Easy Cold-Weather Meals for SeniorsNovember 8, 2022
Easy Cold-Weather Meals for Seniors
During the warmer months of the year, it’s easier to eat healthy meals. Stores are full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Meats can be cooked on the grill instead of fried in the kitchen. When the cold weather starts to settle in, however, we may push aside healthy eating in favor of comfort foods. This is especially a problem for seniors, as chronic health conditions can be heavily impacted by the food one consumes.
The most obvious example of this is diabetes. According to the ADA, 29% of Americans over 65 have diabetes—far higher than the other age demographics. Those with diabetes must be careful about what they consume to keep their blood sugar levels healthy. In general, this means healthy carbohydrates, heart-healthy fish, fibrous foods, and good fat.
November is American Diabetes Month. Take your diet and health into your own hands by trying these easy cold-weather meals for seniors. With these flavorful meals, you won’t miss your favorite comfort foods.
Sheet-pan lemon garlic chicken
While the ingredients are simple, this meal is flavor-packed and comes together quickly. A marinade of lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs works well with chicken (the recipe suggests dark-meat chicken, but you could easily substitute it for chicken breasts). It goes on the same pan as potatoes and would be great with any vegetable of your choice.
Sheet pan meals are great for seniors, as it means fewer dishes and makes everything ready at the same time.
Vegetable turkey soup
What could be better than a warm bowl of soup on a cold day? This vegetable turkey soup recipe is low-sodium, but certainly is not missing out on flavor with its abundance of herbs. The bulk of the time spent making is recipe is spent letting the ingredients simmer together.
Soups like this one are a great meal option for seniors, as most soup recipes involve throwing ingredients in a pot. Seniors could even forgo chopping vegetables altogether by buying ingredients frozen or pre-cut.
The paleo diet is a bit controversial in some circles due to the lack of whole grains and legumes, there are plenty of healthy paleo recipes for seniors. Instead of bread crumbs, almond flour and coconut aminos hold together this meatloaf. Seniors can enjoy this healthier take on a classic recipe.
Pair with roasted vegetables for a well-balanced meal. Reviews suggest doubling the sauce recipe for more flavor. Any additional sauce can be enjoyed with your vegetable of choice.
With chicken or bacon added to this cauliflower fried rice, this recipe can serve as your main dish easily. Given the nature of fried rice, this recipe can be adapted to include whatever vegetables, protein, or other ingredients you would like.
If you’re skeptical about cauliflower rice, you could substitute it for brown rice. That being said, cauliflower takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, so it’s worth a try.
Chicken tortilla soup
Get all the flavor of Mexican cooking in soup form. This chicken tortilla soup recipe has a little kick, but can be made milder by using a poblano pepper instead of a jalapeno. It’s perfect for those who enjoy Mexican dishes but don’t want to deal with the mess of a taco or fajita.
Make the recipe even simpler by buying a rotisserie chicken instead of taking the time to cook chicken before making the soup.
General Tso’s Shrimp and Broccoli
General Tso is a popular dish at most Asian restaurants for a good reason. It is sweet and savory all in one bite. When made at home, the stir fry comes together in just about 30 minutes. Just make sure you buy the shrimp already peeled and deveined so you don’t have to worry about that.
While you could buy a General Tso marinade at the grocery store, making it allows you to control how much salt and sugar you include. Once complete, you could enjoy the dish on a bed of rice, with noodles, or all by itself.
Chicken and wild rice skillet casserole
The best part about this chicken and wild rice casserole is that most of the work happens while you do nothing. The rice cooks, you bring together almost all of the remaining ingredients in a separate pan, and then it all goes in the oven for about an hour. Add frozen peas, broccoli, or another vegetable to the pot to round out the meal.
While this recipe is simple, there is quite a long period of cooking time—almost an hour for the rice, and then another hour for the whole dish. Make sure you start this dish early so the meal is ready before you’re hungry!
At-home caregivers can help with meal preparation
If you want to try these easy cold-weather meals for seniors but find cooking too physically taxing, your at-home caregiver can help. At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our caregivers will gladly take over the grocery shopping, meal prep assistance, and meal cleanup. This way, you can rest easy knowing you are still eating healthy and delicious meals.
For more information on our caregiver program, call us at 773-274-9262.
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