A nutrient-rich diet is important at any age, but even more so for seniors. Bone loss and physical degeneration means that seniors need to maintain their nutritional balance in order to lead a healthy, active life. One major stumbling block is that seniors generally live on a fixed income.
A nutrient-rich diet is important at any age, but even more so for seniors. Bone loss and physical degeneration means that seniors need to maintain their nutritional balance in order to lead a healthy, active life.
One major stumbling block is that seniors generally live on a fixed income. Food manufacturers create products with a long shelf life, making the food both visually appealing and cheap. This adds to the challenge of finding good foods in packages. However, it is possible to eat a nutritionally balanced diet on a fixed income and according to the season-it just takes knowledge and planning. Follow these tips to stretch your nutritional dollar.
- Eat the basics: corn on the cob, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Packaged food is expensive.
- Buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic if you can. This is not so easy in the winter, but the less distance the food has to travel to get to you the lower the cost to the consumer and the less nutrition lost.
- Buy food that's in season. That way you can get the most nutritious food available at the lowest cost.
- Look for substitutes. The time of year or market demand can make shopping for your favourite food a challenge. Be shopping savvy. If the price of potatoes jumps up one week, substitute yams or turnips. The variety in your diet is good for you.
- Try a home food delivery service. These "home-town" services offer a great variety and save travel time. Many companies have a fixed-price format, a great way to make sure you spend the same amount of money when you buy each week.
- Frozen vegetables are a good value, both nutritionally and financially. Nutrients are not lost in the processing, unlike with canned foods.
- Buy in case-lots for your most frequently used food items. Split the cost with a friend.
- Look at the food store flyers that come to your house. Check for deals on food and make sure to bring the coupons with you. Use automatic discount cards where available. Ask about a seniors discount day at the store and plan your
shopping trip accordingly.
- If you like to snack between meals, nuts and seeds are better than potato chips and candies. They provide the essential fatty acids and other nutrients your body craves. Be sure to soak and blend them for easier digestibility.