COLUMN: Senior living - Healthy eating leads to a happy spring

— Enjoying comfort food and snuggling on the couch in the cold winter months was fun, but it’s time for a change. With the promise of spring, comes a change in our eating and exercising habits. Longer days and warmer temperatures translate into a healthier lifestyle and mindset for a lot of people in Central New York.

For most people and our seniors especially, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet that provides the nutrients recommended for a healthy lifestyle. We encourage our members to eat a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, as well as whole-grain, high fiber foods. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages seniors to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables. Look for foods in rich colors, such as dark green, red and orange. Our seniors at Silver Fox are nurturing an indoor greenhouse that contains all their favorite vegetables, including cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and radishes. We can’t wait to taste all they have planted, and look forward to enjoying locally grown fruits and vegetables this summer!

Lean protein is also an important part of a healthy diet. There are a variety of foods in this category to choose from, such as seafood, eggs, poultry, beans, peas, nuts and lean meat. If you haven’t already, consider a switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Older adults especially need more calcium and Vitamin D to keep their bones healthy. For seniors, just as important as eating well, is to enjoy the experience of eating. Eating is a social affair here at Silver Fox, a time to catch up with friends and solve the problems of the world. Socializing over a delicious, healthy meal puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Danielle Durkin is the marketing representative at Silver Fox Senior Social Club a not-for-profit senior day program at 22 East Genesee St., Baldwinsville. For more information about Silver Fox, call 635-5335 or email danielle@silverfoxseniors.org.

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