The Laureate Way

Articles to Help Families and Older Adults Manage the Challenges of Aging

Importance of Winter Nutrition for Seniors

Importance of Winter Nutrition for Seniors_2

A well-balanced diet is an important part of healthy aging. But during the winter season, energy levels often decrease. This causes unhealthy habits to increase. Fortunately, habits can be broken. Here are a few tips to understanding the importance of winter nutrition for seniors.

Meal Time

“Our seniors are at the age where their immune systems are not as strong as they used to be,” explains Diane SzalaiCulinary Services Director at Laureate Group Senior Communities.

That is why seniors should supplement their diets with nutrients that support other parts of their health. For example, their emotional well-being, inflammation, cholesterol, heart disease, and mobility. A senior should build a plate balanced with a variety of vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

When Meals Are Hard to Chew

Seniors who find it hard to chew often avoid eating meat, fruits, or vegetables. To make sure seniors who live at a Laureate Group Senior Community don’t miss out on important nutrients, chefs carefully plan menus with a senior’s health in mind.

This includes getting creative with puréed recipes for seniors who no longer have the ability to chew or swallow solid foods, or are unable to hold spoons, knives, and forks.

Snack Time

For in-between meals, seniors can turn to high-fiber foods. Root vegetables, for example, are high in fiber and are high in vitamins A, B, and C.

Foods high in fiber support a healthy digestive system, and help curb cravings that could lead to unhealthy snacking.

Vitamin D Time

Winter means shorter days and less sunlight. So, seniors are encouraged to add more Vitamin D rich foods to their diet. A few of these foods are:

  • Egg yolks
  • Vitamin D fortified milk
  • Healthy grains

Scratch Cooking Time

Cold weather can keep seniors inside, reaching for convenient, boxed foods rather than venturing out to find healthier choices.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that nine out of ten Americans consume too much salt. Most sodium is found in processed food – what comes in a can, box or a snack bag. What is the easiest solution? Scratch cooking!

Learn more on how seniors benefit from scratch cooking.