There are a lot of factors that make it difficult for seniors to eat well. These reasons could be changing taste buds, medication side effects or even lack of interest in the same food over and over. On top of that, older adults have different nutritional requirements, which is why many caregivers, whose specialty is taking care of elderly in home care, are worried if their charges are eating enough and getting a balanced diet. Elderly people need fewer calories and their protein, calcium, and B-vitamins intake must be upped to cover their body’s needs.
The daily recommendations for seniors are 1-2 servings of fresh fruit; 2 cups of fresh vegetables (especially leafy greens, oranges and yellows), 1,200 mg calcium, 6-7 ounces of grains and approximately 65 grams of protein. If you are concerned that you or the senior in your life isn’t getting enough nutrition, try the following recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to make sure you or your loved one can get the important vitamins and minerals for your bodies’ development:
- Yogurt parfait– mix together yogurt (Greek yogurt is a good option too), fruits and nut. It is a good combo of healthy fats, Vitamin and carbohydrates.
- Power toast– For healthy fat and protein, spread peanut butter or almond butter on toasted whole wheat bread. Enjoy this simple dish with fresh fruit on the side.
- Poached egg– Put the egg on top of a whole wheat toast and steamed asparagus. Top with a small amount of butter for more flavor.
- Oatmeal and berries– Place frozen or fresh berries in a pot at a low heat setting. Add a bit of butter and one serving of old-fashioned oats and water. Cover and cook on low for several hours to give it the consistency of bread pudding. If you want less hassle, you can simply add fresh berries in your newly cooked oats.
- Salmon wrap– Place boneless, skinless salmon on a whole grain wrap. Add chopped avocado, tomatoes, greens and plain yogurt. Wrap tightly, cut in half, then serve.
- Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad– Toss the following ingredients together: 4 cups of thinly sliced cabbage, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1 pressed medium garlic clove, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, and 4 ounces of shredded cooked chicken breast. Best served when fresh.
- Eggplant Stir-Fry– Slice eggplants into cubes then put them in the pan with zucchini, green bell pepper, onions and salad dressing. Stir lightly to combine and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in some tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes. Serve with plain or brown rice.
- Shrimp and pasta– Heat a pat of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan. Add chopped fresh herbs, garlic and a handful shrimp then cook until shrimp is done. Place on a bed of pasta and top with freshly chopped tomatoes.
- Oriental Sweet and Sour Vegetables– Combine the following in a bowl: 1 tbsp honey, lemon juice, light soy sauce, and cornstarch; 1/4 tsp ginger; and one cup of pineapple or orange juice. Mix until everything has combined then set aside. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan then add a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the sweet and sour sauce and cook for another 2 minutes or until the mixture begins to boil. Serve immediately with cooked pasta or brown rice.
- Stuffed Green Peppers– Cut around the stem of the green peppers before removing the seeds and the pulpy part. Wash then cook the green peppers in boiling water for five minutes. Drain well then set aside. In a saucepan, brown 1 pound of ground meat (you can use turkey or chicken) then add rice, onion, black pepper and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Stuff each pepper with the mixture then place in a casserole dish. Pour one cup of tomato sauce over the green peppers, cover then bake for 30 minutes at 177 degrees Celsius. Serve while hot.