Do you often feel a bit peckish between meals? Or perhaps you’ve been favoring small snacks throughout the day as opposed to larger meals? Has a decrease in appetite or certain medications made it hard for you to find snacks you love? Whatever your relationship with snacks, you can’t deny the importance of eating well-balanced and nutritious food, even at snack time. Scroll down to review our mega-list of healthy snacks for seniors. Whatever your health concerns and taste preferences, we’ve got some snack options for you.
Healthy Snacks for Seniors
In your youth, you might have been told not to snack between meals. But in your sunset years, snacking can actually be beneficial. Many people experience a dip in appetite as they age, and snacking can help compensate for the lower amount of nutrients they obtain during meals. For example, many older people don’t get sufficient calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B12. Just keep in mind that a snack should be nutritious and modest in size, not an indulgent midday treat. Let’s explore some tasty options!
If you’re not the biggest fan of vegetables, you might roll your eyes at the idea of snacking on them. But veggies are more dynamic than you might think! Paired with the right dip, roasted to crispy perfection, or tossed in spicy wasabi, vegetables can make for a fun and satisfying midday snack.
- Fresh vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes)
- Vegetables with hummus
- Vegetables with tzatziki or labneh
- Kale chips
- Steamed edamame
- Wasabi peas
- Avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper
- Salsa with whole-grain chips
P.S. Some of the items we’ve mentioned above (like cucumbers and bell peppers) are technically fruits, but you get the idea!
Fruits are full of nutrients as well as natural sugars, making them an excellent dessert alternative. They’re absolutely delicious on their own, but we’ve also listed a few ideas that go one or two (or a few) steps further.
- Fresh fruit (apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, grapes, kiwis, mangos, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberries)
- Fruit smoothie
- Homemade apple chips
- Dried fruit
- Frozen grapes
- Sauteed apples, pears, or peaches with cinnamon
Dairy-based snacks often pack a punch of calcium, protein, and healthy fat. Let’s peruse some possibilities . . .
- Cheese (whatever kind you like)
- Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit (watch out for added sugars in yogurt!)
- Hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with salt, pepper, and maybe some hot sauce
- Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
- Feta and watermelon bites
Nutritious Nuts, Seeds, & Popcorn
In addition to their satisfying crunch, nuts provide healthy fats and protein. Watch your portion size, however! Nuts are quite high in calories, and it’s very easy to overindulge. In addition, when purchasing nut butter, avoid added sugars and hydrogenated oils. Ideally, your peanut butter or almond butter will only contain nuts and possibly salt.
- Unsalted nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts)
- Sunflower seeds
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Banana slices with peanut butter
- Popcorn (ideally with minimal ingredients and no butter)
- Rice cake sandwiches with peanut butter and fruit
- Roasted chickpeas
We know how tempting and addictive snacks like chips and cookies can be, but we promise that if you give some of these healthy snacks for seniors a try, you’ll find some nutritious new favorites. Maybe you’re bored by carrot sticks and apple slices, but you can enjoy some crunchy roasted chickpeas dusted in curry powder, spicy salsa with whole-grain chips, or frozen grapes.
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you to explore the community, speak with the Community Director, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!