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Nutrition is important for all ages, including older adults.  It is well established that a healthy, balanced diet reduces the risk of health problems and hospitalizations.  But changes take place as we age that can make it difficult to make smart food choices. 

Not hungry?

Loss of appetite can be the result of a slowing metabolism, reduced calorific needs or a side effect of medication.  Being active will keep your metabolism fired-up.  If medication is the culprit, talk to your doctor about alternatives.   

Bored of eating alone?

Eating alone can take the joy out of food, making it more of a necessity, rather than a pleasurable activity.  Connect with friends and meet for meals. Take turns to cooking new recipes for each other.  Community halls and religious centers often offer senior luncheons.  You can get a freshly cooked meal and meet new people at the same time. 

Problems digesting vegetables?

Digestion slows down as we age.  Fiber-rich vegetables can take a toll on the gut causing bloating and discomfort.  Opt for vegetable soups and stews.  These are easier on the stomach but still provide all the nutritional benefits.  

Favorite meal not so tasty anymore? 

Taste buds change throughout our lifetime.  This is a great opportunity to explore new foods and seasonings to find out what tickles your taste buds.  Rather than relying on salt to make food tasty, choose healthy alternatives, such as garlic, lemon, turmeric or herbs.  

Difficulty swallowing foods?

Dehydration can lead to inadequate salivation.  This can cause foods to get stuck in the throat.  Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.  Take small sips with a meal to swallow foods more easily.