Nutrition and Health: Meal Planning for Aging Adults

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As we age into our golden years, often our bodies experience changes that can affect our appetite and eating habits.  So, it is necessary to adjust meal plans to compensate to avoid malnutrition. Otherwise, it can quickly devolve into a form of self-neglect as a person can become deficient in their nutritional needs. If you are a caregiver or meal planner for aging adults, here are some nutrient recommendations to consider when planning meals:Meal Planning for Aging Adults


The human body needs more calcium later in life to prevent bone loss and help to manage blood pressure by keeping it low. Studies by the WHO indicate senior diets should include 1200mg of calcium per day. In food terms, this would equate to about 4 cups of orange juice, dairy milk, or other non-dairy fortified “milk” made from soy or almonds. Leafy greens including spinach or kale are another excellent source of calcium. If your loved one is not able to consume adequate amounts of food, a good supplement may be needed. Consult with a doctor.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Foods rich in omega 3’s are a wonderful way to help reduce inflammation in our bodies which contribute to the development of cancer, arthritis, and even heart disease. Flaxseed, walnuts, and various fish are excellent sources of omega three fatty acids. Try to include this type of food into your loved one’s diet twice every week. Again, a supplement may be helpful if needed.

Reduced Sodium Intake

If high blood pressure is a concern, then the diet needs to be adjusted accordingly. We often don’t realize how much salt is included in our modern western diets. Salt is pre-added to many prepared foods. For elder care, be sure to limit frozen, processed, and restaurant meals to a small part of the overall diet. Instead, consider incorporating low sodium options such as fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, grains such as brown rice and oats, dry beans, and unsalted nut varieties.

Make sure that your loved ones are not undernourished, and that they are getting plenty of liquids. For more information about senior services and caregiving, contact Rebecca Prouty at Always Best Care. Call us today: (951) 375-4588