Through her company, Walsh Nutrition Group, Walsh develops recipes and menus for food companies and restaurants and analyzes the nutritional content of foods you might order from a restaurant menu.
As she continues to help people become smarter and healthier shoppers and diners, Walsh said she hopes to put a new focus on helping her community’s aging population to be healthier through proper nutrition.
Walsh said she has become increasingly aware of the challenges that older people face when it comes to shopping, cooking and eating well.
“People living alone can find cooking challenging,” she said. Too often, they turn to unhealthy choices like fast food or frozen entrees.
Budget is another factor. Seniors with limited income often skimp on food in favor of other expenses, like medications and housing costs.
While Walsh works to determine the best way to share her knowledge with her aging neighbors, she offers a few pieces of advice that everyone, including seniors, can use.
Keep It Simple
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and nutritious. In fact, simple dishes with whole, less-processed foods often are the healthiest.
Visit Walsh’s website for some easy but tasty recipes to add to your cooking routine.
The Secret is in the Sauce
When eating in a restaurant, steer clear of heavy or creamy sauces. While tasty, they typically are loaded with fat and sodium.
Opt for meal choices that have lots of natural ingredients. That means fruits and vegetables. If ordering a salad, go for the vinaigrette, or plain oil and vinegar to cut down on calories, sugar, fat and salt.
Dine With a Friend
Restaurant portions are typically far larger than they need to be. Split a meal with a friend and you’ll cut down on calories as well as cost. If you and your dining partner don’t share the same taste in food, have the server split the meal for you and take half home for later.
Don’t Forget to Drink
Hydration is a big concern for aging adults, who don’t always feel their body’s need for fluid.
Walsh suggests keeping a water bottle nearby throughout the day, and even at night, to encourage frequent sips.
Remember to get fruits and vegetables in your diet too, as they count toward your fluid needs.
When Too Much Isn’t the Problem
For many older adults, a lack of appetite is a bigger problem than eating too much.
Don’t underestimate the power of a pretty plate, Walsh said. Make food look appetizing by creating an attractive and colorful presentation.
Appetite also can be stimulated by eating frequent, small meals throughout the day. Keep healthy snacks handy so you or your loved one can eat whenever they happen to feel hungry.
Have Fun With Food
Food is essential, but it also should be enjoyed.
Take your time to enjoy each bite. Whenever possible, share your meal with a companion.
And don’t be afraid to try new flavors. You’re never too old to find your next favorite food!