Healthy & Easy Meal Ideas for Seniors
How we eat and enjoy food changes over the course of our lifetimes. As our metabolism slows with age, we require less energy to fuel our bodies. This means smaller portions and less caloric intake.
However, this doesn't mean that aging adults need to scrimp on nutrition, flavor, or fun! Our golden years are an especially important time to focus on brain-boosting meals that are not only delicious, but will help prevent cognitive decline. Some of the healthiest meals for seniors include lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Read on for some tasty and nutritious meal ideas for seniors who love to cook!
Healthy Breakfast Meals
Oatmeal with berries
This meal is chock-full of antioxidants and fiber, making it a perfect start to a senior's day. Add nut butter, sliced almonds, chia seeds, or yogurt for added protein. Oatmeal is an easy base for seniors to top with yummy ingredients.
This savory breakfast is easily customizable based on personal taste and preference. Fold onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, or beans into your omelet and top with salsa and fresh slices of avocado. Swap eggs for egg whites for cholesterol-conscious adults, or add some breakfast sausage or chorizo to really spice things up.
Filling Lunch Ideas
Baked glazed salmon
This easy meal for seniors provides lean protein, healthy fats, and is super easy to prepare. Use heart and brain-healthy oils to cook with such as olive, avocado, or coconut and it's ready in 10 minutes. Rice, potatoes, or quinoa make great side dishes.
Shrimp and pasta
Whole-grain pasta makes this a guiltless indulgence, and grilling some seasoned shrimp with herbs adds a powerful punch. Incorporate sautéed tomatoes and/or spinach to mix in some colorful veggies.
Hearty Dinner Recipes
The Mediterranean Diet is known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease and boost brain health. A vibrant Greek salad incorporates all these benefits by serving up a healthy dose of leafy greens, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, feta cheese and topped with an anti-inflammatory olive oil and/or vinegar as dressing. Senior cooks can add the ingredients they love, and leave what they don't.
Black bean chili
Primarily a vegetable-based dish, this chili appeases vegetarians and meat eaters alike. This is best enjoyed topped with a little shredded cheese and you can sub plain Greek yogurt for sour cream to cut down on unhealthy fats and up the protein. Toppings could include jalapenos, avocado slices, pickled red onions, or cilantro.
These are just some of the many easy meals for senior citizens that can prevent diseases, strokes, and arthritis while promoting brain and heart health. It's vital that seniors understand the importance their diet plays in the aging process but that they can still enjoy and explore in the kitchen. Learn more about how Enlivant communities offer well-rounded and delectable menus for seniors here.