Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, has launched the Healthy Eating Resources for older people.
These resources have been developed by the Department of Health with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and Safefood. The pack is for adults aged over 65 who are in good health, mobile and living at home. They are designed to help older people make healthy food choices to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Older people have different nutrition needs and it’s important that they have information on how to adapt their food intake to live their best life. The healthy eating food pyramid is the basis for a healthy diet, but as we age, consumption of certain food groups needs to be flexible to support individual needs.
Speaking at the launch of the Healthy Eating Resources, Minister Butler said, “the government is committed to creating an age friendly Ireland, supporting older people to live independently in their communities and homes for as long as possible. In 2023, we made a €2.4 billion investment in older people services so that older people in our communities are supported to live independently. It is really important that people prioritise their diet and make conscious decisions to support their overall wellbeing as they enter this phase of their lives. By eating a nutritious diet, we can all help achieve healthy, active and autonomous aging across the life course. This is a goal from National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS) and is reflected in the Healthy Ireland framework to increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life. These healthy eating guidelines are part of an investment in our long-term wellbeing and will also assist the HSE and local government to support older adults to live in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.”
Joining Minister Butler, Professor Breda Smyth, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), said, “it’s very welcome to see that specific resources for older people in Ireland are available as they are expected to represent up to 20% of the population by 2041. Investing in simple lifestyle choices will enable us to live well as we advance in years and reduce our risk of developing other health problems. These resources compliment the suite of resources already available for younger children and the general population and are based on the most up-to-date national research.”
Eating high quality protein foods twice a day, including a range of fruit and vegetables and taking a daily Vitamin D supplement of 15µg (600iu), are some of the key nutrients that are highlighted in the resources to support healthy aging.
These resources are available on gov.ie/HealthyEatingOver65.