When it comes to eating broccoli, many seniors can be a lot like the toddlers you have to use the “here comes the airplane” trick on. And even still, they may close their mouths tightly and turn their heads in defiance.
Healthy senior diet helps fight chronic diseases
We know that a healthy senior diet can be one of the keys to longevity. Most of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are from chronic diseases. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. Yet, just 1 in 10 adults meets the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease,” said Seung Hee Lee Kwan, Ph.D., of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, lead author of the study. “As a result, we’re missing out on the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that fruits and vegetables provide.”
Nutrients are key
All adults, but seniors in particular, need nutrients like vitamin B12, Vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, omega-3 fats, to keep their bones strong, heart-healthy, and immune system working well.
We have found that just like the stubborn toddler in the high chair, seniors have valid reasons for not wanting a plate full of salmon and Brussel sprouts. But for seniors, these reasons can be more complex than just the fact that some healthy foods are unfamiliar. With seniors, there are other factors to take into account. First, seniors may be experiencing a loss of appetite due to a variety of age-related ailments. Second, dentures and dental issues can make it difficult for seniors to eat things like nuts, carrots, and peanut butter. And finally, many things just don’t taste the same as they used to. From age 40 to age 60, people start to lose taste buds. As they age, they can also lose their sense of smell, which impacts how things taste — or if they have any taste at all.
Some tips to help your mom or dad eat healthier include:
- Knowing what a healthy plate looks like. Is there a good mix of protein and vegetables?
- Helping them understand nutrition labels.
- Pushing veggies as snacks.
- Encouraging them to drink plenty of water.
Savanna House Dining Options
At Savanna House, our dining and hospitality area is vibrant and comfortable. Our menus, which are based on our residents’ personal tastes. Dishes feature flavor and flare. Our food and the atmosphere in which it is served are designed to make you feel right at home.
Whether you’re a resident or you’re visiting a loved one, we want you to have a delightful dining experience. Our experienced culinary team offers exciting new seasonal dishes and homestyle meals. Nearly everything is made from scratch.
We believe that this approach will keep your mom or dad healthy and happy.