctly. Many food-related illnesses can be life-threatening for an older person. Throw away any food that you question. You don’t want to take chances with your health. Foods can be harmful when they are raw and undercooked. Some examples of these foods are eggs, sprouts, fish, meat, and chicken.

9. Check the nutrition label
When buying food, make the right choices. Look at the nutrition label and take note of the calories, fats, sodium, and sugar. It is a great idea to ask your doctor if there are some ingredients and nutrients that you need to limit or increase.

10. Ask your nutritionist or doctor about vitamins or supplements
The best way to get nutrients that you need is from the food that you eat. Sometimes you will need dietary supplements to help get the nutrition that you need. There are cases in which more nutrition through supplements is not better and can interfere with your medication and make medical conditions worse.

For more helpful information on senior living, visit our senior home care blog.

Home Helpers of Conway is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour care and live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in ConwayCabotGreenbrierBeebeMayflowerViloniaRolandAustin, and Ward, Arkansas.

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