People in senior care need proper nutrition at least as much as the general population. Eating a healthy diet with ample fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein, nuts, seeds, and legumes is important. Avoiding red meat, processed foods and sweets is also a good idea. Our bodies need the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to stay strong and free from illness and disease.
Unfortunately, adults in senior care commonly suffer from chronic illness, possibly with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. These problems are all potentially connected to poor eating habits and lifestyle choices. Older adults in senior care often have additional requirements, needing more vitamin B and D than younger adults, and there could be other needs to consider, too.
The majority of adults in senior care will benefit from eating healthy snacks to stabilize blood sugar levels in between their meals. This can prevent overeating and help maintain energy levels throughout the day. Healthy snacks should be from whole foods, as opposed to prepared or processed foods that are usually high in sodium, fat, sugar, and/or preservatives. With a little foresight, you can prepare foods to keep on hand.
Here are some easy and healthy snack ideas to provide to an aging adult in senior care:
- Dehydrated apple slices
- A variety of hummus to be enjoyed with carrots, peppers, or cucumber slices
- Popcorn (with small amount of salt and butter)
- Fresh apple slices topped with almond butter
- Whole-grain crackers with a small chunk of cheese
- Oatmeal with strawberries or blueberries on top
- Celery sticks with almond butter, peanut butter, or cream cheese
- Tortilla chips with mildly spiced salsa
- Dried banana chips
- Avocado on whole wheat toast
Besides eating healthy whole foods, it’s vitally important for those in senior care to keep hydrated. Having enough fluids is good for the heart and brain, and it helps adults feel more energized, too. Many fruits and vegetables are high in water content, but senior care patients may need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day for maximum benefit. Water infused with cucumber slices, lemon or other fresh fruit can be more palatable.
Call the Home Care Assistance office near you for senior care options that are mindful of the dietary needs of your loved ones.