The food pyramid that we’re all familiar with is a way of the past, with a new MyPlate formula taking its place. However, the latest research from Tufts University indicates that MyPlate is not quite suited to the distinct dietary needs of older adults. So Tufts developed the MyPlate for Older Adults which:
- Continues to emphasize nutrient-dense food choices and the importance of fluid balance, but
- Has added guidance about forms of foods that could best meet the unique needs of older adults, and stresses the importance of regular activity.
Since older adults tend to need fewer calories as they age, but their bodies still require the same or higher levels of nutrients for optimal health, the recommended focus includes:
- Whole, enriched, and fortified grains and cereals, such as brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread.
- Brightly-colored vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli.
- Deeply-colored fruit, such as berries and melon.
- Low- and non-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and low-lactose milk.
- Dry beans and nuts, fish, poultry, lean meat and eggs.
- Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads low in saturated and trans fat.
- Appropriate fluid intake.
- Physical activity, such as walking, house work and yard work.
Additionally, suggested modifications include bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables that can be resealed, and single-serve portions of canned fruit – choices that can be easier to prepare and have a longer shelf life, minimizing waste.
For more tips on how to help older adults eat healthier, call on the aging care experts at Visiting Angels in California. A helping hand from one of our skilled home caregivers can make all the difference in the world in the quality of life for your senior loved one. Call us at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale, or 510-284-0000 in Fremont to learn more.