When we’re young, we don’t really give much thought to what we eat. As long as it tastes good, it works! But as we age and mature, we begin to realize the importance of thinking before we eat, and only enjoying foods that are ideal for our health.
Actually, many seniors find it difficult to indulge even in healthy foods; some have difficulty chewing, and others find swallowing to be very uncomfortable. Although these individuals find it so difficult to have decent meals, ensuring that they have an adequate daily food intake is crucial. Getting enough food is very important for anyone who wants to stay healthy and hale.
Seniors need fewer calories than younger people, since their metabolism works at a slower pace. At the same time, they need to have more of certain nutrients. Here are some tips for seniors who are interested in eating healthy in their older years.
Oftentimes, older people don’t realize when they are thirsty: that sense can become a bit dulled with age. Therefore, drinking often is important, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Stay away from drinks that are loaded with sugar. Healthy beverage choices include infused water (add a slice of your favorite fruit to your cup of water), green tea, seltzer, or milk.
Many older people have a condition called Dysphagia, which is a swallowing disorder that makes it hard for them to swallow thin liquids (such as water). If you find it difficult to swallow, and you’re therefore drinking less, you can try adding thickeners to your drinks. Seniors with Dysphagia find thickened beverages to be much easier to swallow.
If you’re trying to get in those proteins or carbs, a nutritional drink or shake can be just what you want. Popular companies that make healthy nutrition drinks that are chock full of vitamins, minerals, proteins and calories include Breakfast Essentials, Boost and Ensure drinks and shakes. Some of these contain more than 80% of the Vitamin D your body needs in a day.
Sometimes, older people find chewing to be difficult. If this sounds like you, you can try softer foods, such as soft bread (skip the crust), canned fruit, soups, or even applesauce. There are also delicious puree options you can make or buy – at AvaCare Medical, we sell beef stew puree, caramel apple pie puree, seasoned chicken patty puree, and other tasteful options. You can check out our food thickener section for cooking ideas, or place an order and get an easy and tasty supper or snack.
Stay healthy as you age by eating the right foods, and by keeping track of what you eat!