How to Overcome the Roadblocks to Healthy Eating

 Here are some suggestions on how to deal with common problems that can make it difficult for older people to follow a healthy diet.

Tired of Cooking or Eating Alone?

Eating with others during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 epidemic, you can protect yourself and others by following the CDC guidelines. Instead of eating out at an adult center or place of worship, consider exchanging recipes with friends or joining an online cooking class.

Maybe you are tired of planning and cooking dinner every night. Have you ever considered potluck diet? If everyone brings one portion of food, cooking is much easier, and there may be something left to share. Or try cooking with a friend for a meal that you can enjoy together. Also look for food at a nearby elders' center, community center, or place of worship. Not only will you enjoy free or inexpensive meals, but you will have some company while you eat.

Give Cooking TryVegetable remove fry

It's never too late to learn the skills of cooking — or refining those that you may not have used in a long time. You can go online to find information about basic cooking techniques and recipes for one person. Borrow simple cookbooks from your local library, or try an adult education cookbook. TV cooking games can be helpful — they often show you step-by-step how to prepare and cook food. Some grocery stores have cooking courses to answer your questions.

Problems with Chewing?

Do you avoid certain foods because they are difficult to chew? People with dental problems or dentures often avoid eating meat, fruit, or vegetables and may miss out on essential nutrients. If you have a problem with chewing, see your dentist to check for problems. If you have dentures, your dentist can see how they fit in.

Sometimes It Is Hard to Swallow Your Food?

If food appears to be stuck in your throat, it may be that a small amount of saliva in your mouth makes it difficult for you to swallow your food. Or, there may be other reasons you have trouble swallowing your food, including problems with the muscles or nerves in your throat, problems with your esophagus, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Talk to your doctor about what could be causing your swallowing problems.

Food Taste Different?

Is the food tasteless as you remember? It may not be the chef's fault! Maybe your sense of taste, smell, or both have changed. Growing up, having dental problems, and side effects can cause your nerves to change. Taste and smell are important in the search for healthy food and nutrition. Must Try to add fresh herbs, spices, or lemon juice in your plate. If you drink alcohol or smoke, cutting back on food can improve your sense of taste.

Feeling Sad and Do Not Want to Eat?

Feeling blue is now common, but if you continue to feel sad, seek help from your doctor. Unhappiness can cause food loss. Help may be available. You may need to talk to someone who is trained to work with depressed people.

Aren't you just hungry?

Maybe you're not sad, but you can't eat too much. Changes in your body as you grow older can cause some people to feel full faster than when they were younger. Or malnutrition may be the result of an overdose — your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication.

Try to exercise. In addition to all the other benefits of exercise and exercise, it may leave you hungry.

If you are not hungry because the food is not appealing, there are ways to make it more delicious. Make sure your food is spiced up, but not with too much salt. Try using lemon juice, vinegar, or herbs to enhance the flavor of your food.

Change the shape, color, and texture of the food you eat. When shopping, look for fresh vegetables, fruit, or seafood that you have never tried or eaten before. Sometimes grocery stores have recipe cards next to items. Or ask production workers or meat or marine department officials for suggestions on how to prepare fresh food. You can also find recipes online.

Overcooked food tends to have less flavor. Try for a short time cooking or boiling your vegetables , and see if that gives you a sense of taste that will help arouse your interest.

Having trouble getting enough calories?

Image of Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging infographic.

If you don't eat enough, add snacks throughout the day to help you get extra nutrients and calories. Raw vegetables with low-fat, hummus, cheese and a piece of fruit whole grain crackers, unsalted nuts, or peanut butter are good examples. You can try adding low-fat roasted cheese or popcorn or sprinkling nuts or wheat germ into yogurt or cereal.

If you eat so little that you lose weight but do not need to, your doctor may suggest a dietary supplement. Sometimes these ingredients help malnourished people to lose weight. If so, they should be used as a snack between meals or after dinner, not instead of eating and not just before one. Ask your doctor about how to select a supplement.

Physical Problems That Make It Hard to Eat?

Sometimes illnesses such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, or arthritis can make it difficult for you to cook or eat. Your doctor may recommend an occupational therapist. He or she may suggest that you rearrange items in your kitchen, customize your wrist, or give you special exercises to strengthen your muscles. Devices such as special dishes and plates can make mealtime easier or help with food preparation.

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