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Snacking tips to build strength in seniors

Young or in your Senior years, snacking is common. But as an elderly, special attention is needed for what they eat so that they are getting the required daily nutrients, vitamins, and calcium. Let us say you have got your regular big meals planned, but how about the in-betweens? The snacks? Here are a couple of tips to help you out. Changing is hard so doing it little at a time makes the world of difference and sets you on a path of good health. If you as a senior needs help, never feel troubled to ask for assistance from friends, family, or even at care services.1

Three Meals a Day, well not really

This type of 3 meal plan may work for some, but not all. As a senior, you should try a four to six bit size meal every few hours for better health results. That means to not eat more than the required, it is just dividing what you would eat in 3 into smaller and frequent meals. This will look like snacking and it could be good because who doesn’t love snacks? This type of meal eating with supervision or advised by the physicians or related health care providers can sustain blood sugar levels, maintain weight, metabolism improvement, overall cholesterol lowering, and prevent heartburn.3

 Eating before workouts

Your body’s fuel is carbs and it is important that you get enough. Because a senior’s digestive system may not be as good as it was when they were half the age, it is best to not eat a lot before working out. A pre workout snack should be eaten about one to 3 hours before that is easy to digest. Don’t be fooled by energy drinks, most have way too much sugar. Try a nice fruit, toast with honey or jam, yogurt, or even Ensure.2

 What to get snacking on

When snacking, being nutritionally dense as possible is key. While stocking up on groceries, try finding salmon, dark greens, chickpeas, whole wheat items, blueberries, mixed nuts, pumpkin, and a few cheeses. Take any of those ingredients and add a bite sized portion onto lightly toasted French bread to make High Tea snacks or even pack after workout snacks when going out for a jog. Instead of grabbing sodium ridden chips, why not go for crunchy veggies with hummus? If you don’t like veggies, why not make do with yogurt with a selection of cubed fruits or have a hard-boiled egg with your choice of low sodium seasoning. A cheaper way to snack is to make some from leftovers. When eating out, don’t eat your whole order, pack some away and eat portions of it as a snack when you want to within a week. Leftover turkey or chicken can be mashed to make spreads or added to a salad in another meal. Or if you are wondering if you can use meal replacement items or supplements in place of snacks, yes you can, but keep an eye out for your daily calories and protein needs and adjust. With the recommendation of a Nutritionist or your Medical Professional, you can enjoy one glass of Ensure, complete with vitamins, minerals, protein, and unique ingredient HMB (Hydroxyl methyl butyrate, for preserving muscles), at snack time to fill nutritional gaps.1, 2, 3, 4

References:

  1. https://ensure.com/blog/nutrition-matters/snacks-meals
  2. https://ensure.ca/en/stay-active/what-to-eat-before-a-workout
  3. https://ensure.com/blog/nutrition-matters/magic-of-mini-meals-dont-be-trapped-by-three-meals-a-day
  4. https://www.commonwisecare.com/healthy-snacks-for-old-people/