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Nutrition Tips for Seniors

Every day brings chatter about a new miracle diet, a magic superfood, or another food you’re supposed to avoid. The noise can quickly become overwhelming. How do you know what’s real? How can you sort out what’s right for your specific situation? Exploring nutrition tips for seniors offers a starting place.

Understand the Value of Good Nutrition for Seniors

Motivation helps you move forward, so understanding the benefits of healthy eating can give you the push that you need to be mindful of your dietary choices. Good foods that are rich in the right combinations of nutrients give the body what it needs to function well. According to Cleveland Clinic, maintaining a healthy diet can contribute to numerous aspects of a senior’s health, including all the following:

  • Bone strength
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Cognitive health and memory function
  • Gastrointestinal function
  • Immunity
  • Mental well-being
  • Muscle tone

Recognize That Seniors Have Specific Needs

The diet that fuels a teenager or a nursing mom isn’t right for a senior. When considering what healthy eating means for you, it’s vital to recognize that older adults have specific nutritional needs. For example, seniors often have a decreased ability to absorb vitamin B12, according to Choosing foods rich in this vitamin can help to counteract that issue. If not, you may need to speak with your doctor about supplements or injections to avoid B12 deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue, confusion, and other symptoms.

Some medications can also impact the foods that you need to embrace or avoid. In addition, food sensitivities and allergies can be an issue. Talking with your doctor about nutrition tips for seniors and how you can meet your unique nutritional needs is a smart way to avoid dangerous holes in your diet.

Aim for Variety

Eating a variety of foods from all the food groups is a clever way to ensure that you’re getting access to an array of nutrients. Choose to eat a mix of seasonal fruits and veggies along with foods from every food group. Your reward will be a decreased risk of an assortment of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, according to

Opt for Protein

Maintaining muscle mass can be a struggle as people grow older. Protein is an important building block for the body to repair and build muscle. Older adults who want to keep their muscles healthy will make it a point to eat protein-rich meals. That doesn’t mean munching on meat constantly. Beans, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds can also provide protein.

Stay Hydrated

Thirst isn’t as strong in some seniors, so waiting until you’re thirsty to drink some water can be downright dangerous. To avoid dehydration, confusion, urinary tract infections, constipation, and other unpleasantries, sip water and other healthy beverages throughout the day. Milk, non-dairy milk, and tea can also be healthy choices, but avoid drinks with lots of sugar, salt, or chemical additives.

Know What You Need and Need to Avoid

You can’t hit your goals if you aren’t aware of them, so it’s essential to know what nutrients seniors need and need to avoid. As the National Council on Aging points out, a healthy diet for older adults should include plenty of vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, protein, and fiber. Ideally, sugar and salt should be limited. Individuals may have specific requirements because of their unique health situation.

Get Social

Sometimes, the best nutrition tips for seniors aren’t about what you eat. They’re about how you eat. For example, some seniors don’t eat well because they’re lonely. They may think it’s not worth the effort to fix a meal for one person. Or, eating alone is boring. If this mindset seems familiar, get social. Join a cooking class. Go out to eat with friends. Invite them to join you for a meal or when you go shopping for food. Better yet, join a senior living community and enjoy restaurant-style meals with friends every day!


Eating healthy and embracing wellness are smart steps seniors can take to protect their health. At The Piper, our care team strives to support our residents in their efforts to enjoy happy, healthy lives.

Are you seeking an assisted living, memory support, or physician-directed nursing community in Kansas City? Check out The Piper. Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals ensures that residents feel secure and comfortable right away. At our warm and welcoming community, which is truly a “home within a home,” we foster social interaction, engagement, and the right amount of care. Our residents always come first. To learn more about our services or to schedule a tour, please give us a call at 913-361-5136 or contact us online.