Best Healthy Snacks for Older Adults

Brianna Maguire

Written by Brianna Maguire on Mon Aug 07 2023.

Snacks on a table.

Nutritious food positively impacts the health of older adults. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says healthy eating encourages a sense of well-being, and enjoying foods from different food groups can "help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease."

The Carewell team has compiled this list of the best healthy snack ideas for older adults. All the foods below support a healthy lifestyle and can help your loved ones achieve their dietary goals. You will find these products in Carewell's store, and we can deliver them direct to your door. 

What Are Healthy Snacks? 

Healthy snacks are foods with nutritious ingredients that older adults can consume between main meals. Many of these snacks are low in sugar and fat and contain high levels of protein and fiber, making them more beneficial than snacks like chips and chocolate. 

Healthy snacks include fruits, vegetables, soups, broths, shakes, crackers, and cereals. 

How We Chose the Best Healthy Snacks 

We carefully select each and every product we recommend based on the following:

  • Gathering real caregiver feedback. We read reviews and collect feedback from caregivers like you. We never recommend a product we haven’t heard a caregiver say they love.

  • Chatting with our in-house RN. Our in-house nurse reviews all our recommendations to ensure that the products we suggest are safe and vetted. (Note: You should still consult your own doctor when making decisions about your diet and health!)

  • Prioritizing quality and safety. The products on this list come from a range of price points but have one thing in common: we’ve made sure to include only the very best quality options that are the most beneficial for you or your loved one.

  • Talking to our Care Team. Our Care Team speaks to you, our caregivers, every single day about the products you love and those you don't. We always run our recommendations by them to make sure everything is in line with what our customers love.

When compiling this list of healthy snack ideas for older adults, we also considered:

  • Calorie counts. Low-calorie foods can help your loved one avoid putting on weight and manage chronic diseases like hypertension. 

  • Well-balanced nutritional profile. We only recommend products that contain healthy ingredients, including vitamins and minerals. 

Best Healthy Snacks for Older Adults

1. Pacific Foods Organic Gluten-Free Creamy Tomato Soup: Best for a Convenient Healthy Snack

This delicious tomato soup is not only organic and gluten-free but also contains five grams of protein per serving, which can support healthy bones and maintain muscle mass and strength. We chose this product because it takes just a few minutes to prepare, making it a convenient, healthy snack for in-between meal times. It's also vegetarian-friendly, NON-GMO, and contains no preservatives. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • Shelf-stable carton that your loved one can refrigerate after opening

  • Contains organic milk from local dairies

  • Reheat in minutes

2. Boost Nutritional Pudding: Best for Those With Dietary Restrictions

Boost's nutritional pudding made this list because it's suitable for people with various dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance. It's also low-residue, gluten-free, and kosher. Available in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, this product is great for those with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), malnutrition, and fluid restriction. Each serving contains only 8 grams of fat, making this pudding a healthier choice than many others on the market. 

Key Benefits & Features 

  • Supports older adults with specific nutritional needs

  • Contains vitamins C and D, iron, zinc, and selenium

  • 230 calories per serving 

Hear it from a caregiver

"This pudding was purchased to supplement my 98-year-old mother’s protein needs. She’s living in a care facility and although their meals are good, she just needs a little extra. It’s a good choice."

- Kathy C.

Boost Nutritional Pudding
Boost Nutritional Pudding

Price: $8.78 - $105.39

3. think! Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bars: Best for Older Adults Trying to Lose Weight

These protein bars are a fantastic food choice for older adults on low-carb, high-fat diets. Keto-certified by the Paleo Foundation, this product contains just 2 grams of net carbs and 1 gram of sugar in each serving. It also includes 10 grams of protein. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • 180 calories in each serving

  • Includes calcium, iron, and potassium

  • Contains no artificial sweeteners

4. Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Blueberry Hazelnut Oatmeal Cup: Best for High Fiber

We picked this oatmeal cup snack because each serving contains 20% or more of an adult's recommended daily fiber intake. It's also gluten-free, kosher, and includes 7 grams of protein in each serving. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • Made with real blueberries

  • Contains 100% whole grains

  • Ready in just 3 minutes

Hear it from a caregiver

"Excellent product. Flavor is great as well as the natural texture of the oatmeal."

- Katherine M.

 

How to Choose Healthy Snacks

Here are some tips when looking for healthy snacks for your loved one:

  • Choosing the best healthy snacks for older adults depends on their specific tastes. Ask your loved one about their favorite foods and flavors. 

  • Choose foods that cater to your loved one's specific nutritional needs. For example, search for gluten-free foods if someone has gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

  • Always consult a doctor or nutritionist before making changes to someone's meal plan. 

Commonly Asked Questions

Here are answers to frequently asked questions you might have as a caregiver: 

1. Why should I consider calories when searching for healthy snacks for older adults?

Most adult men require around 2,500 calories a day, and most adult women need about 2,000 calories. Consuming more calories than the body needs can lead to weight gain. Looking at calories can help you make healthier food choices for your loved one. 

2. What are the benefits of healthy snacks?

Nutritious snacks can prevent older adults from overeating at meal times or consuming unhealthy foods when feeling hungry. Some foods help keep your blood sugar levels stable, which can mean feeling less "cranky" during the day. 

3. Can healthy foods help with chronic conditions?

Yes. Healthy eating can help adults live longer and reduce the risk of obesity. Nutritious foods can also prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes or stop these conditions from getting worse. 

Takeaways

Healthy snacks can have a positive impact on the health of your loved one, regardless of their age. Research shows these foods can improve well-being and reduce the development of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. 

Consider the items on our list and follow the tips above for choosing the best healthy snacks for older adults. 

Need Help?

Selecting the right healthy snacks for older adults can be challenging. Carewell is here to help. If you need assistance finding the perfect product for your needs, talk with one of our caregiving specialists today. Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to support@carewell.com. We’re here to support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

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Brianna Maguire
Brianna Maguire

Brianna Maguire heads up Carewell’s Customer Care Team, and serves as a resource for caregivers that need support. Whether it’s helping customers decide which products are best for their needs, answering caregiver questions, or just providing a shoulder to lean on on a tough day, her job is to make caregivers’ lives easier.