Nutrition Strategies for Active Older Canadians

Friday, January 27, 2017

By: Diana Steele

Playing golf, walking the dog, gardening or helping your kids with home renovations all require a steady supply of energy for your body.  Whether you have a busy social schedule or you do a lot of travel, thinking ahead about meal and snack planning can be challenging.  In fact, a survey found that although boomers strive to eat a healthy diet they are only doing so about half the time.[1]

Here are a few strategies to ensure active older adults, 55 and over, get the energy they need and eat well consistently, not just when they think about it.

  1. Food is your fuel and you need a regular source.  Try not to go more than 4 hours without eating.  Think about your day before you leave the house and decide what you should bring if you will be out over a meal or snack time.  Often just packing a peanut butter and jam sandwich or an apple and a yogurt can tide you over until you get home.
  2. Start with a balanced breakfast and include a good source of protein.  Protein will act like an anchor for your energy and make it last longer. Instead of having just toast and juice; add an egg or 1 Tbsp. peanut butter to your meal. 
  3. If you golf, be sure to toss a granola or fruit and nut bar into your golf bag.  Trail mix is another long lasting snack.  If you are golfing over the lunch hour, pack crackers and cheese or a nutritional drink like BOOST® High Protein.
  4. Keep emergency snacks in the car.  Portion-controlled snacks that provide a great source of protein and energy in a portable, on the go container are ideal.  Pre-portion ½ cup trail mix, 12 almonds and 6 dried apricots, a mini tin of tuna and wasa crackers or BOOST® High Protein , all terrific options.  Research shows that eating pre-portioned, calorie set snacks can help people better control their calorie intake. [2]
  5. Focus on fruits and vegetables. 

Healthy Protein-Packed Snack Ideas:

  1. Mashed black beans with lime, cumin and cilantro spread on whole grain crackers
  2. Hard boiled egg
  3. BOOST® High Protein
  4. Wasa crispbread topped with chopped tomato, green onion and parmesan grilled
  5. Cottage cheese and canned fruit
  6. Dry cereal and milk
  7. Greek yogurt and canned peaches
  8. Ripe banana, milk and cinnamon shake
  9. Cucumbers and carrots with hummus dip
  10. Apple slices with almond or peanut butter
  11. Peanut butter banana wrap on a small whole grain tortilla
  12. Shrimp, Greek yogurt and dill on cucumber rounds

This article has been sponsored by BOOST, but all comments and opinions are my own.

[1] Boost 100 Calorie Snack Poll, 2015

[2] Do calorie-controlled portion sizes of snacks reduce energy intake? Stroebele N et al. Appetite. 2009 Jun; 52(3): 793–796.