5 Nutritional Recipes For Seniors
As seniors age, some weight loss is expected. Seniors’ appetites wane, they naturally consume less food as they typically begin to enjoy a quieter lifestyle. This is not unusual in small amounts but can become a cause for concern if the senior begins to show signs of malnourishment. Malnutrition is a condition where a person is lacking, and deficient, in nutrients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals, or not getting enough calories. This has many effects on health and body function, including increased frailty, delayed wound healing, and higher mortality.
The first and best way to combat the effects of Malnutrition is to eat healthy. But so many seniors are depending on eating out, or precooked, mass-produced foods full of preservatives. The solution is for healthier, homemade, home cooked meals that can be made simply, inexpensively and most importantly HEALTHILY at home.
Nutritious Meals for Seniors
Healthy foods should consist of snacks and meals that contain essential nutrients to assist in the aging process. The nutrients to focus on are Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, minerals and dietary fiber. These are all important in their own unique ways. The benefits of healthy diets higher in these vitamins and minerals is a reduced risk of high blood pressure, reduced instances and risk in diabetes, and a healthier heart to prevent heart disease.
1. Toast With Whole Grain Peanut Butter & Fruit
The first healthy food to consider is a simple breakfast. Too often people (not just seniors) reach for the prepackaged, premade breakfast. A bagel, a biscuit or two. Some as innocuous as leftovers. Why not take a few extra minutes and prepare something tasty and healthy? This recipe full of protein and fiber is a great way to start the day (or even as a midday snack). Almonds and peanut butter are both excellent sources of protein, and whole-grain bread has more fiber and B vitamins than white bread. And fresh fruit is great any time of day!
2. Spinach & Mushroom Omelette
Sticking with breakfast…if you are looking for something hot and filling for breakfast, why not whip up a delicious omelet. While it sounds complex, it’s really quite simple. And any filling that you put in it, as long as it’s fresh and natural, is healthy. Spinach is full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E and magnesium that support your immune system. Mushrooms are a rich source of fiber, protein and antioxidants. Add some cheese for some extra flavor and voila!
3. Slow Cooked Chicken Fajitas
Some people like to “set it and forget it”, using a slow cooker or a crockpot. There is nothing easier, or more delicious, than loading up the slow cooker with fresh, tasty ingredients, and enjoy the bounty of what was produced later that day. The preparation for this meal is simple: some basic chopping is the extent of it! And once it is complete, you can decide how best you want to eat it. You can have it on healthy tortillas, over rice, or just plain in a bowl by itself. It is that delicious. Finally, it makes for great leftovers, as it freezes and reheats simply.
4. Hearty Vegetable Soup
Nothing is better on a cold fall or winter day than a hot bowl of soup, just like Mom used to make. Instead of buying and heating up cans of mass-produced soup (that are full of salt, preservatives and other unhealthy additives), you can simply make a large pot of hearty vegetable soup that will feed you tonight and several other times over the future weeks. The main ingredients are beans, cannellini beans, carrots, celery, kidney beans, vegetable broth, and zucchini, and most importantly this only takes 25 minutes to create. Zucchini is packed with important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Beans are rich in plant protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
5. Stuffed Green Peppers
Finally, taking an old family favorite and making it healthier by substituting certain ingredients is a great way to maintain one's' health. Stuffed green peppers originally are a part of Spanish cuisine though often remembered in association with Italian or Eastern European diets. Rich and filling, this dish is another that will make plenty of leftovers that are delicious when reheated. One way to make this dish even healthier is with two subtle changes. First, substitute ground turkey with the ground beef, which will significantly cut the saturated fat content while maintaining the flavor and texture. Secondly substituting brown rice for the white rice increases the intake of dietary fiber, which leads to a healthier heart AND adds higher levels of magnesium, which can make you less vulnerable to heart disease and stroke.
Dining at Ridgeline
Healthy eating, while at home or at your Ridgeline community, is so important to your quality of life in your later years. Remaining independent and cooking for yourself is an aspect of life that many seniors like to hold onto for as long as they can. But, once the decision is made to leave home, and move into a safer living environment you get the benefit of a chef cooking for you, for every meal. Our chefs have ingredients that you may never have heard of, and can cook meals from their vast experience that you may never have tasted before. Check out our menu at your local Ridgeline community your fellow residents will have favorite dishes that they may request and allow you to expand that horizon as well. And know that every meal that is created is done so with the approval of a dietitians that makes sure that you are eating the healthiest, vitamin filled and nutritious meal possible. We look forward to you joining us for dinner. Bon Appetit!