A diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients becomes even more important as people age. But does that mean one has to give up tasty treats? Absolutely not. There are plenty of snacks that are not only delicious but good for you as well. In this post, we will take a look at everything you need to know about choosing healthy snacks for elderly adults.
Benefits of Snacks for Seniors
Choosing heart-healthy snacks for seniors has tremendous value for their well-being, including:
Physical health: Choosing healthy snacks can meet nutritional needs in various ways, including boosting energy, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, and lowering blood pressure.
Social interaction: You can easily integrate healthy eating into social situations. Seniors can mingle over a tasty treat or even while meal prepping with a loved one. This can prevent social isolation and encourage interaction with others.
Activity: Preparing and cooking meals can be a fun way to keep seniors active and engaged but operating kitchen appliances can be daunting for some. Fixing finger foods and smaller snacks can keep seniors active in small-scale ways.
Snack Ideas for Seniors
Picking the best afternoon snacks for the elderly involves choosing the ones with the best nutrients. Here is a list of healthy snacks for seniors:
Fruit and Vegetable Snacks for Elderly
Baked banana chips
Baked apple chips
Berries or peach slices in oatmeal or yogurt
Vegetables dipped in hummus
Yogurt-covered dried fruit
Carbohydrate-Heavy Snacks for Elderly
Whole grain popcorn without butter and salt
Baked sweet potato chips
Whole-grain crackers with cheese
Wheat and whole grain muffins
Pita bread with hummus
Granola bars made with natural ingredients
Avocado whole-grain toast
Protein Snacks for Elderly
Nuts covered in dark chocolate
Chicken or tuna salad on whole-grain bread or crackers
Apple or celery slices with peanut or almond butter
Protein shakes without salt, sugar, or other additives
Healthy meat jerky
Download Our Healthy Aging Diet Guide
Preparing Soft Snacks for Elderly
Preparing snacks for elderly adults who have swallowing difficulties or dental disorders can be difficult but it’s not impossible. Below, you will find some tips for making soft healthy snacks:
Use a food processor: Add meat or vegetables into a food processor and pulse until finely diced. This will make them softer and easier to chew.
Add eggs: If diced meats aren’t their thing, then eggs are the perfect way to add protein to their diet.
Add dairy: Cheese sauces can add extra flavor and a boost of calcium to vegetables and rice. Additionally, you can soften crackers, cookies, and harder breads by placing them in a bowl and adding a splash of milk or cream.
Blend frozen fruits into smoothies: Your loved one can chop up frozen fruits, freeze them, and then toss them into a blender with a splash of milk until smooth. Add some honey for sweetness. This is the ideal way to add fruits into their diet if they are unable to chew on rougher textures.
Mash hard vegetables: Potatoes, turnips, squash, carrots, and cauliflower can all be mashed and steamed with a small amount of milk and butter.