How to Best Meet Nutritional Needs for Seniors

healthy-meal

Discover the best food choices to meet senior nutritional needs.

It is not a mystery that a nutritious diet is vital for good health. However many people don’t understand that an adult’s nutritional needs change with age. As such, the nutritional experts at Tufts University have designed MyPlate for Older Adults, which is an updated rendition of the former food pyramid, and which provides nutritional advice specifically for seniors.

The MyPlate for Older Adults model includes details on foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat, salt, and sugar; however, it also gives information on additional subjects like recommended exercise for seniors and recommended fluid intake, issues that are of specific concern for seniors.

Because activity levels for seniors tend to be lower, seniors also require fewer calories as they age. However they require the same or higher amounts of nutrients and regular exercise for the best health. MyPlate for Older Adults recommends:

  • Brightly-colored vegetables, like peppers and carrots
  • Deeply-colored fruits, like melons and berries
  • Whole, enriched and fortified grains and cereals, such as brown rice
  • Low- and non-fat dairy products, such as low lactose milk and  yogurt
  • Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads that are lower in saturated and trans fats
  • Spices rather than salt
  • Liquids such as water and fat-free milk
  • Physical activity, including resistance training, walking, and light housework

Other suggestions consist of embracing food options that are easier to prepare and that lessen waste, like bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and single-portion containers of fruit.

At Hillendale, we understand that it isn’t always easy to help older loved ones sustain a healthy diet. Our dedicated Walnut Creek caregivers can help plan and prepare nourishing, delicious meals consistent with your loved one’s specific nutritional needs. Contact us online or call us at 925-933-8181 to learn more about our Walnut Creek area senior care services and to arrange a free in-home assessment. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in Contra Costa County, please visit our Service Area page.