Healthy Eating Program

The Jewish Home Food Service Director Beth Rielly and Dietary Supervisor Sharon Mayer presented a food demonstration on healthy eating: “Proteins and preparing easy treats and simple recipes to add to your diet!”

It’s very common for people to eat less food and sleep less with age. Contributing factors could be a lack of appetite, changes to smell or taste, living alone, lack of interest or difficulty cooking, or struggling with eating due to teeth, gum, or denture problems. Eating less, skipping meals, grabbing for empty calories, or eating sub-optimally means that older adults miss out on getting enough macro and micronutrients, despite their need for many nutrients being higher.

Protein is an important component of every cell in the human body, especially as you get older. Hair and nails are made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important “building block” for your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

It’s a macronutrient of particular concern because elderly people consume less than the daily recommended amount of protein and inadequate intake is linked to loss of muscle strength and functionality.

In addition, many snack foods available today are also too high in refined carbs and sugar, which can leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more food.

The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein!

Protein promotes fullness because it signals the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, slows digestion, and stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Here’s a simple Sunbutter Hummus recipe which can be prepared ahead of time and stored for an easy to grab snack food:

SUNBUTTER HUMMUS

PREP: 5 MINUTES

TOTAL: 5 MINUTES

A twist on classic hummus, this healthy recipe substitutes Sunbutter – sunflower seed butter – for the tahini!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) drained, liquid reserved
  • 1/4 cup creamy Sunbutter
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • Olive oil and salted roasted sunflower seeds for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add everything except the liquid from the garbanzo beans into your blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse, adding a tablespoonful of bean liquid at a time to help get things moving. Continue pureeing for a minute or so until completely smooth.
  3. Scoop into a bowl, top with sunflower seeds and a liberal drizzle of olive oil, and serve.
  4. Keeps refrigerated for 3 – 4 days.