Healthy Eating Tips for Older Adults
Healthy eating is a crucial part of any balanced lifestyle, but it’s especially important as you age. At The Christian Village at Mason (CVM), our Registered Dietitian and Director of Food & Nutrition sat down to offer some helpful advice on pursuing a healthy lifestyle and shares how we prioritize healthy eating in the Village. You can find a delicious, healthy recipe crafted by our own dietician and Director of Food & Nutrition at the bottom of this blog!
Why should older adults pursue a healthy lifestyle?
Before diving into some tips for healthy eating, it’s important to ask why is pursuing a healthy and balanced lifestyle necessary? As older adults age, keeping a consistent and healthy diet can help them avoid preventable issues with injuries, manage any ongoing illnesses, and strengthen their immune system to fight off seasonal colds and flu. You can learn more about how healthy eating directly affects older adults in this article by Healthline. The Director of Food & Nutrition at CVM states that residents should eat healthily so they can feel a sense of independence and serving their bodies as they age.
How to start eating healthier…
Healthy eating can be one of those things that’s easier to talk about than act on, which is why we’ve pulled together some helpful tips. Whether you’ve aimed to pursue a healthy balance your whole life or you’re just starting to prioritize healthy eating, these tips will be a step in the right direction:
- Make a Plan
- According to our Registered Dietician, Sheryl Baumann, many older adults don’t eat meals but graze all day long. This can lead to overeating or eating foods with unhealthy ingredients. Start out by planning meals for the week and be sure to include healthy ingredients such as fruits, veggies, and lean meat.
- Keep Things Simple
- Start out making healthy recipes that are simple and quick, so you don’t dread cooking them. Have some fun with your meal planning and find healthy recipes that are enjoyable to cook and can be done in less than 30 minutes.
- Start the Day Off Right
- We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and our dietician is here to tell you that it is true! Start your day with a balanced, filling breakfast so that you’re less inclined to snack throughout the day.
- Set Small Goals
- Healthy eating can be overwhelming at first, but setting small, achievable goals can help you pursue a healthy lifestyle while staying excited about it! Consider what areas of healthy eating you struggle with and create personal goals to start making a change. If you struggle to get up and make dinner, then set a goal of making a healthy dinner 4 out of 7 days of the week. If you never eat breakfast, then start out by trying to eat a small but filling breakfast like oatmeal or fruit. Set small, achievable goals that will challenge you to form healthy habits.
How does CVM promote healthy lifestyles?
Debra Walker, the Director of Food & Nutrition at CVM shared how the community aims to provide a delicious menu centered around a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
- Wellness Events: Our dining services team will work with the Director of Fitness & Wellness to plan fun and interactive events that promote healthy living. In the past, our team has hosted a cooking demo in the Renewal Fitness Center for hands-on learning about well-rounded living.
- Healthy Options: Our dining team creates a daily menu that always has a featured healthy option denoted by a chef’s hat. This option is low-calorie and never breaded or fried.
- Individualized Meal Planning: Our dining team knows that healthy eating can look different for everybody, which is why our team will create a specialized menu for residents with health preferences. Aside from offering healthy menu options, our staff is willing to design an individualized menu to assists with resident’s health needs and help them pursue a healthy lifestyle.
- Tasteful Substitutions: A great way to cut calories and take steps towards a healthier lifestyle is opting for healthier substitutions. Our team only uses non-salt seasonings to cut down on sodium intake while maintaining flavor.
Here at CVM, we aspire for our residents to live healthy, well-balanced lives, and we do everything we can to promote healthy living through our menus and wellness events.
If you’re interested in making a change and pursuing a healthier lifestyle, we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of helpful websites with healthy recipes and tips for changing your diet. Check some of these out and comment which ones are your favorite:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- US Department of Agriculture
- American Heart Association
- American Diabetes Association
Healthy Snacks & Recipes
We couldn’t write a blog about healthy eating without compiling a list of our favorite healthy foods and creating a recipe of our own for you to try! Together, our registered dietician and Director of Food & Nutrition created a healthy and hearty meal for you to try at home. Scroll to the end of the blog to find a step-by-step recipe for Ground Beef Zucchini Sweet Potato Skillets. We’ve also listed some of our favorite snacks and healthy recipes for you to try!
- Veggies and low-fat salad dressing
- Cottage cheese
- Fruit with individual fruit dip or caramel cup
- Apples or bananas and peanut butter
- Dark chocolate dipped frozen banana
- Low-fat cheese and crackers
- Air-popped popcorn
- Fresh tomato basil salad with balsamic dressing
- Angel hair pasta with shrimp and light butter sauce
Ground Beef Zucchini Sweet Potato Skillet
Follow us on Facebook to watch the recipe video while cooking this healthy meal and share with us what you think!Recipe for Blog
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