When it comes to the food we eat, today’s older adults are knowledgeable, educated, well-traveled and sophisticated consumers. They know their food, their coffee, and their wine,” says Sarah Wagner, Regional Manager, Culinary Services for Delmanor Retirement Communities. They are tech-savvy and they truly understand the importance of nutrition, quality, and what great food really is.”
Wagner suggests a few healthy eating tips and smart food choices:
Enjoy hearty soups as often as possible.
Good stocks and fresh, wholesome ingredients offer plenty of nourishment, and soups are comforting and easy to eat.
Choose fresh and local as often as possible.
From fish and eggs to meat and poultry to vegetables and fruits, focus on what is seasonally available and locally fresh and design menus around those foods.
Go for homemade.
Foods made from scratch are always tastier and are cooked without preservatives. They usually use less trans fat, sugar and sodium. If you do eat prepared foods, carefully look at labels.
Use a variety of nutrients.
When preparing meals, aim for 4 to 5 ounces of protein (such as meat, fish, eggs, legumes, cheese), 3 ounces of vegetables or fruit, 2 ounces of carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta or potatoes, for example), and 1 ounce of sauce. This is a standard healthy mix of food groups but particularly important for this age group.
Don’t skip dessert!
People love their sweets, and as we age, the sweet palate stays strong. Go for healthier options such as desserts with low or no sugar or smaller portions and fruit.
Have healthy snacks around.
Eat smaller portions and snack more often, be sure to keep a supply of grab-and-go fruit such as bananas, apples, pears, oranges and grapes, as well as dairy items like yogurts and cheese, to snack throughout the day.
Drink plenty of water.
It’s important to drink six to eight glasses of water a day, so a good tip is to have a jug of water handy, infused with fruits for flavour.