As a dietitian, many Elders have talked to me about food’s role in honouring our bodies and connecting us to others and to our traditions. Considering these aspects of eating can make a big difference to the health and well-being of seniors!
Wondering what you can do to eat better as you age? Or maybe you’re looking to support healthy eating for older adults in your family and community? Here are a few suggestions:
Get back to the Canada’s Food Guide basics
Look to Canada’s Food Guide when making food choices. Include a variety of foods from the four food groups: fruit and vegetables, grains, milk & alternatives, and meat & alternatives. As you age, your body needs more of certain nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. Foods that are good sources of calcium are milk (canned, powdered or fresh), fortified soy beverage, yogurt, cheese, seaweed and fish with bones. If you are over the age of 50, take a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.
Consider joining a local food program
Programs that may be available in your community include:
- Elders or seniors luncheons to share a healthy meal with others
- Cooking groups to develop food skills like Food Skills for Families
- Meals on Wheels for hot lunch deliveries
- Good Food Box for a monthly offering of fresh, local produce
Eating together is fun and enjoyable! Also, did you know that people who eat together, eat better? How does sharing dinner with a friend, joining an Elders luncheon group or teaching your grandkids a traditional family recipe sound?
Cook for yourself – you are worth the effort
Healthy meals are important for families of all sizes. A simple meal can be a healthy meal – aim to include at least three out of the four food groups. For example, yogurt with granola and berries or toast topped with baked beans and a glass of milk. Freeze leftovers for a quick meal later or reinvent them into a completely new meal.
Need some quick and easy inspiration? Here’s a tasty recipe I call “Leftover” Frittata. You can use any vegetables, meat, or fish that you want!
Makes 4 servings.
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 cup vegetables of your choice, diced
- ½ cup cooked meat or fish of your choice, diced
- 1 tsp dried herbs of your choice
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup cheese, shredded (optional)
- ⅓ cup milk
- In an ovenproof skillet, cook vegetables with oil over medium heat until soft. Any vegetables like onion, broccoli, potato, spinach, carrot or red pepper work well. Add herbs and chopped meat or fish.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and cheese. Pour into skillet and stir to combine with veggies and meat. Let cook until edge is starting to set.
- Place skillet under broiler for about 3 minutes or until top is set and light golden.
To make a balanced meal, enjoy with toast, potatoes or rice and a glass of milk!
For personalized nutrition counselling, ask to be referred to a registered dietitian in your community or call HealthLink 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian over the phone.
About Emilia Moulechkova
As a Community Dietitian based in Terrace, Emilia supports 15 different aboriginal communities in the Nass Valley, Kitimaat Village and the Hazeltons. Emilia recently completed her dietetics internship with Northern Health as part of her dietetics training from the University of British Columbia. She is passionate about finding unique, client-centered approaches to supporting families in their current feeding efforts. In her free time, Emilia enjoys cooking, mountain biking and cross country skiing.