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10 Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors in Assisted Living

Assisted living healthy eating seniors

Eating healthy is important at every age, but as we grow older our dietary needs change. For seniors living at any of Silver Birch’s nine residential assisted facilities in Indiana, we provide residents with a snack and three meals a day in our restaurant-style dining rooms. Our experienced chefs create meals that are healthy for senior living.

Here are 10 healthy eating tips our chefs consider when creating a menu for residents in our assisted living communities.

Read the label

Knowledge is power and when it comes to healthy living for elderly care in assisted living facilities, the best place to start is reading food labels. Avoid foods high in sodium to help maintain healthy blood pressure and prevent the risk of heart and kidney disease.

Prioritize portioning 

Research shows that people eat more food when offered larger portions. Portion control is important for aging seniors. Your plate should be broken up into four sections: vegetables, grains, protein and fruit. Veggies and grains should take up the majority of your plate while leaving a smaller portion for protein and fruit.

Focus on healthy fats

When cooking for our residents, we focus on healthy fats. Healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help with elderly care and protect the body against disease. Instead of saturated and trans fats, consider olive oil, avocado, nuts and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Search for variety

Eating a variety of food will help ensure our residents get the proper nutrition. The National Council on Aging recommends a balanced meal with protein, veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Additionally, our experienced chefs are always creating custom menus for holidays and social events.

Nutrients are key for elderly care

There’s a reason people say you eat with your eyes first. Food high in nutrients not only adds color to your plate but also significant vitamins and minerals needed for an active senior lifestyle.

Drink more water

Drinking plenty of water helps to digest food, absorb nutrients and promote an overall healthy lifestyle. WebMD recommends 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day for aging adults.

For seniors on certain medications, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Silver Birch offers medication delivery and reminders for our assisted living residents. One helpful tip we like to share is to drink half a glass of water when taking medication. It’s a simple but effective way to stay hydrated.

Don’t reach for the salt

Instead of salting foods, seniors are encouraged to use herbs and spices to increase flavor. Our trained chefs develop flavors using a mix of seasoning that are all heart-healthy for our assisted living community members.

Consume less sugar

A benefit of residential assisted living is having the support and encouragement to make healthy dietary changes, and reducing sugar intake can be one of the hardest challenges. Refined sugar offers no nutritional value. Those empty calories do nothing to help promote healthy aging. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweet tooth. We swap out cookies and cakes for healthy sweets like fruits and dark chocolate.

Consider supplements for senior nutrition 

Our experienced chefs create menus to support elderly care and a healthy aging lifestyle, but sometimes it can still be beneficial to take supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. As part of our elderly care services, we have in-service medical consultations and also encourage our residents to talk to their doctor about taking supplemental vitamins and minerals to ensure overall health.

Practice and planning

Creating a healthy eating plan for seniors can be a chore, and our experienced chefs incorporate these tips into our menus at Silver Birch every day. To learn more about the Silver Birch experience, see a list of amenities here.

Looking for an assisted living facility near you? Explore our nine locations across Indiana to learn more about each facility including assisted living services, senior housing options and senior care choices.