Food for Thought – Eating Right for Older Adults
National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Additionally, National Nutrition Month promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.
Eating Right for Older Adults
Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Before a meal, think about what foods you are going to eat. Choose foods that provide the nutrients you need without too many calories. Build a healthy plate with foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein foods.
Consider the following tips to help you get started on your way to eating right:
1). Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Choose “reduced sodium” or “no-salt-added” canned vegetables.
Add fruit to meals and snacks. Choose fruits that are dried, frozen, or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.
2). Make at least half your grains whole.
Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta, and brown rice. Also, look for fiber-rich cereals to help stay regular.
3). Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Older adults need more calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones healthy. Include three servings of fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese each day. If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
For more nutrition information or how to contact a consultant dietitian, explore the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, eatright.org.