Healthy Meals for SeniorsSeptember 1, 2022
A large portion of U.S. adults consumes poor-quality diets—specifically, diets with too little fish, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. While one’s diet can’t necessarily cause or cure certain conditions, it can have powerful impacts on health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, and stroke. These impacts can be both positive and negative.
Seniors in particular struggle with getting enough nutrition. For some, it is because grocery shopping has grown too difficult. For others, it’s not as fun to cook for one person. Whatever reason it is, it is especially crucial to find healthy meals for seniors, as they are more likely to feel the effects of their poor diet on their health.
Help your loved one eat a quality diet by preparing these healthy meals for seniors. Each of these meals is easy to prepare, making your job as a caregiver a little easier.
Warm oatmeal and berries
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains out there and is a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. On top of all that, it is easy to make on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in a crockpot overnight. Dress it up with seasonal fresh fruits and berries that your loved one enjoys, and add cinnamon and honey for additional flavor.
Yogurt is great for seniors, considering the natural probiotics, healthy fat, Vitamin C, and carbohydrates. Add some fruit, nut, and/or granola for a well-balanced meal. This is even easier to put together than oatmeal, as it requires no cooking time. The delicious meal comes from throwing everything into a bowl.
Poached eggs are a little more difficult to cook than a frying pan or boiled egg, but they are a delicious source of protein. Plate it on a slice of whole-grain bread, or over prepared vegetables like asparagus, spinach, or tomatoes.
Quiche is not as difficult or expensive to make as one might think. Purchase a pre-made pie crust, and whisk together eggs, half and half, and seasoning. Then, you can add whatever meats, vegetables, or cheeses you like. This way, the quiche is rich in all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your loved one needs. While this option requires the most preparation, it will result in leftovers for days.
Lunch & Dinner
Quinoa salads take leafy-green salads to the next level. Sauté freshly chopped vegetables or frozen vegetables, combine with nuts, and add it all to the cooked quinoa with your loved one’s favorite dressing. This salad can be served warm or cold, depending on what your loved one prefers.
Lunch wraps are a great, high protein, vitamin, mineral, and nutrient option for the middle of the day. Choose salmon or chicken for a lean, high-value protein, add greens, tomato, and any other vegetable that might go. These are perfect for hot summer days.
The great thing about stir fry (like many other options above) is that it can essentially be anything you want. Your spice choices dictate the direction of your stir-fry—whether that is Caribbean or Asian. Choose the vegetables, protein, and flavoring that works best for your loved one, and enjoy. It all comes together in the same pan too, meaning fewer dishes for you.
If your loved one wants something a little heartier, the beef stew would be great for them. While your elderly loved one shouldn’t consume too much red meat, it is helpful for those with an iron deficiency. Stew isn’t stewed if it isn’t full of vegetables, so they will still get the many crucial nutrients that come from them. This meal can all be thrown on the stove or in a crockpot and forgotten about for hours until you’re ready to eat.
Many think pasta is an unhealthy dish, but it doesn’t have to be. Whole wheat pasta in a light lemon-butter sauce serves as the perfect vessel for sautéed shrimp, tomatoes, a green vegetable, and fresh herbs. Each component of this dish cooks quickly—perfect for busy days.
Bell peppers are not only high-flavor but low-calorie vegetables full of fiber and iron. Cook beef or sausage, then stir in vegetables and season into the meat. Cut the peppers in half, scoop out the seeds, add the filling, cover with sauce and cheese, and pop in the oven. Use taco seasoning and salsa for a Mexican approach, or use tomato sauce and Italian seasoning for an Italian flavor.
Meal delivery services can help with meal prep
If you struggle with thinking of new recipes for your loved one or perhaps don’t have the time to prepare meals every day, a meal delivery service might be a good option for you. Some of these services offer pre-made meals, while others provide ingredients and quick recipes to follow.
Depending on the needs of your loved one as well as your own free time, you can choose how many meals are delivered to your home on a weekly basis.
Get care from an at-home caregiver
If meal preparation is something you struggle with, an at-home caregiver can help make healthy meals for seniors. Home Care Powered by AUAF offers highly trained, professional caregivers who can assist with all the activities of daily living that your loved one may need help with—including meal prep for healthy meals. This saves you time to take care of other responsibilities you may have.
For more information on our caregiving services, call us at 773-274-9262.
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