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Seniors Can Have Trouble Eating Right


Sometimes older people know all about nutrition and which foods they should be eating but they just can't do it. The FDA has produced a very helpful booklet called "Eating Well As We Age" available for free.

>>Download "Eating Well As We Age"


Here are some of the reasons and some possible solutions when Seniors do not eat right.


Can't Chew


Medicare and most other health insurance plans do not cover dental care, and seniors might not be able to afford to go to the dentist. Chewing fresh fruits and vegetables might be painful because of poorly fitting dentures or missing teeth. In addition, many who are seniors today have memories of traumatic and painful dental care and so can be afraid to go to a dentist.


Often seniors who can't chew are embarrassed and try to hide the problem from others. They may take very small bites or chew on one side or swallow without chewing.


The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) suggests trying other foods. For example, fruit juice instead of fruit and creamed or mashed cooked vegetables. Baby food has wonderful flavor and is made for people with no teeth at all!


Upset Stomach


Seniors can become sensitive to foods that don't bother younger people. Upset stomach is a common complaint and can mean a variety of conditions including constipation, "heart burn," and the feeling of food getting stuck in the esophagus.


Foods from the cabbage family such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli should be avoided. Instead, green beans, carrots and peas are good choices.


If milk causes upset stomach then foods with milk should be tried as a substitute including yogurt, cheese and pudding. A calcium supplement would provide an important nutrient that is found in milk.


Can't Shop For Food


The elderly can find it nearly impossible to shop for food. Sometimes it's because they can't drive. It could be because it is hard to walk or stand for a long time, or hard to bend and reach for food on the grocery shelves.


Most grocers offer a delivery service and purchases can be selected and ordered on line. Ask the grocer if this service is available. If not, then ask a neighbor or relative to help. Asking for help to eat right could mean living independently longer.