245 Fairview Mall Dr #401 North York, ON M2J 4T1, Canada

About Comfort Keepers

Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

Areas Served

Uplifting In-Home Care Services for Seniors & Other Adults Right Where You Need It. Comfort Keepers Toronto, ON provides in home care services and senior care in the following cities in Ontario: Toronto, North York, East York, York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, Leaside, and Agincourt

Senior Nutrition: Getting The Most Out Of Your Diet by Comfort Keepers of Canada® At Toronto

Health Eating for Seniors  |  July 29, 2015

As we age, our bodies slow down. We lose muscle mass, our thirst sensation decreases, and things such as cooking and grocery shopping become a little more difficult than they used to be when we were 50 or 60. Getting the proper nutrition just isn’t as easy as it used to be, but given the human body’s decline towards the later part of life, those nutrient rich foods are needed now more than ever.

The Importance Of Nutrition As You Age: Modified Food Pyramid

As seniors age they typically become less active and their metabolisms slow. As a result, they require fewer calories. But their need for essential, health-promoting vitamins and minerals does not decline. If anything, it increases. This need is reflected in a modified food pyramid developed for older adults. First published in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, it resulted from a study supported by a grant from the Ross Initiative on Aging at Tufts University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A Guide To Senior Nutrition

Based on an estimated daily energy intake of 1,200 to 1,600 calories for persons 70 and older, the Modified Food Pyramid emphasizes a “nutrient dense” diet of whole grain foods, varied colored fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats, fish and poultry. The Tufts study also found that seniors should check with their primary care provider to see if they need dietary supplements for calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B12 and D, as they may not be getting an adequate supply from their diet.

With age, we lose the ability to properly absorb B12. And seniors are commonly deficient in Vitamin D as they drink less milk and get less sunlight. Unlike the standard USDA Food Guide Pyramid, which is anchored by grain foods, the senior pyramid floats on a foundation of water. As seniors experience a decline in the thirst sensation, dehydration is a common problem. The modified pyramid advises seniors to drink eight or more eight-ounce glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration, kidney dysfunction and constipation. Some medications also affect hydration. Food and beverages with high water content, such as lettuce, vegetable juice and soups, also help satisfy this requirement.

Following are other tips for healthful, nutrient-rich eating for seniors:

  • Choose whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, rolled oats and barley. Avoid refined white flour or white rice.
  • Spice up bland food to make it more appetizing. Try lemon juice, herbs and spices.
  • Enrich foods to boost nutrition. For instance, spread peanut butter on toast or crackers, or add cheese, lean meat and extra veggies to sandwiches, soups, rice and noodles.
  • Snack healthfully. This is especially helpful for seniors who have small appetites and need an energy boost between meals. Examples of healthful snacking: bite-sized pieces of cheese, crackers, peanut butter or a piece of fruit. For those who cannot eat enough to maintain or gain weight, meal replacement drinks, such as Ensure® or Boost® provide complete nutrition.
  • Eat raw vegetables and fruits. Try to eat at least one raw serving a day. Raw fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to aid digestion. Cut into small pieces or grate and add to other dishes, if biting or chewing is a problem.
  • Choose lean protein and calcium-rich dairy. Fish, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and tofu are good choices for protein. Limit red meat and cured meats like bacon and ham. Low-fat milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt provide calcium. Use butter, cream cheese and cream sparingly. If lactose-intolerant, try a calcium supplement.

Exercise’s Role In The Senior Diet

The senior pyramid also emphasizes the important role of physical activities that are within the capability of many older adults, such as walking, yard work and swimming. Exercise stimulates appetite, helps alleviate depression and strengthens muscles and bones. Before beginning a new exercise routine, however, seniors should check with their physicians.

For additional information on Comfort Keepers of Canada® at Toronto or any other Comfort Keepers of Canada® location please visit our home page or call us at 416-663-2930.

Individualized Home Care Options

Long-Term Home Care, 24 Hour Home Care & Short Term Care Options Customized for You