Apparently, food is among the most essential basic human needs. However, as we age, our dietary needs to be changed for health benefits. Usually, doctors recommend that the aged should be given a well-balanced diet; a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein foods, and even whole grains to improve their health. According to Ruth Frechman ( the American Dietetic Association spokesperson), in addition to healthy eating, the purity of the meals you eat should also be taken into consideration, i.e., how the food has been grown.
Seniors have different dietary challenges: ranging from the loss of appetite, unhealthy weight, chewing or swallowing problems, depression, and even the excess fats and sugar. The American Dietary Association recommends that foods rich in; Omega 3 fatty acids ( from walnuts, canola oil, and fish), Calcium supplement ( from leafy greens like kale and turnip) and low Sodium content foods ( for those with hypertension), be given to the aging bracket.
What should seniors eat to improve their health for nutrition needs:
– Eat more fruits and also vegetables; generally, fiber and vitamins are present in all green plants. However, steaming for the case of vegetables will make them soft and ideal for those with dental problems. For those without chewing problems chop up some raw vegetables and serve as a snack.
– Often by dinner time, the aged find it difficult to finish their meals, therefore, making lunch their most important meal for the day can be an excellent idea. Others have digestive problems thus giving them heavy meal later in the day can interfere with there sleep.
– Be sure to include hydrated foods in their diet to maintain the required fluid levels.
– For the case of bread, go for the whole grain choice.
– Ensure they don’t skip meals as skipping meals usually make people eat more in their next meals, and this can lead to a drop in the blood sugars leading to dizziness. It’s advisable to take a little than skip if not hungry.
– Give them frequent small meals. Specialists recommend 5-6 little meals a day. This helps regulate the insulin levels and is ideal for those with respiratory problems. It also encourages the intake of more calories those with lost appetites.
During breakfast we are advised to give them;
– Fruits especially bananas, berries, apples, resins and yogurt
( particularly vanilla yogurt).
– Peanut buttered whole-grain toast is ideal for the breakfast.
– Low-fat Mini Quiche and smoothies.
– Sometimes you can give them milk and banana bread.
For snacks consider:
– Low-salt nuts or those lacking added sugar.
– Grapes, sliced apples, orange and any other easily edible finger fruit.
– Give them long strips of regularly hard cut cheese such as cheddar for chew.
– Also consider vegetables with a dip such as green beans, long sliced and quartered cucumbers, broccoli, tomato wedges and sliced peppers.
– Serve them with a whole-grain read with dips. If they have chewing challenges, use olive oil to soften.
But remember it’s always advisable to serve their heavy meal earlier in the day for a conducive sleep.
For the other meals consider:
– Giving them some meals with soup especially at dinner or lunch time.
A meal with soup can be a delicious meal. You can also make soups in large quantities and reserve them well for another day. The types of foods that give the soup such as beans, lentils and vegetables are rich in fiber, nutrients and are also relatively inexpensive.
Other ideal meals for lunch and dinner include:
• Frozen meatballs for a convenient high protein snack.
• Also, shop for stored vegetables that have no added sugar or fat.
• Yogurt and also cottage cheese products can also make a healthy meal.
• You can also give them soups or chicken nuggets in their late day meals.
Green Vegetables such kale, spinach, squash, mushrooms and garlic onions are also an essential ingredient in their meals.
Other healthy approaches for the aged can be:
– Green tea. Green Tea is packed with phytochemicals that help fight cancer and heart diseases.
– Try “Egg-Beaters” for the egg substitutes.
– You can use olive and coconut oils (we recommend Anjou brand) for baking purposes. Olive oil contains the necessary omega-3 fatty acids.
– Also, consider low-fat foods for their diets.
These types of foods can be found in almost all supermarkets and groceries. Once you start eating these foods, be sure that you will be on your way to an improved diet and hence a healthier life.