Everyone knows that nutrition plays an important role in aging well. You are what you eat, they say. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will help give your body the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to maintain good health. While some dismiss snacking as unnecessary, many experts agree that snacks are valuable tools that can help seniors stabilize their blood sugar between meals and maintain their energy levels. Plus, many seniors struggle with poor appetites, and snacks allow them to supplement mealtimes. If you aren’t sure where to start with snacks, check out our top picks for healthy snacks for seniors below.
Healthy Snacks for Seniors
As you’re perusing snack options, focus on nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest. While it may be tempting to load up on sweet treats and salty snacks, they won’t be doing you or your body any favors due to their lack of nutrients.
For obvious reasons, some of the best healthy snacks for seniors are basic fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, peaches, bananas, clementines, pineapple, grapefruit – whichever fruits you prefer, they offer a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while also adding nutrients to your diet. Great vegetables for snacking include carrots, broccoli, edamame, cauliflower, tomatoes, and bell peppers. You may find it helpful to precut your veggies (and precook, if necessary), so that you always have a nutritious option ready to eat in the fridge.
Now let’s look beyond plain essentials of the produce aisle. These options offer a few ways to spice up basic fruits and veggies:
Fruit & Veggie Snacks
- Fruit salad
- Fruit smoothie
- Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon
- Apple slices dipped in unsweetened peanut butter
- Frozen grapes
- Frozen bananas
- Greek yogurt topped with fruit
- Veggie slices with hummus
- Veggie slices with a nutritious dip
- Avocado on whole-wheat toast
- Sliced tomato with feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil
- Sliced tomato and mozzarella drizzled with a balsamic glaze
- Homemade apple chips or sweet potato chips
- Kale chips
- Slices of bell pepper with guacamole
- Edamame sprinkled with sea salt or sesame oil
- Grilled pineapple or peaches
- Cucumbers sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder
- Whole grain chips with salsa
- Tzatziki dip with cucumber, bell peppers, and celery
- Natural popsicles made from fruit juice (no sugar added)
Other Nutritious Snacks
Now let’s look beyond the produce aisle. While we urge you to focus on fruits and vegetables for your snacks, you may also want to incorporate some protein and whole grains into your diet through snacking.
Nuts are an especially great snack because they’re rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That said, it’s important to watch your serving size because they’re also high in calories and fat (healthy fats, but a little goes a long way). In addition, all nuts are not created equal. Avoid especially calorie-dense nuts like macadamia nuts, pine nuts, and cashews in favor of walnuts and pistachios.
- A handful of nuts (especially walnuts and pistachios)
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Popcorn (ideally air-popped or cooked on the stove with limited toppings)
- Hardboiled egg
- Whole grain crackers and cheese
- Roasted chickpeas
- Oatmeal with berries
Keep a few of these healthy snacks for seniors on hand so that you’re always prepared when hunger strikes.
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