12 Healthy meal ideas for Seniors from breakfast to dessert
All of the recipes that are listed below are healthy meals for seniors that were chosen because they all have a health benefit factor. Most are good sources of protein and fiber while others are lighter options for on the go. As we age our bodies start to slow and break down. The importance of a lot of protein is to help rebuild and maintain our muscles, organs, blood components, and immune bodies. All of these parts of our bodies, need protein in order to stay strong and function in their proper manner. Eating well gives you the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of your body healthy throughout your life. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water. When making these recipes it is important to keep in mind the dietary restrictions of your loved ones. If your loved one is diabetic or cannot consume dairy etc. you can use these ideas as backbones and use the food items that they are allowed to consume. These meal ideas are to help with creating different meal options and creating variety.
Warm oatmeal with fresh berries: Oatmeal is one of those foods that is not only good for you but helps keep you full during the day and gives you energy. Fresh fruits adds some sweetness and color to the morning.
Yogurt parfait: Take your favorite type of yogurt (I use greek yogurt) and top it with some granola and fresh berries. For a little extra sweetness add a little bit of brown sugar or honey.. Yumm
Power Toast: Use wheat or multigrain bread, toast it to your liking and add some type of nut butter. This is a good source of protein!
Fresh fruit and toast: A lighter option for breakfast, enjoy a bowl of fresh fruit and a piece of whole wheat toast. A great option for source of nutrition for seniors.
Hearty chili: Chili is a great source of protein when using some type of ground meat and different types of beans. It is also a great way to incorporate an abundance of vegetables such as corn and peppers.
Wraps: Instead of using thick bread, a healthier option is wraps. You can get different flavors such as spinach, tomatoes and whole wheat. Use your favorite wrap, add some lean mean some veggies such as tomatoes, lettuce and pickles and then a light dressing.
Salad: Another great way to add in the veggies, start with your favorite type of greens and the sky’s the limit. Just remember to use a light dressing, that is where a lot of the fat and calories come from. Try using and oil based vinaigrette instead of a thick creamy dressing.
Hummus: This is another light option, It’s a great healthy snack and it’s great for on the go during those busy days of doctor’s appointments. Fresh vegetables and pita are great for dipping!
Baked fish and chips: Normal this includes a big piece of fried fish and fried french fries. To make this meal healthier, bake the fish instead of frying it and instead of fried fries bake them in the oven as well or use sweet potato fries.
Baked Chicken: One of my favorite meals. Use your favorite spices or seasoning mix to add flavor to the chicken. Baking requires less fat to be used and makes for a delicious and juicy chicken. Make it a one dish meal by adding your favorite vegetables to the pan and add the same seasoning.
Chicken Stir fry: Instead of going to your favorite mexican restaurant try making it at home. Using a low sodium sauce is a heart healthy option that makes you more in control of how much sodium is actually added to the meal. The restaurant version is full of so much sodium which is not good for seniors. Use lean chicken and fresh veggie such as different color peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, carrots and anything else you like. This meal is full of color, flavor, protein and lots of vitamins.
Even with healthy eating and watching what we eat, there’s always room for deserts.
Fruit and nut balls: A great source of fiber, protein and fruit. These are also a great on the go snack!
What you will need:
¼ Cup Almonds chopped finely
½ Cup Coconut
Zest of 1 Orange
⅓ Cup apricots
1 Cup Dates
1 cup Pitted prunes
2-3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
Directions: Chop up the almonds in a food processor. Once they are finely chopped add all of the ingredients besides the extra coconut. Chop until everything the consistency of a thick paste. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated together take scoops by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Then roll the balls into the extra coconut. Finally refrigerate until firm and enjoy!
In addition to these meal ideas, if you or your loved one are not able to cook for them, there is a service called meal on wheels. They are on organization that focuses on providing meals to seniors in the community. Some of their services are located in Baltimore county, Carroll County, Howard County, and Montgomery County.
*photo courtesy of David et Magalie at everystockphoto.com
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