As you age, your need for food and even desire for food may wane. Seniors typically can’t eat as much as they used to and may also lose interest in preparing food.
A balanced diet can help you stay energized, maintain a healthy weight and prevent or slow down chronic health conditions. But the challenge lies in preparing and eating nutritious food.
In this article, we introduce some healthy recipes for seniors. These recipes are easy to cook and can be applied to breakfast, main dishes, and desserts.
Beef and Vegetable Soup
This recipe is packed with nutrients and it’s excellent for seniors who have difficulty chewing!
- 1-pound ground beef
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 can beef broth
- 10 oz. of crushed or diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces of frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 cup elbow macaroni
- Brown ground beef and chopped onion in a pot over medium heat
- Drain off grease
- Add flour to the meat and onion mixture and stir until well mixed
- Add beef broth, tomato, and vegetables and cook for 20 minutes
- Season as appropriate with salt and pepper
- Add macaroni and cook for another 10 minutes
Creamy Savory Oatmeal
This recipe is not only tasty, it’s easy to digest and can be enjoyed for any meal throughout the day.
- 25 ounces of full-fat milk
- 1 small clove of lightly crushed garlic
- Salt and white pepper
- 30 ounces of quick-cooking oatmeal
- 1/2 heavy cream
- Grated cheese of your choice – consider parmesan or cheddar
- Bring milk to a slow boil
- Add garlic, salt, and pepper
- Slowly stir in the oatmeal
- Cook on low heat for 10 minutes – stirring occasionally
- Add heavy cream and cheese to oats and cook for another 3 minutes
Mashed and Pureed Fruits
Fresh fruits are both delicious and excellent sources of essential nutrients.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 fresh mango
- 1 ripe pear
- Cut all fruits into small bite-sized pieces
- Use a potato masher, immersion blender, food processor, or even a regular blender to mash the small pieces into a puree
- Eat with a spoon or blend further to enjoy as a smoothie
Grilled Salmon Sandwich
Salmon is a good source of Omega-3 and Vitamin D which are great for bone and brain health.
- 2 slices of whole grain bread
- 1 – 2 slices of onion (red or white)
- 1 slice of cheese (Havarti or cheddar are great options!)
- 1 – 2 whole lettuce leaves or a quarter cup of shredded or chopped lettuce
- 4 – 6 ounces of salmon (smoked, canned, or freshly cooked)
- Butter one side of each slice of bread
- Place the bread, butter side down in a frying pan set to medium-low to toast.
- Remove bread and sauté the onions with a small pad of butter to soften
- Construct your sandwich by placing grilled onions, lettuce, salmon, and cheese between both slices of toasted bread and enjoy!
European-Style Boiled Dinner
This recipe is great to make in either small or large portions, it’s packed with healthy nutrients, and it’s easy to eat and digest.
- 2 medium-sized potatoes
- 1 small squash (butternut or acorn are best)
- 1-14 ounce can of beef or chicken broth
- Peel the potatoes and dice into 1-inch pieces
- Peel the squash and cut into 1-inch pieces (be careful when preparing the squash, it is a firm vegetable and it requires a sharp knife. If you do not want to prepare the squash fresh, you can replace it with frozen squash. Add the frozen squash to your boiling potatoes in the last 3 minutes and then proceed with the remaining steps.)
- Boil the potatoes and fresh squash in lightly salted water until fork-tender
- Drain the vegetables and place back in the pot.
- Use a potato masher to lightly mash the potatoes and squash together (leaving some chunks)
- Add chicken or beef broth and bring back to the boil. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper
Healthy Shrimp Salad
This recipe is easy to prepare and it’s delicious.
- 6 – 8 Large shrimp
- Romaine lettuce
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 red pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup of broccoli florets
- 3-4 metal or wooden skewers
- Alternate shrimp, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, and red pepper on your skewers
- Place the skewers on a sheet tray and bake at 450º for 5 – 7 minutes
- Remove from oven and let skewer cool until easily handled
- Remove shrimp and vegetables from skewers and place over a bed of lettuce
A healthy recipe that is high in Vitamin C and fiber.
- Whipped cream
- Red apple cut in half
- 6 to 8 cut strawberries
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Strawberry sauce
- Pour lemon juice into a small bowl
- Place the apple cut-face down into the lemon juice
- Core the apple with a knife to make hollow space
- Drizzle strawberry sauce into the hollow space of the apple
- Fill the halved apples with cut strawberries and whipped cream
- You or a caregiver may need to assist your loved one in some food preparation activities such as purchasing groceries and stocking refrigerator.
- Your loved one may need help in using the knife and carrying heavy dishes around.
- Seniors with memory issues may burn their food while cooking. You can aid them in cooking or install smart-home kitchen gadgets.
As you try out these food recipes, you should consider your health state. If there are guidelines or food restrictions recommended by your doctor, you must abide by them. For example, if you are told to eliminate salt intake, find alternative means of seasoning your food. Using the recipes above will help you on your journey to healthy living.