Healthy Eating for Seniors: Nutrition Tips and Delicious Recipes

Author

Gallery at Broomfield, The

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Gallery at Broomfield

Posted on

Sep 27, 2023

Book/Edition

Colorado - Boulder County

We all know a balanced diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and healthy eating is even more important for senior citizens. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients. We require more protein to maintain muscle mass. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D becomes increasingly important to prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. Additionally, many seniors struggle to manage chronic conditions, and healthy eating can go a long way to help. Eating right can also help support your immune system, prevent illness, improve brain health, and reduce inflammation.  

These nutritional tips and delicious recipes will make healthy eating as a senior citizen even easier! 

Nutrition Tips for Seniors

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Try these simple tips to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and fueling your body. 

  • Get enough protein. Seniors should aim for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, someone weighing 150 pounds should try to get 150 grams of protein per day. You can meet this need through foods like protein shakes, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, tofu, and whole grains. 
  • Eat calcium-rich foods high in Vitamin D. Many high-protein foods–like dairy products, nuts, seeds, and eggs–contain these vital nutrients. Fatty fish is a great source of vitamin D. Many people also take supplements, which can fill in any nutritional gaps.
  • Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. This can be done through supplements or foods like fatty fish and nuts. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, which are common in aging. 
  • Drink lots of water. Seniors often experience a reduced sense of thirst, so it can be helpful to set a reminder on your watch or smartphone to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
  • Get enough fiber. Fiber-rich foods, like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, are beneficial for digestive health. This is important for seniors, especially those struggling with chronic conditions like diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome. 

Now that you’ve got some basic nutrition tips, let’s check out some delicious recipes that make healthy eating for seniors easy! 

Quick & Easy Healthy Recipes for Seniors

 

Greek Yogurt Parfait: 

Ingredients:
Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Granola or chopped nuts
Honey or maple syrup (optional) 

Instructions:
In a glass or bowl, layer Greek yogurt, mixed berries, and granola or nuts.
Drizzle with a touch of honey or maple syrup if desired.
This parfait is a great option for breakfast or a healthy snack. 

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Skewers with Quinoa: 

Ingredients:
Chicken breast, cut into cubes
Assorted vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, onions, cherry tomatoes)
Cooked rice or quinoa
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper 

Instructions:
Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers.
In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create a marinade.
Brush the marinade over the skewers and let them marinate for about 15-30 minutes.
Grill the skewers until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Serve the skewers over cooked rice or quinoa for a balanced and satisfying meal.

 

Bean and Veggie Wrap 

Ingredients:
Whole wheat tortilla
Cooked black beans (canned or cooked from dry)
Sliced avocado
Sliced bell peppers
Chopped lettuce or spinach
Sliced carrots
Sliced cucumbers
Salsa

 Lay the tortilla flat and layer black beans, avocado, and veggies in the center.
Drizzle with salsa.
Roll up the tortilla, tucking in the sides to create a wrap. Cut in half if desired.

 

Grilled Veggie and Hummus Sandwich

Ingredients:
2 slices whole grain bread
1/2 cup hummus (homemade or store-bought)
1/2 cup mixed grilled or roasted vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, red onion, etc.)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1/4 cup fresh spinach or arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions:
Preheat your grill or oven.
Toss the mixed vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Grill the vegetables or roast them in the oven until they’re tender and slightly charred. Set aside. 

Toast the slices of whole grain bread if desired.
Spread a generous layer of hummus on one slice of bread.
Layer the grilled or roasted vegetables on top of the hummus.
Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese (if using) over the vegetables.
Top with fresh spinach or arugula for added greens. 

Serve the grilled veggie and hummus sandwich with a side salad or some baked sweet potato fries for a complete meal. 

This sandwich is not only packed with protein from the hummus and feta cheese, but it’s also loaded with fiber and essential nutrients from the vegetables and whole grain bread. It’s a great option for a filling and nutritious lunch or dinner. Feel free to customize the vegetables and add your favorite seasonings to make it even more flavorful. 


Broccoli Pesto Pasta 

Ingredients:
Whole wheat or high protein pasta
Broccoli florets
Walnuts or pine nuts
Fresh basil leaves
Garlic, minced
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Lemon juice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions:
Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
Steam or blanch the broccoli florets until tender.
In a food processor, blend walnuts, basil, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice until smooth.
Drizzle in olive oil while blending to make a pesto sauce.
Toss the cooked pasta with the pesto sauce and cooked broccoli.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. 

This pasta recipe offers a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables for a wholesome and satisfying meal.

 

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast: 

Ingredients:
Chicken breast
Baby spinach
Crumbled feta cheese
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Olive oil 

Instructions:
Preheat the oven.
Cut a pocket in the side of the chicken breast.
Stuff the pocket with baby spinach and crumbled feta cheese.
Season the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a pan and sear the chicken on both sides.
Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake until cooked through.
Serve with a side of steamed vegetables or a salad. 

The chicken breast, spinach, and feta offer a balance of fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamin D. This makes it a delicious, filling, and nutritious meal! 

With these nutrition tips and delicious recipes, you’ll find healthy eating for seniors easier than ever. Having trouble managing your health? Consider senior living! Tour a senior living community near you today. Or call The Gallery at Broomfield at 303-656-3738 to learn more.

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