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Easy Snacks for Older Adults

by Katie Riggs on September 5, 2016

getty_rm_photo_of_old_man_with_appleYou think kids are hard to feed, try seniors. They often have little or no appetite, refuse to eat and end up losing weight. The lack of appetite can be due to a number of things like poor teeth, a medicine that messes with their sense of taste, or in the case of dementia, they simply forget about eating.

One of the biggest challenge facing caregivers, whether it’s family, in-home care like At Home Preferred or at a nursing facility, is malnutrition. Seniors need to consume a variety of foods from all of the food groups to stay healthy and maintain their weight. There are two things of particular importance to seniors: protein and calcium. Protein repairs cells and helps produce red blood cells that carry oxygen. It also produces disease-fighting antibodies. Calcium and vitamin D help maintain bones.

It can be easier to get seniors to eat snacks that provide key nutrients and taste great rather than try to force them to eat meals. Snacks are typically light and are perceived as more enjoyable. Also, snacks are easy to prepare in advance and serve when Here are some snack ideas that are simple to prepare, easy to chew and taste good!

Classic-Deviled-Eggs-1Deviled eggs: Deviled eggs are a great source of protein. Start with hard-boil eggs that have been cooled. Remove the shells and slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk with a spoon and place in a dish. Add mayonnaise and stir until creamy. Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg hollows and sprinkle with paprika.

Cottage cheese with canned fruit: High in protein, cottage cheese is soft and easy to eat. Jazz it up with diced canned peaches or pears and a little of the fruit syrup.chocolate-milk

Flavored milk: Flavored milks, such as chocolate or strawberry, provide protein, calcium, vitamin D, and energy and are a quick, easy, and tasty snack.

Yogurt with fruit: Greek yogurt provides protein and calcium. Serve half a cup of plain or flavored yogurt topped with fresh berries or honey.

Milk pudding: Pudding is a tasty and convenient snack to keep on hand. Pudding can be bought as shelf-stable, individual servings or as fresh options that require refrigeration. Either way, they are tasty!

Cheese: Cheddar, Swiss, and mozzarella cheese are good options, but also try the many varieties of specialty cheeses. Cut the cheese into bite-sized cubes and serve with crackers or sliced fruit or berries.Plate of Mixed Cheeses

Ice cream with berry drizzle: Ice cream is a delicious treat that most people THRIVE-FullSugar-Vanillasimply cannot resist. There are also special ice creams like Thrive that are packed with protein, vitamins and probiotics. Try serving with puréed berries (frozen are fine) drizzled over ice cream.

Tuna salad: Tuna is inexpensive and simple to prepare. Purchase in cans or pouches – some even come in single servings! For a quick tuna salad, drain the tuna and mix with mayonnaise and seasonings. Tuna salad can be served with crackers.

At Home Preferred hopes these easy snack ideas make your elderly family member happy! We know they will deliver lots of great nutrition!