It’s no secret that seniors like to eat sweets. Spend any time with a senior citizen and you’re likely to be offered candy, desert, or a cookie. While tasty forms of hospitality, this growing love of sugar among the elderly is the result of a natural human progression that we will all experience.
The sense of taste is directly correlated to the number and sensitivity of taste buds. Humans have between 10,000 and 15,000 taste buds at our best. However, as we age we lose taste buds and the ones we have left become increasingly less sensitive. As a result, sweets and salts take over our cravings as we try to get the same enjoyment out of eating. Unfortunately, these foods often come with increased calorie counts and greater amounts of fat. The lack of nutritional value in these foods can be particularly dangerous for a senior’s diet, putting them at risk for severe health concerns.
Our senior home care professionals experience this everyday while working to keep their patients eating healthy. It can be hard to curve the senior sweet tooth, but there are good tactics to keep them eating healthy while still enjoying the foods they eat. Below are some healthy snacks that make for great substitutes to sugary treats:
- Cut fruit mixed with flavored yogurt
- Applesauce with cinnamon
- Seedless grapes with honey
- Vegetables with nut butter dip
If a senior has trouble swallowing or digesting solids, a great solution is blended drinks. Preparing fruit smoothies can be a healthy treat that also has great nutritional benefits.
When it comes to preparing foods for seniors, it’s important to not deny them their cravings. It’s important to maintain a good balance of sugary treats with nutritional food options in a senior meal plan. With home care resources and professional caregiver support, Best Home Care helps personal care assistants and the family caregiver build healthy senior home care plans. Contact our Twin Cities home care professionals to learn more!