Healthy Eating Habits for Seniors

Healthy eating is important for everyone, but seniors need to take extra special care to eat well.  Eating right will not only keep your body strong, but also your mind and spirit. Although many seniors know what they should be eating, it doesn’t make it any easier to pass up those morning cinnamon rolls or evening sweet treats.
Here are a few helpful tips to keep yourself healthy:

  1. Go beyond the four food groups.  We learned in school that we should have grains, dairy, meat, and fruits and vegetables at each meal.  Well, the idea of a healthy meal has gone far beyond just keeping those food groups in mind.  Seniors should make sure that they also have these items on their grocery lists:
    1. Omega 3 fatty acids.  This is one type of fat that you want to have in your diet.  Most commonly coming from fish and flaxseed oil, these fats have been shown to help everything from arthritis to cancer.  Seniors should have Omega 3 fatty acids at least twice a week.
    2. Calcium and Vitamin D.  With osteoporosis on many seniors’ minds, it’s important to get enough calcium to keep bones strong and healthy.  But calcium alone won’t do the trick.  Without vitamin D, the calcium can’t be absorbed properly by the bones.  Luckily, foods and drinks such as cereal, milk, and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D and calcium, making it a great way to get both nutrients.
    3. Make a smoothie.  It may be difficult for seniors who are not used to eating greens to get the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet.  But if they are blended into a tasty drink, they senior many not even notice that their drink is packed with nutrition.  Start with fruit juice, yogurt, and ice, and then blend in what their diet lacks.  From a cup of fresh fruit to a handful of spinach, it is easy to throw in a good amount of nutrition while still keeping the smoothie delicious.
    4. Schedule a dinner date.  Studies have shown that people eat more nutritious foods when they eat with a companion.  If you live alone, it can be easy to slip into the habit of eating less nutritious and easy-to-make processed foods.  Instead, create a schedule where you eat with a friend or family member for at least one meal a day or once a week.  It’s great to have scheduled time to meet with someone whose company you enjoy in addition to making healthy food options a regular routine.

Getting in the habit of eating healthy food can be a long journey, but one that is most definitely worth it.  Good, nutritious food makes a huge difference!

Freedom Home Care offers seniors the option to stay in their home and have specialized care come right to their door. Our well trained staff is able to assist seniors and keep them safe and comfortable. Give us a call today if you or someone you know could benefit from our services!