Making smart food choices is important for staying healthy at any age, and especially as an older adult. With these tips, you can start to eat healthier.

Getting Started

Speak to your doctor to find out your specific dietary needs. Certain foods, like citrus fruits or nightshade vegetables could interact poorly with medications or certain medical conditions. You can find useful healthy eating plans and menus on the Internet, including those from the National Institute on Aging and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate program.

Tips for Better Eating

As we get older, our appetites sometimes change, and you might eat less or eat too much. Another problem that older adults face is a reduced sense of smell or taste. You can add flavor back into your food by adding spices or herbs. One of the most important things you need to remember is to drink a lot of water and other liquids that will help you stay hydrated.

Making meals a social event can make eating more enjoyable. A good strategy when eating out in a restaurant is to pack away half of the meal to take home for later if the portions are large. Whenever possible, include a variety of vegetables of all colors on your plate. They provide many nutrients and fiber without too many calories.

Cooking healthy doesn’t mean having to spend a lot of time and effort in the kitchen either, which can be difficult for adults with disabilities, older adults, and busy caregivers. There are many quick and easy meal recipes available online.

Managing Food Costs

You might be thinking to yourself, “I get that I need to eat healthy, but my income makes it hard.” Eating healthy does not have to involve specialty foods and it takes just a little bit of planning. For instance, making a meal plan for the week and only purchasing the items needed for each recipe is a good way to reduce food waste as well as keep costs down. Another way to save is to limit eating meats, i.e. chicken, red meat or fish, to only a couple days a week as these tend to be the higher end items on a shopping list. Vegetarian based meals are not only healthy but are kinder to our wallets as well.

If you’re a family caregiver, make sure to attend FSL’s Family Caregiver Open House on Saturday, November 4 from 8:30AM – 3PM to learn more about caring for loved ones and the resources that are available if they’re struggling with healthy food costs.

Nutrition