One of the hardest things to do for senior family members is ensure that they are maintaining a healthy diet when living on their own. Sometimes, aging family members struggle with cooking and daily tasks, making it difficult to cook healthy, well-balanced meals. If you're trying to support a loved one's efforts to remain independent, here are a few great meal options to help him or her balance nutrition with simplicity.
Any nutritionist will tell you that breakfast is important. It really helps to set the tone for the day. To ensure that your loved one is starting the day right, offer some quick and easy options that go beyond toast and a breakfast shake. For example, refrigerator oatmeal, often called overnight oatmeal, is a great way to give your loved one a hearty, filling breakfast that's full of nutrients. Combine a half-cup of traditional rolled oats with a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds and some milk. Peel an apple and cut it into small dices. Combine the apple with a teaspoon or two of honey, then combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix in a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt, then put the mixture into a container. Seal it, place it in the refrigerator and it'll be ready to eat by morning. Make sure there are plenty of fresh berries and some nuts to top them with, and your loved one will have a great morning treat.
Tuna melts are super-fast to put together, which is great for older loved ones who might be looking for a quick, light lunch. Combine a can of chunk white tuna with a small amount of either Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Then toss in a bit of diced onion along with some celery. Toast a whole-wheat or multi-grain English muffin, put the tuna on it, then top it with a slice of tomato. Put a slice of Swiss cheese on top and broil it for two or three minutes to melt it before you serve it.
Soup is a great dinner choice, because it's filling and you can pack a lot of vitamins into it. Broccoli cheese soup is one of those options. Sautee a half of a sweet onion, diced, in a little bit of coconut oil. Then, add a little bit of flour to make a roux. Pour in a cup of milk and two cups of vegetable stock. Then, toss in the florets from two heads of fresh broccoli or the equivalent in frozen broccoli. Simmer it over low heat for about 25 minutes, then add a cup of shredded cheddar, salt and pepper. Puree it with an immersion blender if your loved one has trouble eating large pieces of vegetables.
Recipes like these are quick and easy for you or your loved one to put together. The nutrients will help keep your aging family member's diet balanced, and you can be confident that they are eating well. For more suggestions or a personalized nutritional assessment, talk with a nutritionist.