A Guide To Healthy Eating For Older Adults

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A guide tohealthy eating forOlder AdultsGood nutrition is importantat any age. Eating wellhelps you feel your besteach day. Healthy eatingwill help to prevent ormanage heart disease,diabetes, osteoporosis andsome cancers.What’s inside:Is weight gain a concern?Are you losing weight?Oops. I forgot to eat breakfast.How is your appetite ?Eat your veggies. and fruit!Bone up on calcium!What about protein?This guide is for older adults.Troubles swallowing, bitingor chewing?Find tips and ideas to make healthyeating easy and enjoyable!Are you eating alone?Remember, it is never too late tostart eating well!How to get the best nutritionfor your money.Drink water often!Tips to make groceryshopping easier.Healthy Recipes.

Is weight gain a concern?Maintaining a healthy weight is important as you age.Instead of dieting to lose weight, it’s better to make wisefood choices, watch your portion sizes and be active.Fast weight loss is not healthy. When you lose weight quickly youcan lose muscle and this can affect your health.Remember that adults come in a variety of sizes and shapes!Quick and HealthySnack Ideas (Aim fortwo snacks per day)Canada’s Food Guide www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide provides good advice on what foods tochoose and how much you need to eat to behealthy.UnsweetenedApplesauceTry to eat at least the minimum number ofservings from all four foods groups each day:Low fat popcorn Grain Products (6 - 7 servings)Lower fat cheese andcrackers Vegetables and Fruit (7 servings)Fruit – fresh or cannedin own juices Meat and Alternatives (2 - 3 servings)Hard-cooked boiled eggsHot or cold cerealFrozen yogurt withberries Milk and Alternatives (3 servings)Follow Canada’s Food Guide for thecorrect serving size. Eat regularly. Include three meals each day. If youare hungry add a small snack in between meals. Limit high fat and high sugar foods.Milk and oatmeal cookie Eat your meals slowly and enjoy each bite.Yogurt and fruit Choose fruit instead of fruit juice.Toast and peanut butter Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.You don’t need to finish all the food on your plate.Canned soups(low sodium) Use the plate method to help you plan your meals.Trail mix – nuts and fruitVeggies and dipVegetablesRicePastaPotatoesMeat, Fish,Poultry, Legumes,Nuts and Seeds,Eggs2A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults

Are you losing weight?It is natural for your weight to change fromday to day. However, sometimes older adultslose weight quickly and without trying.If you have lost weight, especially without tryingspeak with your doctor.Sunny Orange BananaMilk ShakeHere are some tipsto help stop unwanted weight loss.¾ cup vanilla yogurt Eat smaller amounts of foods more often.Try eating every 2-3 hours.2 tbsp skim milk or soyprotein powder1 banana½ cup of orange juiceIn a blender, combine allingredients and blend untilsmooth.Tip: To get your omega 3 fats,add flax seed oil to your shake. Eat more food when your appetite is best. Have a snack before bed at night. Try cheese andcrackers or yogurt. Eat your favourite healthy food any time of the day. Use milkshakes, smoothies or meal replacements(Ensure , Boost , Resource 2.0 ) as snacks. Make every bite count! Fill up on high caloriehealthy choices. Avoid smoking. It lowers appetite and limits taste.Add These FoodsTo these Foods3.25% milk orskim milk powderCream soups, hot/cold cereal, milkshakes,pudding, scrambled eggs, pancakesCreamPudding, custardYogurt, kefirFruit, milkshakes, cakeSoft margarine, vegetable oilslike olive oil or canolaScrambled eggs, sandwiches, mashed vegetables(squash, potatoes, yams), rice, barley, stews or soupsHard cheese or cheese sauceScrambled eggs, sandwiches, potatoes, vegetablesNuts (cashews, walnuts, pecans,peanuts), sunflower seeds,peanut butter or dried fruitHot/cold cereal, yogurt, ice cream, toast, pancakes,salad, or as a snackJam, sugar, syrup, honeyBread, crackers, cerealTuna, salmonSalads, scrambled eggs, crackers or toastA guide to healthy eating for Older Adults3

Oops I forgot to eat breakfastSkipping a meal, especially breakfast, will make ithard to get all the nutrients you need each day. Eat at regular times every day. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. If you don’t feel like cooking replace a meal with 2 or 3easy snacks. Meals don’t have to be complex or require cooking.Have toast with peanut butter, fruit and a glass of milk. Aim for at least 3 food groups for your meals. Pack healthy snacks to take with you when you are away from home.How is your appetite?If you live alone, sitting down to eat ameal by yourself can be hard.You may not feel like making meals for just yourself.Food may not interest you and may not taste as good.Here are some ideas to help increase your appetite: Choose a comfortable place to eat. Exercise or take a walk before meals. Add flavour to your food by adding herbs and spices. Eat meals with family and friends, if possible. Try a new recipe. Join a cooking club or community kitchen. Ask your health care provider if your medicationsare causing appetite or taste problems.4A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults

Eat your veggies. and fruit!Strive to eat at least 7 servings of fruit andvegetables each day. This may seem like a lot offood, but a serving is smaller than you think!Fruit and vegetables taste great and contain lots of vitamins,minerals and fibre. Choose dark green or brightly colouredvegetables and fruit more often.Examples of one servingof fruit or vegetables:Some easy ways to add fruit and vegetables to yourdaily food choices:1 medium sized fruit Add berries or sliced bananas on top of cereal.½ cup of fruit orcooked vegetables Add a green salad to your lunch.1 cup salad Have two vegetables with dinner.½ cup fruit juice Keep cut and ready-to-eat vegetables in the fridge. Grab an apple for an afternoon snack. Add veggies to pizza, omelettes, pasta sauce and soups. Use frozen or low sodium canned vegetables. Add frozen fruit to yogurt. They are just as healthyas fresh! Your community may offer a locally grown fruit andvegetable box. For example try the “Good Food Box.”www.foodshare.net/train13.htm. Fresh produce isavailable at an affordable cost. Call your local HealthUnit for more information.Bone up on calcium!Milk and Alternatives contain calcium, Vitamin D andother nutrients that are important for strong bones.Aim for about 1200 mg of Calciumand 800 IU of Vitamin D each day ifyou are over 70 years of age.If you do not get enough milk productsor calcium-rich foods, speak to yourhealth care provider. You may want totake a supplement. Everyone over theage of 50 should take a daily VitaminD supplement of 400 IU.Tips to increase the calcium in your diet: Sprinkle grated cheese on sandwiches,salads and vegetables. Eat other calcium-rich foods – white, navyor baked beans, almonds, sesame seeds,broccoli and figs. Add fortified soy milk, milk or skim milkpowder instead of water to prepare creamsoups, hot cereals, mixes or stews.A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults5

What about protein?Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes such as beans,peas and lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds are excellentsources of protein, iron and B vitamins.You don’t always need meat, fish or poultry to meet your protein needs.Try other foods that are good sources of protein such as nuts, legumes,eggs or tofu. They are quick and easy and make great snacks!Try to eat 2-3 servings of protein rich foods per day.One serving is:Easy ways to add protein-rich foods to your diet! 75 g (2 ½ oz) of meat,fish or poultry. This isabout the size of a deckof cards. Cook many servings of meats at once. You can freezethe extras and then the meat is ready to reheat whenyou need it. 60 mL (¼ cup) nuts orseeds Use beans, peas or lentils or tofu in salads, soups orpasta sauce. ½ can of salmon or tuna Nuts or seeds make great snacks! Add them to muffins,salads and yogurt. Chopping or grinding nuts will makethem easier to chew. 175 mL (¾ cup) cookedlegumes or tofu Spread peanut or almond butter on toast, crackers orapple slices. 2 large eggs Add canned fish, or an egg to salads, soups or pasta.Got Gas?Legumes sometimes get a bad reputation! Here are someways to still enjoy these nutritious foods, with less gas. Rinse canned legumes well under cold water. Change water several times if soaking dried legumes. Start slow. Gradually increase the amount of beans,peas and lentils that you eat. Drink lots of fluid.6A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults

Troubles swallowing, bitingor chewing?If you have trouble swallowing you may notwant to eat very much or may avoid foodsthat you find hard to swallow.Symptoms of swallowing problems arecoughing and choking when you eat ordrink. Talk to a doctor if you have troublewith swallowing.Here are some tips to makefoods easier to swallow, biteor chew.If you have problems with your teeth,gums or dentures see your dentist. Chop, mash or puree foods.Use a fork, blender or foodprocessor.If you find chewing difficult, choose foodsthat are softer to eat or change the wayyou prepare foods. Thicker liquids are sometimeseasier to swallow. Add gravy or sauce to helpsoften and moisten food. Try different food textures tosee what suits you best.Soft Food IdeasGrain ProductsSoft fresh breads, mashed or boiled potatoes, pasta,rice, barley, quinoa, oatmeal or cream of wheatMeats and AlternativesCanned fish, ground beef, chicken or pork, lamb,canned beans, peas or lentils, eggs, tofuMilk and AlternativesYogurt, kefir, pudding, ice cream, tapioca, custardVegetables and FruitWell cooked vegetables, canned fruit in own juices,100% fruit or vegetable juice, apple sauce and otherpureed fruitsFoods from two ormore food groupsShepard’s pie, perogies, spaghettiwith sauce, chili, hearty soups, dalTry these Food TexturesTextureFood exampleBlended or pureed liquid(runs off spoon slowly)Smooth, creamy soups, applesauce, puddingsSoft foods and thickliquids (pudding-like)Custards, yogurts, mashed potatoes, turnips, squash,yams, smooth cooked cerealsSemi-solid foods(firm but not tough)Soft fruit, pasta, pureed entrees, scrambled eggs,tofu, ground meatsSolid Food (firm, but not hard)Soft cooked vegetables, soft fruit, diced meat, toastA guide to healthy eating for Older Adults7

Are you eating alone?When you eat alone, it can sometimes be hardto stay motivated about cooking meals.Cooking feels like a chore!Drink water often!You might find that making meals is a challenge. Perhaps,it is hard for you to use utensils or stand for a long time.With a little bit of planning you can enjoy a variety of foods.Many older people do notdrink enough fluids. As weage, our sense of thirstdeclines. We need todrink whether or not wefeel thirsty. Drinkingfluids may help to preventconstipation. Collect simple recipes that use only a few ingredientsand are fast to make. Prepare foods when you have the most energy.Chop vegetables in the morning for later use. Cook meals ahead of time. Find healthier frozen, ready-to-eat dinners. Look for thosewith lower sodium and fat. Aim to get at least 10 or moregrams of protein from these dinners. Buy bagged salads or pre-chopped vegetables. If you have trouble using kitchen utensils speak to your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to an Occupational Therapist. Consider moving to a place where meals areprepared/provided for you. Have some of your meals delivered.Try these tips to help you to stay interested in eating. Have a nice place to eat. Set a table with flowersand a place mat. Take your meal outside, watch TV, put the radio onor read a book. Enjoy dinner in a restaurant, or take-out. Consider taking Meals on Wheels a few times a week or more. Share a potluck dinner with friends. Join a collective kitchen or share cooking with friends. Exchange recipes with others. Join a seniors dining club. Check your local senior centres; many serve weekly meals.8A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults Try to drink 9-12 cupsof fluid each day. Thisincludes water, milk,juice, soup, coffee/tea. Keep a bottle or glassof water nearby. Have a cup of tea orcoffee in the afternoon. Drink a glass of waterwhen you wake up. Have a glass of milk,100% juice or waterwith your meals.

How to get the best nutritionfor your money!If you are on a tight budget, with a little planning,you can buy a variety of healthy foods and stillcontrol what you spend.Here are some tips to help you eat well on a budget.Eating well is vital to your health.Best buys for eachfood groupVegetables and Fruit Frozen vegetables Fresh fruit/vegetablesin season Staples like carrots,potatoes, oranges,bananasMeat & Alternatives Dried or canned beans,peas or lentilsTips to make groceryshopping easierDo you find it hard to get to the grocery store?Is it a challenge to shop by yourself?Or get your groceries home?Before you go: Canned fish Make a list of groceries you need. Less expensive cuts ofmeat, such as stewing,blade or flank, or porkshoulder. Find a shopping buddy. Share large food itemswith them. Eggs Order your groceries by phone and have themdelivered. TofuGrain Products Dry pasta Parboiled or brown rice Hot cereals like oatmeal,cornmeal or creamedwheatMilk & Alternatives Powdered milk Store brand cheeseand yogurtTransportation: Look into community services that offer ridesto the grocery store. Share a taxi with a friend and split the cost.At the store: Shop when the store is not as busy. Read labels to be sure you are getting whatyou want. Don’t forget your glasses!Find out if your local church, legion or recreationcentre offers low cost, hot meals.A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults9

Healthy and Easy RecipesWhole Wheat Pasta and Tuna SaladMakes 8-10 servings8 ozwhole wheat fusilli pasta250 g2 cans(each 6 oz/170g) water packedflaked tuna, drained2¾ cupfinely chopped red, green or yellowbell pepper (or a combination)175 mL¾ cupfinely chopped red onion175 mL¾ cupcoarsely chopped arugula175 mL½ cupcooked green peas125 mL1 cuplow-fat plain yogurt250 mL¼ tsplight mayonnaise1 mL1½ tspDijon mustard7 mL1 tsptarragon vinegar5 mL½ tspfreshly ground black pepper2 mL¼ tspsalt1 mL1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to packagedirections. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.2. Add tuna, bell pepper, onion, arugula and peas to pasta and stirto combine. Let cool slightly.3. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar,pepper and salt. Add to pasta mixture and stir well to coat noodles.Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hoursbefore serving.Source: Cook! Dietitians of Canada 2011. Published by Robert Rose Inc.Visit the Dietitians of Canada Web site at www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health.aspxTips:Use salmon instead of tuna and add2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh dill.Omit the arugula and serve the saladon a bed of any type of lettuce.Try different types of pasta such asmacaroni, shells or rotini.Control sodium by omitting the salt.10A guide to healthy eating for Older AdultsNutrients per servingCalories160Protein11 gFat3.0 gCarbohydrate 22 gFibre3gSodium304 mg

Country Lentil SoupMakes 8 servings1 tbspvegetable oil15 mL1 cupdiced onion250 mL½ cupdiced carrot125 mL½ cupdiced celery125 mL4 cupsvegetable or chicken broth1L1 cupdried red lentils250 mL¼ tspdried thyme1 mL½ cupchopped fresh flat leaf parsley125 mLSalt and freshly ground black pepper1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrot andcelery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, lentils and thyme; bringto a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils aresoft. Remove from heat.2. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender. Purée on high speed untilcreamy. Add up to 1 cup (250 mL) water if purée is too thick. Season withsalt and pepper to taste. Return to saucepan to reheat, if necessary.3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.Source: Simply Great Food Dietitians of Canada 2007. Published by Robert RoseInc. Visit the Dietitians of Canada Web site at www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health.aspxTips:Use sodium reduced broth to lowerthe sodium content.Substitute green or brown lentilsfor the red. Increase cooking time.Use canned beans instead of lentils.Rinse well, to remove the salt.Nutrients per servingCalories117Protein3.7Fat2.0 gCarbohydrate 18.7 gFibre3.7 gSodium504 mgA guide to healthy eating for Older Adults11

Sautéed Peppers and EggsServes 22 tspolive oil10 mL2red bell peppers,sliced into thin strips24eggs4PinchsaltPinchfreshly ground black pepper2multigrain buns, split and toasted21. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Spread red peppersevenly in pan, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20minutes or until peppers are very tender, but not browned. (If peppersstart turning brown, add 1-2 tbsp/15 to 30 mL water and cover again.)2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Stirinto skillet, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes oruntil eggs are just set.3. Place toasted multigrain bun halves on serving plates and spoon eggmixture over top.Source: Cook! Dietitians of Canada 2011. Published by Robert Rose Inc.Visit the Dietitians of Canada Web site at www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health.aspxTips:Add sautéed mushroomsand onions to the mix.Melt some cheese over theeggs for extra protein!12A guide to healthy eating for Older AdultsNutrients per servingCalories288Protein16 gFat15.4 gCarbohydrate 22 gFibre3gSodium384 mg

Healthy and Easy RecipesCouscous PrimaveraMakes 6 to 8 servings1 tbspcanola oil15 mL1onion, chopped12cloves garlic, minced23carrots, chopped31 cupfrozen peas, thawed250 mL1 ½ cupsreduced sodium chicken broth375 mL1 cupwhole wheat couscous250 mL1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion for3-4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.Add carrots and peas; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until carrots arefork tender.2. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as itcomes to a boil, turn off heat and stir in couscous. Remove from heat.Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until liquid has absorbed. Fluffwith fork.Source: Cook! Dietitians of Canada 2011. Published by Robert Rose Inc.Visit the Dietitians of Canada Web site at www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health.aspxTips:Add half a 540 mL (19 oz)can of rinsed, drainedchickpeas.Instead of couscous tryquinoa or bulgur. Cookaccording to package.Nutrients per servingCalories134Protein5gFat2.2 gCarbohydrate 25 gFibre5gSodium139 mgA guide to healthy eating for Older Adults13

Need More Nutrition Information?Visit Dietitians of Canada at www.dietitians.ca/Your-HealthA-Z search under S for Seniors.Visit EatRight Ontario at www.eatrightontario.ca.Search under popular topics Seniors Nutrition.Visit Nutri-eSCREEN at www.eatrightontario.ca/escreenif you are an older adult. Use this questionnaire to learn more aboutyour eating habits. Find out how well you are doing with daily foodchoices that help you stay healthy and active, and where you canimprove.Talk to a Registered Dietitian for freeEatRight Ontario provides free healthy eating advice fromRegistered Dietitians to residents of Ontario.Call 1-877-510-510-2 or visit www.eatrightontario.ca,twitter.com/EatRightOntario orfacebook.com/EatRightOntarioContact your local Health Unit to find more nutritioninformation: Other handouts on healthy eating, food budgeting, label readingand other health related information Contacts for local dietitians in the community, who can offerfurther support Nutrition workshops or seminars Good Food Box information — produce at a low price14A guide to healthy eating for Older Adults

Cookbooks and Resources1. The Basic Shelf Cookbook (Revised 2011)These recipes use basic low cost nutritious ingredients.Available from Canadian Public Health Association.Tel (613) 725-37692. Simply Great Food (2007) Dietitians of CanadaThis

Healthy Recipes. Older Adults A guide to healthy eating for Good nutrition is important at any age. Eating well helps you feel your best each day. Healthy eating will help to prevent or manage heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

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