Taking steps to maintain optimal health is important at every stage of life, but becomes even more crucial as we age. From childhood to our golden years, we should aim to get the right amount of exercise, plenty of sleep, and to do our best to nourish our bodies through healthy eating.
Nutrition provides the foundation for good health, as you aren’t able to exercise or sleep as you should without it. That said, it’s not always easy to come up with healthy meals and senior recipes on your own.
To help you master healthy eating for seniors, we’ve created this guide. Read on to learn healthy eating tips and recipe ideas that will keep you feeling your best.
3 Tips for Healthy Eating
Before we get into ideas for recipes for seniors, let’s talk about some general healthy eating tips. Because with a little knowledge under your belt, you’ll have the tools you need to create healthy recipes of your own! Now, if you’re looking for more detailed advice, this guide is a huge help. But these 3 useful tips for eating healthy are a great place to start.
1. Prioritize Single-Ingredient Foods
Healthy eating is made to seem complex, but it couldn’t be simpler. One of the main things to keep in mind when preparing healthy meals is to use as many single-ingredient foods as possible.
Think fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy carbs and fats. For example, olive oil doesn’t have a long list of ingredients – it’s just olive oil!
The same can be said for apples, broccoli, salmon, etc. Fill your plate with these options and you can’t go wrong.
2. Cut Down on Sugar
We’ve been incorrectly taught that fat is the enemy of a healthy diet, when, in reality, it’s sugar. Many items in the grocery store are labeled as “low-fat” in an effort to make them appear as a healthy option, but if they’re loaded with sugar, they’re still unhealthy.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a brownie or bowl of ice cream, as long as you do so in moderation.
Instead of trying to cut treats out completely, try an 80/20 approach. This means that 80% of your food is healthy, and the remaining 20% is foods you love that might not be so good for you.
3. Drink More Water
The human body is 60% water, making it by far the most important ingredient for optimal health. However, few of us drink as much water as we truly need to feel our best.
Dehydration not only causes fatigue and poor mental health but also increases cravings and feelings of hunger. Many times we think we’re feeling hungry when we’re actually thirsty! So aim for drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day – the more the better.
Healthy Recipes for Seniors
Now that you have some basic healthy eating tips, let’s put them to use! The following recipes are both nutrient-dense and flavorful, with an emphasis on single-ingredient components.
You can start with these, then branch out and create new and exciting recipes for yourself using the aforementioned tips.
Berry Chicken Salad
Next time you have leftover chicken on your hands, consider making this berry chicken salad! With its antioxidant-rich berries and nutritious veggies, you’re sure to feel satisfied and energized after eating it.
- 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh peas
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- Torn salad greens
- 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
With the ingredients at hand, all you have to do is whisk together the mayo, sugar, and tarragon in a large bowl. Stir in the chicken, berries, and veggies to combine, then scoop the resulting chicken salad over your salad greens and enjoy!
Salmon and Veggies
If you’re short on time, try out this salmon and veggies recipe rather than pulling into the drive-thru. It’s a snap to make and you’ll feel full without the drowsiness that comes with greasy fast food.
- 2-3 salmon fillets
- 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fish seasoning
- 1 lemon
With your oven preheated to 450 F, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Toss the vegetables with your oil and seasoning, then arrange them on the baking sheet in a single layer. Place the salmon on top, skin side down, and brush with olive oil.
Top each fillet with two lemon slices, then place in the oven for 12-15 minutes. When the salmon flakes easily, it’s ready!
Another simple but nourishing meal, roasted eggplant is an excellent choice in terms of healthy meals for seniors. Eggplant is loaded with memory-boosting phytonutrients, as well as fiber to aid digestion.
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Mediterranean spice
Once your eggplant is sliced, place it on a baking sheet and sprinkle each piece with salt. While the salt is being absorbed, softening the eggplant, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Then, combine your garlic, olive oil, and spice in a bowl. Brush each slice on both sides with this mixture, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the slices, then cook for another 15 minutes before eating.
Stay Healthy and Active With These Diet Tips and Senior Recipes
Many people associate healthy eating with unsatisfying dishes and giving up all your favorite treats. But as you can see, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Creating healthy senior recipes doesn’t have to mean boring, tasteless meals. It’s more than possible to make dishes that are both nutrient-dense and delicious.
By prioritizing your health through nutritious eating, you’ll enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle well into your later years. Keeping up with the grandchildren will be easier than you ever thought possible!
Interested in learning more about maintaining a high quality of health? Take a look at our blog!