We all know by now that one of the greatest things you can do to promote healthy aging is by eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Making smart food choices include paying attention to not only breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also to snacks. Nutritious snacks are important in a senior’s diet- if you or a loved one are experiencing a decrease in appetite or do not enjoy a large meal like you used to, healthy snacks throughout the day can be more approachable (and also convenient!) In this article, we’ve rounded up 10 healthy snacks that can appeal to every appetite.
Greek Yogurt w/ Fresh Fruit
This nutrient dense snack is a great choice because it combines healthy protein, fat and minerals. Yogurt is also great for the digestive system, because it contains beneficial live cultures and enzymes. We prefer using plain Greek yogurt and using fruit or a drizzle of honey to add some extra flavor and sweetness.
Hard-boiled eggs are a quick grab-and-go snack that is also a great protein source. The eggs can be prepped in advance and will keep in the refrigerator for about 7 days. You can enjoy them plain, or with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Unsalted Mixed Nuts
Mixed nuts are an easy, no-prep needed snack. Choose a variety of nuts with heart-healthy fats and protein such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts and brazil nuts. You can also mix in dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins for a variety in taste and texture.
Fruit smoothies are nutrient rich and delicious, and the best part is: you can mix in other ingredients like spinach, protein powder, etc. and barely taste it! There are hundreds of smoothie combinations to try- just use your favorite frozen fruits, milk or yogurt, and any other additions!
Homemade granola is a great alternative to store bought granola, because you can control how much sugar is added and customize it to your liking. You can use a base of dried oats, dried fruit, nuts/seeds and add in honey or maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. Granola can be enjoyed atop yogurt, eaten like cereal or even enjoyed by the handful!
Veggies w/ Hummus
Raw vegetables with a delicious dip are a great way to get your servings of veggies in a day, and also a great source of fiber. Try carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Hummus is a tasty alternative to store-bought dips and dressings- and can be found in a variety of flavors like garlic, roasted red pepper or sun-dried tomato.
Sauteed Apples w/Cinnamon
Enjoy the taste of fall with this warming snack all year long! Cooked fruit is very easily digested, and is a great option for those on a soft-foods diet. It’s simple- cut an apple into ½ inch pieces, sauté with butter or coconut oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon until soft. Pears also work well as an alternative.
Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
This crunchy snack gives us a healthy boost of heart-healthy fats from the almonds and a boost of antioxidants from the dark chocolate. Just a hand-full a day keeps the sugar cravings away!
Fish like salmon and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. They also have an impressive amount of vitamin-D and calcium, which is beneficial for bone health. Make sure to look for canned fish in water or olive oil. Enjoy on top of crackers for a surprisingly satisfying snack.
Cottage cheese, like yogurt, is a great calcium source and also high in protein. This can be enjoyed plain or with a spoon-full of fruit preserves.