As you get older, convenience becomes increasingly important. However, reaching for that pre-packaged snack isn’t necessarily a good idea. Even if it claims to be “healthy,” it is probably laden with extra sugar, salt and preservatives. Instead, try these six healthy snack solutions for seniors:
- Veggies & Hummus– Vegetables are full of healthy nutrients. Try cutting up carrots, broccoli and cucumbers, or purchase baby carrots or grape tomatoes. Serve them with a tasty dip like hummus. Hummus is loaded with fiber and protein and new research suggests it can even lower your blood pressure!
- Fresh Fruit– As we get older, our digestive system takes a bit of a hit. Constipation is a reality many seniors face. That’s why snacks that are high in fiber are beneficial. Fruit is a great solution because it provides a healthy dose of fiber and contains natural hydrating juices. Plus, fresh fruit is loaded with antioxidants, and is a natural way to satisfy a sweet tooth. You really can’t go wrong!
- Cheese– Cheese is a filling and easy snack that provides protein, which helps reduce frailty syndrome by serving to repair cells and tissues, produce red blood cells that carry oxygen and antibodies that fight disease. Plus, the calcium is great for strong bones. Look for low-fat cheese sticks for a quick snack on the go.
- Raisins, Craisins & Prunes – Dried fruit such as raisins, Craisins (dried cranberries) and prunes provide a healthy dose of fiber to assist with digestion and combat constipation. They are also a chewy treat that helps fight bacteria that leads to gum disease and cavities. And since they’re naturally sweet, they can satisfy your sugar cravings, too.
- Hard-Boiled & Deviled Eggs– Hard-boiled eggs make a convenient, satisfying snack and are a great source of protein. Eat them plain or dress them up as deviled eggs. Make a batch on Sunday and they can last the whole week in the fridge in the shell or 3-5 days if peeled.
- Nuts and Seeds– If you’re craving something crunchy, instead of crackers or chips, reach for nuts and seeds. In addition to being excellent sources of protein, nuts and seeds are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. And don’t worry about the fat content – nuts have the “good” fat and can provide a sense of fullness that causes you to eat less than you would a high-calorie, high fat snack. Plus, nuts are high in essential amino acids making them an important part of any senior snack.