As you get older, it becomes increasingly important to eat well. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find recipes for elderly people that are easy and healthy. As such, much of what you eat may be affecting your health.
The NHS says that people aged 65 and over are particularly at risk of malnutrition. This is often due to an increased need for nutrients, as well as a general loss of mobility that makes preparing meals more difficult. Sudden weight loss and constant tiredness are just two signs that you may not be eating well. You may also gain weight if you are eating the wrong things. Many convenient snacks are not good for us.
With that in mind, we have put together a selection of easy, healthy recipes for elderly people.
One of the key ways to keep healthy is to cut down on certain food products. Now more than ever you should be avoiding the fattier and more sugary foods. They are not good for us anyway, but as you get older your body struggles to break them down. Refined sugars can negatively impact bones and muscles.
If you are on any medication, you should also avoid eating grapefruit. It contains a chemical that can prevent your body from metabolising drugs. This could have a detrimental effect on your health.
Alcohol and caffeine should also be avoided, although green tea is an exception to the latter. It comes laden with antioxidants that can enhance your health. Meat and eggs, of course, should be thoroughly cooked to reduce the likelihood of food poisoning.
You may be thinking that all the best foods are now off-limits, but there is still plenty you can – and should – eat. If you prioritise fresh food over canned, you will not only be getting better nutrition, but food often tastes better too.
In later life, your body needs more B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium. All of these can be found in meat and veg. Collard greens and broccoli, especially, contain a lot of calcium. They are also less acidic than milk, which can contribute to conditions like osteoporosis.
Nuts, seeds, green vegetables, and oily fish are all good sources of the nutrients and minerals you need. If you find yourself craving a snack during the day, fruit is a great option. Bananas and raspberries are great sources of magnesium.
Seaweed is also a great healthy option. It is something of a delicacy in Japan, for example, where the average life expectancy is 84 years. It provides a lot of iodine and omega 3, which both keep your body healthy.
These are some easy, healthy recipe ideas for elderly people. They have been selected for their ease of preparation as well as their nutritional content. Full recipes can be found on websites like BBC Good Food or EatingWell.
We are starting broad, but we promise the other ideas are slightly more focused. Soup, though, is an excellent dish for your evening meals because it is so simple to make. There are also many different types of soup. This means you can have it more than once a week without getting bored.
The recipe we found recommends sweet potatoes, peppers, and butternut squash. Sweet potato is a healthier alternative to other potatoes, as it contains less starch. It will still thicken your soup, though. Peppers and butternut squash are great sources of nutrients. You can even purchase them – and other vegetables – pre-chopped at some supermarkets.
Cooking this simple soup requires only vegetables and a saucepan. Boil some water, add your vegetables, and simmer until they are soft. Add herbs and black pepper, and any other seasonings you may desire. Let the soup cool, then blend until smooth. If desired, warm it up some more, and then serve with bread.
Bread made with fortified wheat is recommended, as this also provides calcium.
Pasta dishes are easy to make. Jars of readymade pasta sauce are available from supermarkets, but these are often very high in salt. A tasty homemade sauce requires very little effort. This recipe only requires a single pot, too, saving on the washing up.
Start by chopping some tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and heat on the bottom of a pan with a small amount of butter. Add a small amount of chicken broth – this can be bought from many supermarkets – and allow to boil. Do not add too much, or it will become too watery. Sprinkle in some salt, pepper, and herbs.
Then put your pasta in the pan, and let it simmer. Your pasta will absorb the flavour from the sauce and absorb the water to help it thicken.
Serve in the pot. Some cheese on top or a slice of garlic bread can be an extra treat.
Fish is a great source of omega 3 and protein. For this recipe, we recommend salmon, but it can be prepared with most fish. Make sure they have been thoroughly boned first.
This is another very easy, healthy recipe. Simply place your fish on some aluminium foil, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and garnish with some chopped vegetables. Tomato is particularly tasty. Add some herbs, a sprinkling of salt, and a dash of freshly ground pepper.
Then wrap the fish in the foil and put in the oven for twenty minutes. Make sure the oven is on a low heat. The fish will be ready when it is flaky but still moist.
If you feel like you need something extra on the plate, garden peas go great with fish. They are also a great source of iron.
This recipe requires a little more preparation than others, but is a delicious, healthy meal. The beef provides protein, whilst the potatoes and vegetables all add some extra nutrition and minerals. It is also something of a national favourite.
First, you will want to peel your potatoes, cut them, and set them to boil. It will take about 25-30 minutes for them to be soft enough. Whilst you wait, prepare your vegetables – onion and carrot are best – and start heating them in a saucepan. When they start to soften, add the beef. Stir well to stop it from burning.
When the beef is all browned off, add some beef stock and seasonings. The recipe we found recommends tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, and mixed herbs. When it has thickened up – gravy granules may help if it remains watery – pour it into an oven-safe dish.
Mash your potato with butter and milk and then spoon over the top of your meat. If you fancy a treat, grate some cheese over the pie. It then requires about 25 minutes in the oven.
For some extra iron content, consider serving broccoli as a side.
Salads are easy, tasty options if you are not in the mood for a big meal. They contain a lot of iron in the greens, and this recipe also provides plenty of protein.
Your first step will be to grill some chicken. For extra flavour consider seasoning with spices. When it is cooked through, shred it, or cut it into chunks. The next step will be to mix it with your greens and any other ingredients you want to include.
The recipe we are using suggested using Greek yoghurt as a mayonnaise substitute. Mix in some seeds or nuts, as well as some sliced celery. Lots of lettuce will add a pleasant crunch to the meal without making it hard to chew.
If you feel like you need something extra, add a hardboiled egg or two. Instead, you could serve on crackers or wholemeal bread. A smaller portion might also be a nice side.
If you are starting to find that preparing your own meals is a challenge, an extra pair of hands around the house can make a massive difference. Even if you just need someone to peel the potatoes for your cottage pie, homecare services can provide the help you need.
A live-in carer can take over all mealtimes if necessary, or simply take on the jobs you do not feel capable of doing. Even these simple recipes for elderly people may prove challenging sometimes. Having someone around 24/7 means your needs will be cared for even if you are not feeling your best. We all have days where we do not feel like cooking; a live-in carer can make sure you are eating a healthy meal even if you are too tired to step foot in the kitchen.
Alternatively, our domiciliary carers can visit on a regular basis to cook your evening meal. Or perhaps you just need someone to wash up after you do the hard work yourself. A visit from one of our friendly carers will ensure your kitchen stays spic and span.
All our care services are designed to fit around your specific needs. As such, our carers will treat you with the utmost respect. They will give you all the opportunities to be independent that you ask for.