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Best Nutritional Foods to Improve a Senior’s Diet

“Health is wealth.” We’ve all heard this very famous quote but often fail to prioritize our health. Moreover, as we get older, we regret the health choices we’ve made. Are you a person taking care of a senior but don’t know which foods to incorporate into their daily diet? Don’t stress! There are many healthy food options to choose from. To help you, we have listed all the important nutritional foods to help you establish a balanced diet for your senior citizen.

  • Grains
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Nothing is better than whole grain food. This type of grain is low in fat, contains complex carbohydrates, and is high in fiber. This will prevent seniors from overeating and keep them full longer. Some of the best grain foods that you can choose are:

  1. Brown rice 
  2. Barley, quinoa, whole corn, etc.
  3. Wheat crackers and bread
  4. Whole wheat pasta 
  5. Steel-cut oats 
  • Fruits and Vegetables

A bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables is amongst the most popular healthy foods. These are low in fat and packed with nutrients, flavors, and minerals. Some of the best colorful fruits and vegetables that you can choose are:

  1. Apples, mangoes, oranges, pineapples 
  2. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates
  3. Citrus fruits: grapefruits and oranges.
  4. Peaches, pears, and melons
  5. Dark green vegetables: spinach and kale 
  6. Leafy green vegetables: cabbage and romaine 
  7. Tomatoes and avocados

Adding these healthy food items to a senior’s daily diet will not only keep them healthy but will reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health issues. 

Related: 3 Tips to Improve Your Memory – Home Instead Senior Care (

  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Beans
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Incorporate lean meats and fresh fish into your senior’s diet. We recommend serving these foods baked, boiled, grilled, and roasted instead of deep-frying. This is a great start to a healthy meal, as well as keeping your loved one from not becoming constipated and prevent weight gain in the long run. As they age, it may become difficult for a senior citizen to lose weight and burn calories. We suggest the following meats and fish for a balanced diet:

  1. A lean cut of beef or lamb
  2. Turkey and bacon.
  3. Chicken breast 
  4. Haddock, white fish, salmon, tuna, etc. 
  5. Shrimps, mussels, scallops, and lobsters
  6. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Dairy and Dairy Substitutes

Often, people experience joint pain, loss of bone mass, weakness, and slow movement as they age. A lack of proteins, vitamins, and calcium can lead to osteoporosis, causing the bones to become weak and more likely to break. In order to keep your senior bones healthy, you need to increase the intake of enriched milk substitutes such as:

  1. Sting cheese
  2. Low-fat milk 
  3. Low-fat cottage cheese 
  4. Plain, no-fat yogurt

The Bottom Line

As people age, it becomes quite essential to maintain a healthy diet. We hope that our guide will help you pick the best nutrient-rich food to meet your senior’s daily needs. If you’re looking for the most professional and friendly caregivers in Wilmington, NC, Home Instead Senior Care is the best choice. We have decades of experience in taking care of seniors’ meal prep and other lifestyle areas. For more information about our home care services, call (910) 342-0455 today!

Encouraging a Proper Diet For Your Senior

Regardless of age, proper nutrition and diet are essential to a long and happy life. This holds doubly true for senior citizens who are more susceptible to a number of different ailments and illnesses. Unfortunately, with age comes a number of roadblocks that make an idealized diet rather difficult to achieve.

In an earlier post, we mentioned a few tips on how to easily incorporate the necessary nutrition into your senior’s diet. Here we plan on imparting a few habits you can set today that will make the transition to a proper meal plan more streamlined and less time consuming!

Always Be Stocking

Stock your refrigerator and cupboards with healthy options.The key to proper nutrition is having access to healthy foods. Not only does this make cooking healthier meals more accessible, it removes temptation in the form of  unhealthy junk food and cuts down on unnecessary snacking!

Keeping in mind the essential vitamins and nutrition your senior requires, stock up your refrigerator and pantry with health conscious items such as yogurt, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and more. Whether you cook for your senior or they cook for themselves, always staying stocked will cut down on the time needed to prepare a healthy, and above all, delicious meal.

Prep Your Ingredients

One of the more time consuming facets of making your own meals is the work that goes into preparing ingredients for cooking. The act can be exhausting Prepping meals saves time and energy in the long run. , especially for seniors who struggle with joint and muscle pains, and can extinguish any inspiration to cook outright!

If you know your senior likes to cook for themselves, seeking out prepared ingredients that have already been chopped, washed, or cooked can cut both time and possibilities of injury! Prepping multiple servings in one day can also make healthy eating a possibility for busier days in the future!

Cook According to Your Senior’s Conditions

Tailoring your senior's nutrition to their condition is a smart choice. Like we mentioned earlier, growing older can come with a variety of health issues like arthritis or gum disease that make healthy eating more of a hassle than it’s worth. With that in mind, planning meals and ingredients around your senior’s unique circumstances can go a long way towards making a lasting shift in diet.

Incorporate baked or mashed potatoes and other easily chewed foods like pasta, and fish that promise both flavor and high nutritional value. If maintaining weight is something your senior struggles with, adding high calorie but healthy food like peanut butter and avocado can help in that regard. There are a number of ways you can tailor your senior’s nutrition to their condition. What matters most is maintaining open communication and refining your meal plan until both of you are satisfied.


Nutrition will always be essential in maintaining our health as we age. Whether you cook for yourself or plan on cooking for your senior, incorporating these three habits into your meal prep plan can make proper nutrition an attainable goal!