Nutrition for seniors
For older adults living at home, this may be a challenging time to eat healthy. Lack of meals at senior centers, difficulty with transportation, and perhaps challenges to using online grocery shopping may mean some seniors are not receiving good nutrition. However, this is an important time for older adults to stay healthy, including with nutrition.
What can you do if you are an older adult?
As much as you are able, make the meals and snacks you eat each day as healthy as possible.
- It is important to include protein in all your meals. Good sources of protein include meat, eggs and dairy; fish, and plant proteins like beans and legumes.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh-just watch labels for added sugars (syrup) and salt, or added sauces.
- Make as many of your grains “whole” as you can. Whole wheat breads, whole grain pastas, brown rice, and oatmeal are all great choices.
There are useful tips for shopping for your groceries.
- Use recipes and make a list, so you get everything you need for your meals.
- Be safe-wear a mask, and wash your hands before and after touching food, and before you eat.
- See if you would be comfortable ordering groceries online to pick or be delivered; perhaps family or neighbors would be willing to shop or deliver for you, leaving groceries by your door.
Consider ways to make your meals and snacks pleasant.
- If you live with someone, eat together at the table and enjoy conversation.
- If you are comfortable with technology, join family or friends “virtually” for a meal.
- Treat yourself! Have popcorn for a snack with a movie, or bake your favorite bread or cookie, and have a bit for dessert.
What can you do to help an older adult?
- Offer to grocery shop for them, or help them learn how to do online shopping.
- Help someone not comfortable use technology to connect with others for a meal, or maybe even happy hour!
- Check in on any older adult you know, and if they are still struggling to eat healthy, help them find resources:
- Meals on Wheels
- 2-1-1, a United Way service that connects individuals to local resources