Meals for Seniors with Dental IssuesJanuary 16, 2024
In this day and age, keeping one’s teeth clean is easier than ever. Electric toothbrushes and waterpiks make for efficient, effective cleaning, while quality floss and mouthwash help fight bacteria. But even with these wonderful innovations, many seniors still have dental issues. Loss of bone density, dry mouth from medications, and gum disease can all lead older adults to not only have teeth problems, but to lose them.
If you care for an elderly loved one who has dental problems, you may find yourself struggling with what you can and cannot feed them. For some new ideas, try these meals for seniors with dental issues.
What foods should they stay away from?
Your loved one’s specific dental issues may inform what they can or cannot eat more directly. However, if these problems involve chewing (as they so often do), your loved one’s meals should avoid ingredients that have these qualities:
- Hard and/or dry—nuts, raw vegetables, dry cereal
- Tough and/or fibrous foods—steak, pineapple, jerky
- Chewy—sticky candy, dried fruit, gum
- Crunchy—bacon, popcorn, chips
Meals for seniors with dental issues
Now that you know the qualities you should stay away from, what are qualities that are safe for seniors with dental issues to eat? First and foremost, consider this: is it easy to chew? If the answer is “yes,” you’re already on the right track. These meals are not only easy to eat, but nutritious.
- Omelet. You’ve likely seen scrambled eggs suggested for those with dental issues. An omelet is its more substantial cousin. These can be loaded with spinach, tomato, onion, meat, cheese—basically, anything you can think of. However, for the sake of your loved one’s ease, make sure these items are well-cooked and/or cut small before serving it to them.
- Breakfast smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to get in a serving of fruit and/or vegetables without having to worry about chewing. For natural protein, add Greek yogurt to the beverage, and if it isn’t sweet enough for your liking, add a little natural honey or fruit juice.
- Oatmeal. High in fiber and nutrients, oatmeal is a great breakfast that can be adapted for the season. Add fresh fruits cut up so they are easy to chew and yogurt for additional protein and creaminess. DO NOT, however, add nuts or granola, as they could be difficult or downright painful to chew.
- Lentil soup. Bright and zesty in flavor, lentil soups are filled to the brim with the nutrients your elderly loved one needs. Cook everything until tender, and to make things especially easy for your loved one, blend the soup to your desired consistency.
- Rice bowl. Rice bowls are another dish that you can dress up to fit your loved one’s pallet and dietary needs. Soft avocado, beans, salsa, and slow-cooked meat are great, easy-to-chew additions.
- Tuna salad. This versatile dish can be enjoyed on a bed of lettuce or on bread, but those with dental problems will find pasta as the best vessel. The dish is relatively light, but the addition of pasta makes it satisfying.
- Shepherd’s pie. This hearty dish is perfect for a chilly winter evening. Ground beef is cooked in a flavorful sauce, and then mixed with peas, carrots, and corn. Topped with mashed potatoes, the dish then goes into the oven so everything is nice, tender, and flavorful.
- Slow-cooked roast beef. Steak may be out of the question for a senior with dental problems, but roast beef falls apart off the fork. Enjoy with a side of mashed potatoes (sweet potatoes are a great option here too!) and steamed vegetables for a well-rounded meal.
- Lemon butter fish. Flaky fish is a great option for seniors not only because of its rich nutrients, but because it is easy to eat. This simple but flavorful dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, and can be served alongside cooked vegetables, rice, or even pasta.
Meal plans made easy
Caring for your elderly loved one can feel like a full-time job. For some relief on that front, consider the support of an at-home caregiver. These professionals can support you and your loved one by planning, preparing, and cleaning up healthy and delicious meals your elderly loved one will enjoy.
But home care is so much more than meal planning. At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our team is dedicated to ensuring that seniors receive not only the best in-home care but also the necessary assistance in managing their daily lives. Reach out to us at (773) 274-9262 to explore how our home care services can provide the support your loved one needs for a healthier and happier life.
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