While it seems more focus is placed on managing chronic conditions, improving memory and staying fit as we age, healthy eating habits and nutrition are just as important.
But as we get older, a number of barriers can get in the way of good nutrition. Reduced appetite, diminished smell and taste, and oral and dental problems are just a few issues that can affect our interest in preparing and eating good food. A poor diet can then cause low energy and poor digestion, weaken muscles and bones, and leave us vulnerable to health problems.
Here are some tips for overcoming those barriers and staying on track with good eating:
Make Good Food Choices: When planning meals or choosing from a menu, choose foods that will give you energy and essential vitamins. Fill half your plate with vegetables and or fruit, a quarter of your plate with whole grains and another quarter with lean protein.
Work With Your Appetite: You know when you typically have the best appetite. If it is in the morning or during the day, make breakfast or lunch the largest meal of your day. Follow your plan for making good food choices for each meal you choose to eat.
Get Over the Blahs: If food doesn’t taste or smell that interesting anymore, try adding extra spices and herbs to your regular recipes. Or change things up a bit and try a new dish.
Banish Boredom: Cooking for one or dining alone can make mealtime more of a chore that you prefer to avoid. You will enjoy mealtime more — and get regular nutrition — if you ask a friend to join you or plan a fun event like a potluck.
Overcome Mobility Challenges: If you find it challenging to get to the food store or manage heavy grocery bags, think creatively. Many stores offer online shopping services so you can have your groceries delivered or arrange to have them loaded into your vehicle at the store.
Keep focused on the benefits of eating well every day. You’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight, which will help you stay active and independent. Plus, you’ll spend less time (and money) at doctor visits.