Winter 2012
“It’s hard to chew without my dentures.” “Food doesn’t taste like it used to.”
“It’s hard to get out shopping.” “I don’t feel like cooking.” “I’m not hungry.”
These are not uncommon complaints amongst seniors. As the body ages, the
senses of taste and smell may change. Medications, too, can alter the taste
of foods or effect appetite. Let your doctor know if your medications ruin
your appetite or sense of taste. It may also become harder to chew so choose
softer foods including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, low fat cheese
sandwiches, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit. “I realize that I still have to eat,
so I take supplements like (IFANCA halal certified) Ensure
to make sure I
get adequate calories if I don’t eat as much at a meal,” says Abdullah.
Don’t feel like cooking? Ask your local convenience store to stock IFANCA
halal certified J&M Food Products (
) that
has a range of fully cooked, single serve meals that require no refrig-
eration and are available, in bulk, as vegetarian and non-vegetarian
options. Free from MSG, Soy and artificial flavors, these dishes are
as varied as Cheese Tortellini, Chicken Mediterranean and Beef
Stew. IFANCA halal certified Saffron Road
also offers ready-to-eat
frozen, microwave dinners and sauces made from ingredients that
are hormone and antibiotic free. “Or plan meals that don’t require
cooking,” says Mr. Abdullah. “I have simple meals like smoothies to
get my fresh fruits and vegetables. Or, I purchase pre-prepped food
like salads and sandwiches such as a low-fat grilled cheese sand-
Many aging seniors and retirees live on fixed
incomes. “The USDA’s SNAP program helps
me cover all of my monthly food purchases,
including fresh produce and even halal foods
at my local halal grocery store,” says Rahil
Muhammad Ibraheem, 71. Meals-on-Wheels
is another option for low income seniors. Its
stringent nutrition guidelines ensure that
seniors receive necessary calories and nu-
trients. In fact, in Wayne County, Michigan,
seniors can order halal Meals-on-Wheels too.
Other ways to cut costs:
Plan meals around foods on sale and in
Take an inventory of your pantry before
going shopping
Buy only foods on your shopping list
Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as
fresh ones. They are a money saver if you
want to use ingredients later
Powdered, canned, or ultra-pasteurized
milk doesn’t spoil as easily
Prepare foods you enjoy eating
Err on the side of caution, and cook only
as much as you will reasonably eat
As we age, we are less able to fight off infec-
tions. Be sure to fully cook eggs, seafood,
and poultry. Food borne illnesses may spread
via raw sprouts, some deli meats, and
foods (foods not heated to destroy
disease-causing organisms).  
served South Asian senior population, offering “Tea & Talk”, “Stress Man-
agement”, speakers and luncheons at its Carol Stream, IL based center. In
partnership with the DuPage Senior Citizen Council, it hosts a “Thursday
Lunch for Seniors”, from noon to three p.m. at the Shahi Nihari in Lom-
bard, IL. The restaurant is transformed into a hub for as many as ninety
seniors, who connect over nutritionally balanced Pakistani-Indian healthy
food options, including halal and vegetarian choices, and of course, the
entertainment. This markedly social afternoon is for the taking for the
princely sum of $3 if you’re 60 years old or older. Younger seniors pay $7
per meal.
“What better health seems to be connected to is meaningful social
support.  How you feel through your golden years is a combination of
spiritual wellness, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle habits, including
the relationships you nurture,” says Dr. Talat Khan.
YaQutullah Ibraheem Muhammad
MS, RD, LD  is a Clinical Resource Manager and Registered
Dietitian based in Atlanta, Georgia. Mrs. Muhammad is
also certified in Adult Weight Management by the American
Dietetic Association.
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