Senior Nutrition, pt 6

Continuing our series on senior food and nutrition, we are pleased to welcome content submitted by, a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents.


Seniors should be conscious of getting a balanced diet. Balance will help to maintain optimal health.

Don’t Neglect the Need for Protein: While it might seem easy to just skip the protein portion of the meal at dinner time, it’s important for seniors who don’t eat meat to seek out alternatives to ensure they’re eating enough to meet their needs. That means opting for foods such as beans, quinoa and plant-based meat alternatives whenever possible instead of skipping the protein option altogether.

Consume B12 and Iron-Rich Foods: Those who don’t eat meat are frequently lacking in vitamin B12 and iron. That’s because most often, these crucial nutrients come directly from meat consumption. Eating foods that are rich in B12 and iron can go a long way in keeping nutrient levels where they need to be and keeping energy levels high.

Good non-animal sources of these nutrients can include:

— Chickpeas
— Lentils
— Tofu
— Kale
— Hemp seeds
— Pumpkin seeds
— Chia seeds
— Nuts

Take Supplements: When a person doesn’t consume dairy or meat products, it’s not just B12 and iron that they’re missing out on. Important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, which typically come from dairy products, can also be depleted within their bodies. Vegans, especially seniors, should talk with their physician about getting tested for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.

Enjoy Plant-Based Alternatives: Vegan food options have come a long way in recent years. Meat substitutes such as veggie burgers, chicken nuggets and sausages, as well as eggs, cheese, yogurt and milk, are more widely available. Seniors can ingest plenty of healthy nutrients from these foods and should consider including them in place of animal products. These products can be high in sodium, so be sure to check the nutrition facts and incorporate plenty of other, lower-sodium food in your diet.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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