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Healthy Snacks for the Elderly

May 17, 2021

The types of food we eat play a large part of our overall health and influences how we feel, especially as we age. Choosing nutrient dense snacks is an easy way for seniors to get more vitamins, avoid empty calories and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. We’ve put together an array of creative ideas for healthy snacks for seniors that are easy-to-eat and prepare.

an acai bowl with berries and oatmeal

Why Are Healthy Snacks Important For Seniors?

From sugary treats to salty snacks, it can be all too easy to reach for unhealthy food options. As we age, however, our digestion system slows down and our bodies don’t absorb nutrients as well. Eating a couple of healthy snacks each day can help seniors maintain a healthy diet, gain the nutrients they need, and boost energy levels. Healthy foods that are high in fiber and low in added sugar also help aid in digestion, regulate glucose levels and reduce the risk of heart-related complications and diabetes. For those helping with elderly food preparation, encourage your loved ones to supplement their meals with one or two healthy snacks. 

Healthy Snack Ideas for Seniors

Soft Food For Seniors

For seniors with sensitive gums or teeth, soft or pureed foods that can be enjoyed with a spoon or straw make for easy and comfortable snack options. Simply blending and steaming can create many soft snacks for elderly people to enjoy, such as:

  • Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit
  • Scrambled eggs with avocado
  • A banana topped with peanut butter
  • A Smoothie bowl blended with favorite fruits and almond milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Cottage cheese with roasted veggies

Crunchy Snacks For Seniors

Crunchy snacks are ideal for seniors with strong teeth. Salty chips, pretzels with toppings and buttery popcorn are common crunchy snacks that can be unhealthy. Fortunately, there are endless nutritious alternatives, such as:

  • Raw veggies, like celery and carrots
  • Unsalted popcorn
  • Whole grain pita chips dipped in hummus
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Sweet potato chips

High Protein Snacks For Seniors

For seniors looking for an energy boost, choosing an afternoon snack that is high in protein can help increase energy levels without the crash that carbs and sugar create. Snacks that are high in protein can also help seniors maintain muscle mass, boost energy levels and gain weight. Check out these high-protein snacks for elderly adults:

  • Boiled eggs
  • Cheese slices
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • Turkey slices

Sweet Treats For Seniors

We all have cravings for something sweet from time to time. While candy and ice cream might taste good, they don’t hold much nutritional value. Fortunately, there are a variety of healthier options to enjoy in moderation that both satisfy sweet cravings and provide health benefits. Consider adding these ideas to your sweet treat menu:

  • Homemade granola
  • Dried fruit
  • Freshly squeezed juices
  • Apple sauce sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Dark chocolate and almonds
  • Frozen grapes

Snacks For Seniors On The Go

When we’re suddenly hungry or away from home, we tend to reach for foods that are high in sodium, sugar and empty carbs — especially if we don’t have healthy alternatives nearby. A great way to avoid this temptation is to have easy, healthy, snacks on hand, such as:

  • Homemade trail mix
  • Protein bars
  • Apples and bananas
  • Roasted almonds or walnuts
  • Baked tortilla chips

Click here to learn more about Elmcroft and our communities and the support we can offer your loved one. 

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