When it comes to good eating habits, the winter can add some barriers that make it harder for seniors to get all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep healthy and balanced.
When the winter weather hits and cold weather is in full force, seniors may find it more daunting to think about venturing out to the grocery store on a regular basis to get fresh produce, and might find themselves resorting to more prepared and packaged convenience foods. On top of this, there is a tendency for people to find themselves wanting just to eat comfort food when the weather is cold, which is absolutely fine as long as there is some balance and seniors are making sure that, along with those comforting foods that maybe aren’t the healthiest, they are also getting in ample fruits, vegetables, and nutrients.
Keeping Things Healthy and Balanced
Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables seems easier in the summer months, when produce is plentiful, so many fresh things are in season, and things just seem more available. Fruits and veggies are, however, just as important in the winter as they are when the weather is warm, there might just need to be a different approach that makes healthy food remain accessible to seniors when it is cold out.
- Stock Up: If one of the issues at play is that seniors are finding it more challenging to make their way to the store to buy fresh foods to eat with their pantry staples, make veggies easier to stock up on. Try buying frozen fruits and vegetables or produce that will last a long time in the fridge so that seniors can do one shop that will last them a long while but that also contains a good balance of delicious, healthy, and nutrient-dense foods.
- Root Veggies Are Your Friend: Root vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips, and yams are at their best in the winter. They are high in important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B, C, and A, and iron, and they also contain fiber and slow-release carbohydrates that help keep the tummy feeling full for longer. These foods are easy to cook and last a fair while in the fridge or pantry, so they are ideal and tasty ways for seniors to eat veggies in the winter.
- Leafy Greens are Nutrient Powerhouses: Dark leafy greens are packed full of vitamins and nutrients and are a great way to get a lot of nutrition in through one food. Things like spinach, kale, chard, and broccoli are great and are easy to find frozen or canned if that makes things more accessible.
- Citrus Time: In terms of fruit, citrus is your best bet in terms of seasonal things in the cold-weather months. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are high in Vitamin C and can help fight off colds when they start to circulate in the winter as well.
- Healthy Fats: Foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados are full of omega three fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation and therefore ease pain that might come in the cold-weather. These healthy fats also help to sustain the body and keep you full for longer.
- Supplement Where Necessary: If getting all the important vitamins and nutrients essential to health and wellbeing seems like it is becoming a real challenge in the winter, it might be time to consider a supplement or multivitamin that can act to make sure all the boxes are being checked and the body’s needs are being met.
Eating healthy is always important, but in the winter it can feel like a bit more of a challenge to make healthy foods a priority. Taking a few steps and making conscious choices that ensure seniors are getting all the nutrients they need can help maintain better health and wellbeing in the cold-weather months.