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Healthy Snack Ideas for Older Adults

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: February 3, 2023

Getting older doesn't automatically mean that you have to give up snacking. However, as you age, carefully choosing the types of snacks you consume becomes even more crucial. 

In a study conducted on a group of over-55-year-old Canadians, 82% of participants reported having snacks at home. Unfortunately, older adults aren't always picky about what to eat, and many of these snacks can be unhealthy or lacking in essential nutrients. Among things people over 55 should consume with caution are chips, candies, processed meats, pastries, and sugary drinks. 

Luckily, there are many alternatives that are both tasty and rich in nutrients. Keep reading and find out what they are.

#1 Greek Yogurt

Not only does this creamy and satisfying snack taste delicious, but it's also full of essential nutrients, making it the perfect choice for older adults looking to have a bite. While low in fat and sugar, Greek yogurt is packed with proteins, probiotics, vitamin B12, and calcium, which all provide a wide range of health benefits. The elderly can sometimes have missing teeth or have trouble chewing or swallowing and need a puréed food diet. In this case, greek yogurt is the perfect option, plus it can be a great energy source throughout the day. 

#2 Granola with Dried Fruit

An excellent alternative for those who want to combine nutrition, taste, and convenience is granola with dried fruit. The crunchy texture adds a delicious element to the snack, while the dried fruit provides antioxidants and natural sweetness. One advantage of this snack is that it comes in many different flavors, from blueberry cinnamon granola to the cranberry almond variety. This means you can try different versions of this snack until you find the one that suits your palate. It's an easy snack to make ahead and store for later. When needed, it can also be eaten on the go. It can provide older adults with multiple nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Granola with dried fruit is also a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbs.

#3 Oatmeal Bars

A very simple and portable snack you can eat without worrying about negative effects on your health is oatmeal bars. In addition to being full of vitamins and minerals, they can give older adults a lasting energy boost. Their high fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep seniors feeling fuller for longer. On top of that, oatmeal bars come in various flavors, meaning you're likely to find at least one variety you enjoy.

#4 Avocado Slices

Avocado slices are another excellent snack for older adults, thanks to their high nutritional value and many health benefits. Their creaminess makes them a delicious treat, while their healthy fats provide long-lasting energy. Among the nutrients in avocados, we find potassium, vitamin E, folate, and essential fats. They are loaded with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep you healthy as you age, protect you against diseases, and reduce inflammation.

#5 Cottage Cheese

Rich in essential nutrients, cottage cheese is another tasty snack adults over 55 can enjoy. It's a great source of calcium and vitamin D, which are both crucial for bone health. Additionally, the high amount of casein protein found in cottage cheese can help to promote a feeling of fullness, making it an ideal snack for those looking to manage their weight. You can enjoy it alone or with crackers. Alternatively, you can make a plate with fruits and vegetables.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

#6 Almonds or Almond Milk

Almonds are a simple and delicious snack with very high nutritional value. Among other things, they contain good fats, essential vitamins, and minerals and can help to reduce cholesterol levels. They are high in fiber, which helps regulate digestion and keeps older adults feeling full for longer. One of their primary perks is that they provide sustained energy without the risk of a sugar crash. Almond milk is an excellent alternative for those with lactose intolerance, as it still offers much of the same nutrition. It is high in calcium and vitamin D while low in calories and sugar. Both almonds and almond milk can make a great snack at home or on the road.

#7 Dark Chocolate

Last but not least, people over 55s should consider dark chocolate an alternative to unhealthier sweet snacks (as long as they consume it in moderation). It's a great treat with minimal health risks, as it's full of antioxidants and has great anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains crucial minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are all essential for the body's day-to-day functioning. 

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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