If you’re concerned the senior loved ones in your life or those you care for aren’t getting enough nutrition, there may be a number of reasons. Perhaps grocery shopping or cooking is too difficult, or meals just aren’t as fun to eat alone. Regardless, eating healthy meals is of course incredibly important for the elderly.
Tammera Karr, a board certified holistic nutritionist in Roseburg, Oregon, and Kristi Von Ruden, a registered and licensed dietitian who plans meals for nursing home residents and geriatric outpatients at Northfield Hospital & Clinics in Northfield, Minnesota, came up with 18 easy, tasty and healthy meal ideas for seniors. (See below.)
Before you get cooking, make sure you keep your senior’s doctor in the loop, and be sure to check with the medical team about food restrictions and recommendations before planning menus.
Meal prep tips that will make cooking easier
While there is no one tip that will work for everyone, there are a few ideas you can incorporate into your week that will help make cooking easier on you and your senior.
- Make a plan and write it down. Sit down on a Sunday and plan out your senior’s meals for the entire week. This will help you avoid making several trips to the grocery store during a busy work week. Write down the menu for the week and put it in a place where your senior can easily access it. Knowing ahead of time what is planned will make it less overwhelming for seniors whether they are the ones cooking or not.
- Make meal prep a group project. Enlist your senior’s help in prepping for the week’s meals. Not only will you get assistance (and company), but your senior will feel more invested in what they are eating and will enjoy having a weekly project to look forward to.
- Prep versatile ingredients for the week. Meal prep is supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult. Instead of trying to prep each meal individually, start by prepping certain foods that make more than one appearance in your senior’s meal plan for the week. For instance, cook enough quinoa for the week or wash and chop vegetables and put them in tightly-sealed containers in the refrigerator. This will ensure that no one is starting from zero when they begin cooking the meal.
Healthy and easy meals for seniors
The daily serving recommendations for seniors, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, specifies that seniors need 65 grams of protein a day. Karr says that “good sources of protein are important with every meal, but especially with breakfast,” as seniors are just beginning their day. While a frequent component of a balanced breakfast, nuts and seeds can be difficult for some seniors to digest, so Karr suggests looking to avocados as a substitute.
- Warm oatmeal and berries. Place frozen or fresh berries in a crockpot at a low heat setting. Add a pat of butter and one serving of old-fashioned oats and water. Cover and cook on low for several hours (or overnight). This will give it the consistency of bread pudding. (The easier option is adding berries to warm oatmeal.)
- A hard-boiled egg. Accompany with a side of fresh fruit and a slice of whole wheat toast.
- Whole grain pancakes or waffles. If you can…
This article was sourced from Care.com.