Once hot weather hits, it can feel like a chore to cook several times a day, but seniors need regular meals to stay fit, healthy, and active, and proper nutrition to ensure good joint and bone health! How can you help a senior in your life – or yourself, if you are a senior – keep healthy, nourishing food on hand to snack on in between meals?
These seven ideas can help you stay optimally healthy by providing a way to snack between meals:
- Nuts for healthy fats and protein. Shelled, roasted nuts with just a little salt or salt substitute can make a great snack, especially if you portion them into small baggies for single serve ease. Try a mix of almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and cashews for a great blend of flavors.
- Dried fruits for antioxidants. Banana and apple chips are an inexpensive start, and you can add dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries. Try figs, dates, and even plums if you want a boost of regularity.
- Cold carb salad. A pasta or potato salad can be made early in the morning before the heat strikes, and refrigerated to make a great, cool creamy snack or a filling dinner. Add chopped veggies or cook some turkey bacon to crumble on top.
- Cold protein salad. Chicken or tuna makes for a great protein packed salad that can be eaten off a lettuce leaf, between slices of bread, or on crackers for a filling meal that also provides you with much needed proteins.
- Healthy Oils. Use olive oil as a dip for seasoned toasted bread rounds, or try fish oils in the way of salmon as an upgrade from tuna for salad or sardines smashed on a cracker. Avocados are another antioxidant packed option – avocado toast is actually very good for you!
- Veggies for the win. Slice up red onion, bell pepper, raw carrots, cucumber and broccoli florets for a veggie plate that provides plenty of vitamins. Dip in ranch dressing, nut butter, or cream cheese for added flavor.
- Edamame. These soy pods are great steamed just until they are snap crunchy, and contain tons of anti-inflammatory properties as well as boosting cognition and mental health.
Some of these snacks can be made in bigger portions for a cool, fast meal, while others are better as a side or a quick snack in between meals. All of them are great for senior joints, and most can be made without turning on the stove or oven.
Having recurrent joint pain? Dr. Strasburger can help diagnose arthritis or deteriorated joints and let you know if non-invasive or surgical methods can restore your mobility and decrease your pain.