Choosing a great snack for a senior takes a little bit of additional effort than normal. You need to take certain things into consideration such as their unique need for certain vitamins and minerals, whether or not food is soft enough for them, or any other issues they may have.
The National Institute on Aging recommends these daily amounts of vitamins and minerals for seniors 50 and older:
- Vitamin D, 600-4,00 IU (International Units)
- Vitamin B6, 1.7mg (milligrams) for men, 1.5 mg for women
- Vitamin B12, 2.4mcg (micrograms)
- Folate, 400mcg
- Calcium, 1,000mg for men, 1,200mg for women
- Sodium, 1,500mg
Seniors have very specific needs as they age and giving them the right snacks can help to make sure they get the right amount of vitamins and minerals that they need to stay as healthy as possible.
Here are four suggestions of great snacks that seniors should eat:
- Fruit and Vegetable Blended Juices
Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Sometimes seniors may have trouble eating the harder fruit and vegetables such as carrots or apples, but if you blend them into a juice or a smoothie and serve it chilled, it would make a great, tasty snack that is easy for seniors to consume. Apples and durian are two fruits that are a great source of the B vitamins. Many fruit are a great source of folate. Tangerine, oranges, and kiwifruit are all great sources of calcium and can help to mask the taste of vegetables in a smoothie or blended juice.
- Whole Fruit and Vegetables with Cheese or Hummus
There is no substitute for fruit and vegetables. They make a great snack anytime. As long as the person doesn’t have trouble biting or eating the fruit and vegetables, you can give these whole along with cheese or hummus. If the senior person does have trouble with eating harder fruit and vegetables, try softer ones such as bananas, oranges, or leafy green vegetables.
Muffins make a great snack because they are soft, and if they are made with wheat, they are wholesome. They can be baked with fruit, giving them even more nutritional value. Muffins can provide calcium and sodium, plus whatever nutrients the fruit that you use has in it.
- Hard-boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs make a great snack for seniors because they are simple and easy to make. They are also soft so it is easy for seniors to eat. Eggs are also full of nutrients. They are a great source of B vitamins, vitamin D, and sodium. The center of the egg (the yolk) can be high in cholesterol, so you may want to take this part out, but you would also be removing some of the important nutrients.