March: National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month

Seniors, a Nutritious Diet Means a Happier, Healthier You!
Live Longer, Be Stronger, Sharpen Your Mind, and Feel Better

Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ( promotes National Nutrition Month. Nutrition is especially important for older adults, as a good diet can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, certain cancers, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Eating right can also give seniors a sharper mind, a greater resistance to disease and illness, higher energy levels, quicker recovery times, healthier immune systems, and can also help managing persistent health problems.

Essential Nutrients for Seniors

  • Water. As our body ages, it loses some of its ability to control fluid levels. As a result, older adults have a decreased sense of feeling thirsty. To avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and even confusion, be sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Vitamin B. Our stomach absorbs less vitamin B-12 after the age of 50, so it’s important to get the recommended daily amount through fortified foods or vitamin supplements.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to absorbing calcium, mainly through sun exposure. Unfortunately, as we age, our skin doesn’t synthesize vitamin D as well as it once had. Fortified foods or vitamin supplements are also recommended.

Nutrition Tips for Seniors

  • Reduce Salt. Reducing sodium in the diet will help to inhibit water retention and high blood  pressure.
  • Increase Your Fiber. Raw fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains are good sources of fiber. Fiber helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases and helps digestion.
  • Add “Good” Fats to Your Diet. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed are examples. These help control “bad” cholesterol levels and raise “good” levels.
  • Don’t Eat “Bad” Carbs. White flour, refined sugar, and white rice are examples of bad carbohydrates. These carbs provide temporary energy and spikes in blood sugar levels. Good carbs provide long-lasting energy and stable blood sugar levels. Eat whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables for a diet rich in good carbs.

Meals for Seniors

  • The Mercer County Nutrition Project for the Elderly provides older persons with nutritionally balanced meals. Suggested donation $1.00/meal. The Pennington Nutrition Site is located in the Hopewell Valley Senior Center, 395 Reading Ave., Pennington, NJ 08534. Call 609-737-3855. For more information on the sites and door-to-door transportation, call 609-989-6650.
  • Meals on Wheels: Call the Burlington County Office on Aging, at 1-877-222-3737. For Meals on Wheels of Trenton/Ewing, call 609-695-3483. Or visit

Read more resources regarding senior nutrition. Download our National Nutrition Month PDF, which contains more great information: “Tips for Eating Well for Older Adults,” and from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Eating Right for Older Adults,” “Eating Right with Less Salt,” “Nutrition Sudoku for Adults,” and “Nutrition Word Search for Adults”.