In 12 Senior Nutrition Myths: How to Overcome Them (1-7) we explored nutrition myths that revolve around the ideas that it is normal to lose appetite and that nutrient requirements decrease as we age. There are 3 other categories of myths that we need to address:
8.) Eating Alone is Okay
I was just reading a Facebook post today by a friend who is a self-describe introvert. He was traveling on a train and really did not want to go to the dining car because he would be seated with 3 other people and would have to interact with them. Much to his very pleasant surprise he had a great time. He learned a lot, enjoyed their company, and basically they restored his faith in humanity. Okay, that last part may be a bit of an exaggeration.
The bottomline is that even the most introverted of us can benefit from social interaction over a meal. Age does not change this dynamic. If anything, age enhances the benefits of eating with others. Often, as people age, they find themselves alone much more than at any other time in their life. Making the effort to join with others for meal times may seem overwhelming or just too much trouble. But, when the effort is made, tremendous benefits follow.
When we eat together we maintain, build, and deepen relationships. Our feelings of connection grow. We learn more about others in our lives including their interests and concerns. We may even learn their opinions, and if we are lucky we just might learn why they hold those opinions. Sharing meals can give us a sense of security. Just knowing that we are important enough to someone else for them to share a meal with us can be a huge boost on a day we might spend much time alone. Talking and listening shows down our eating and just may improve our digestion. Continue reading “12 Senior Nutrition Myths Part 2 (#8-12)”