Senior Friendly Ideas for Healthy Eating
The Dietitians of Canada, in collaboration with the Senior Friendly™ Program, developed the following 12 handouts to help seniors with meal planning, grocery shopping and healthy meals preparation. Though created for Canadians, the information is still applicable to seniors living outside of Canada.
Planning Meals using Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating – The key to healthy eating is planning your food choices and meals using Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. That way you will be eating a variety of foods and making choices that are higher in fiber and lower in fat more often. Most special diets for diseases or conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and high blood pressure start with healthy eating as recommended in Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.
Planning Meals: Variety and Balance – A healthy diet is essential to feeling well and enjoying life to the fullest. Recent surveys show that most seniors do not eat enough grain products, milk products and vegetables and fruits. Eating too little of those foods can leave you tired, more prone to illness and perhaps even at increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Planning Meals: Fiber Facts – Dietary fiber is the part of plant material that humans cannot digest. The fiber is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes (dry beans, peas and lentils), fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads and cereals.
Planning Meals: The Fat Challenge – Advice about fat can be very confusing, especially since the recommended types and amounts of fat seem to change constantly. What is not in dispute is this: fat is an essential part of the diet. While it is good to moderate the amount you eat, fat should not be eliminated. Fat provides energy, supplies essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K and is an important part of all body cells.
Shopping for One or Two: Planning – Shopping for one or two people can be a challenge, but careful planning makes it easier. The following suggestions will simplify your trips to the store and save money at the same time.
Shopping for One or Two: On a Budget for Healthy Eating – Using Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating will help you meet the challenge of shopping on a budget for one or two people. It is possible to buy a variety of foods in small amounts without spending a lot of money. Listed below are tips to help you eat well and reduce your grocery bill.
Cooking for One or Two: Meal Preparation Made Easy – Planning and preparing meals for one or two can be a challenge, particularly if you are used to cooking for a large family or have never cooked at all. Cooking for one or two doesn’t mean sacrificing nutrition or eating the same thing five days in a row. There are lots of options; with a little planning, you can enjoy a variety of foods every day!
Cooking for One or Two: Easy Meals to Make – Can’t think of anything to eat? The following easy meals use ingredients you probably have on hand. When looking for quick ideas, don’t limit your choices by thinking that certain foods can be enjoyed only at certain mealtimes. For example, breakfast foods work for lunch or supper, too.
Cooking for One or Two: Creative Use of Leftovers – Planning for leftovers can make meal preparation easier, reduce food waste and form the basis of many economical, time saving meals. Leftovers can spoil quickly, so take care to preserve nutrients and keep the food safe to eat. Immediately place leftovers in covered containers in the refrigerator and use within two or three days. Leftovers can also be frozen and used within two or three months. Be sure to label and date all packages, and use the oldest ones first.
Cooking for One or Two: Ready-Made Meals – Meals can be quick and easy if you start with a ready-made food item from the grocery store. The cost may be worth the convenience on days when you just don’t feel like cooking. Selection is increasing as grocers and food producers cater to people looking for nourishing and convenient foods. You’ll find items in all areas of the store, from the freezer section to the deli and canned good aisles.
Cooking for One or Two: Your Emergency Food Shelf – Having an emergency shelf stocked with non-perishable foods is a big help if you can’t get out to the store. You can plan quick and creative meals with just a few basic items. Even though these foods will last for a long time on the shelf, it is a good idea to use and replace them occasionally. Items stored in the freezer should be used within two to three months.
Cooking for One or Two: Eating Alone – Eating alone can be difficult for people of any age. It may not seem worth the effort to cook just for you. But there are ways to put the fun back into eating. Start with keeping your cupboards well stocked with nutritious foods that you enjoy. Treat yourself well; you deserve it!
Senior Friendly Ideas for Healthy Eating: Source
These senior friendly healthy eating ideas and healthy eating tips were graciously provided by the Dietitians of Canada. Our thanks goes to them for providing these nutrition-related tip sheets and handouts.