As we transition into the fall and winter months, planning nutritious meals for our seniors becomes more and more important. The harsh outside conditions means that they are more susceptible to sickness, something that can be fought off by a healthy (and natural) intake of nutrients and vitamins. Read through the following meal ideas and incorporate this healthy style of living into your senior's diet.
Oatmeal and Blueberries
Not only is this meal incredibly easy to whip up, but blueberries actually can increase cognitive health in seniors with dementia. One study showed an increase in word recall, the ability to learn and even helped with depression. Plus, blueberries are just so good!
For a protein packed breakfast, the breakfast scramble surely does the trick. Adding an assortment of vegetables enhances the health-promoting affects of this fulfilling dish. Along with protein, eggs offer a number of benefits including vitamin D for bone strength and healthier nails / skin! Add broccoli and spinach to the scramble, these veggies help prevent cataracts, something many older people will experience as they age.
Salads are the best way to get a natural intake of vitamins and nutrients. Fresh salads, those that have not been cooked, contain plenty of the “good stuff”. The trick is making the salad appetizing enough for the senior to want to eat! Adding chicken, nuts, or special grains will help the salad become more of a meal. Try these salads, there has to be something on this list, even for the pickiest senior eater!
This is the perfect lunch meal for those cold autumn or winter days. We all know the nutritional value of veggies, but lentils are the secret, nutritious ingredient. Lentils are high in folate and magnesium, which both aid in preventing heart disease. They are also ideal for seniors who have diabetes, as they help control blood sugar after consumed, with their high levels of fiber.
We live in the Northwest, so eating fish should come as no surprise. Fish is actually the world’s best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which fight against heart disease and even Rheumatoid Arthritis. Fish has also been deemed “brain food” and studies suggest that it may even help with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Asparagus, on the other hand, not only goes well with fish, but has a significant amount of glutathione which helps fight carcinogens. Asparagus also contains asparagine (no way!), which increases urination and helps the body flush itself of excess salts.
Nothing feeds the soul quite like Italian food. Serve your senior this warm dish with parmesan on top and you will be thanked - “bellissimo!” (lovely in Italian). Spinach, much like other super-greens, is high in vitamins A, C, E, and K, calcium, potassium, and even provides a little protein. Basically, it is ridiculously good for your senior! Tomatoes have a high level of lycopene (for improving skin) and coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid (which help the body fend off carcinogens produced by nicotine usage). Top it all off with garlic, which is high in antioxidants, and you have one nutritious and delicious meal to serve!
Published on October 1, 2016.