Healthy Eating for the Elderly

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Uncategorized |

Healthy food choices for those in mid-life and senior years may not be as straightforward as for younger people. If the joy of food isn’t what it used to be, or if you’re concerned about a family member’s nutrition, it’s worth noting that healthy eating might be affected by:

  • Physical changes associated with aging
  • Social factors, such as living alone
  • Mobility and transportation
  • Decreased energy and functioning 

Older persons may need fewer calories, making it more challenging to ingest enough nutrients. Physical activity may be curtailed, leading to reduced appetite levels.

Taste and smell senses alter with age, so food might have less appeal. Medical conditions can change energy level or increase digestive problems, causing some people to start avoiding meals altogether. If this reflects your situation:

  • New spices and recipes may add interest to food.
  • More than ever, choose brightly colored foods over “whites”.
  • Set regular meal times, and create a social aspect around meals. 
  • Reduce portion sizes. A smaller plate can be more attractive and easier to handle. 

If time pressures, transportation or mobility are issues, consider grocery delivery services. Online services allow you fill your cart from home and have the food delivered to your door. (Many offer organic food products.)  If you prefer to choose your own produce, some stores offer home delivery.

In many communities, cooked meal delivery and other services are available. Learn more about Meals on Wheels, and related organizations offering seniors’ meals with a social component, across Canada at


Vol.2, No. 5; © ElderWise Inc. 2006

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