NutritionWhether you’re looking to trim down for your upcoming beach trip or on the flipside, ensure you don’t lose too much weight as you get older, don’t miss these helpful summer nutrition reminders and healthy meal ideas for seniors:

Make Healthy Swaps

Summer is ripe with picnics, parades, and vacations that are often filled with sweets, carbs, and lots of eating out. When it comes to chomping down on all your favorite summer staples, a few healthy swaps can go a long way towards improving your nutrition:
  • Swap ice cream for low-fat yogurt in your favorite shakes and smoothies and add spoonfuls of nut butters for that extra punch of protein
  • Swap refined white sugar for natural alternatives like honey, maple syrup, or dates in your baked goods
  • Swap high-fructose juices and lemonades for cool glasses of water infused with refreshing flavors like lemon, cucumber, or lavender
  • Swap processed salad dressings for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice
  • Swap butter on your toast for fresh avocado (add sliced tomato and a little salt and pepper for a super snack)

Stay Hydrated

It’s easy for seniors to become dehydrated, especially during hot summer months where you are more likely to be outside losing valuable fluids through sweat. Make sure you stay hydrated by not just drinking plenty of water throughout the day, but by consuming nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables that are chock-full of water as well like cucumbers, spinach, grapes, celery, carrots, watermelon, and cantaloupe.

Complement Your Diet with Exercise

Give your body a reason to use up all those wonderful vitamins and minerals you are consuming by finding fun, active ways to exercise each day. Sunny summer days provide the perfect opportunity to get outside and participate in activities like hiking, cycling, swimming, golfing, playing tennis, practicing yoga, and canoeing.

Eat Fresh

Take advantage of all the fresh fruits and vegetables summer has to offer by way of local farmers markets, grocers, and roadside stands. It’s your chance to skip out on the frozen meals or canned goods you may be used to and instead opt for farm-fresh options like summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, cherries, apricots, bell peppers, corn, arugula, beets, radishes, cucumbers, and strawberries.

Make Smart Choices When Traveling

It’s so easy to opt for unhealthy snacks when traveling because of the ease and convenience junk food provides. Quickly stopping over for a burger and fries while on a long road trip or grabbing a cheesy biscuit sandwich in the airport before your flight is second nature to most Americans. These unhealthy choices can quickly add up, however, and contribute to weight gain, sluggishness, and digestive issues that can upset any trip. 

Plan ahead by packing your own healthy snacks that travel well and are easy to eat - think whole grain chips, carrots, dried fruit, cheese sticks, berries, you get the idea. FYI, food is totally allowed through TSA airport security and onto the plane as long as the liquid content of it isn’t too high. More info here.

Tackle Your Biggest Culprits

It’s never too late to get your diet under control when it comes to your health. If you have been recommended to adjust your meals due to concerns over blood pressure, diabetes, weight, or even osteoporosis, now is the time to take action and set yourself up for success the second half of the year. 

This may involve limiting your salt intake, switching to low-fat dairy products instead of whole fat, or upping your intake of calcium-rich foods like spinach, sardines, and milk. If you have a specific medical condition, talk to your doctor about which diet modifications can most effectively help you.