In this guide, we will reveal the top 16 soft food recipes for the elderly which are easy delicious and healthy meal ideas. This is a list of nutritious meals and nutritious foods that can be easily chewed and swallowed by older adults.
Most adult seniors will lose their interest in cooking because of physical difficulties, dining alone, medication side effects, and their changing taste buds. These are just some of the reasons. This leads them to eat foods that do not have all of the essential nutrients that they need. Even so, staying hydrated and having a balanced diet are essential for helping the elderly maintain good health as they age. Having soft food recipes are a great way to provide your loved one with their nutritional needs they deserve especially if they have trouble chewing.
A soft food diet is a great way for the older adults to maintain their health and keep their energy levels up. By eating softer foods, they are less likely to develop health problems such as obesity or heart disease. It is essential that seniors eat foods that are not only delicious, easy to chew and digest but also that are packed with the proper nutrition. Eating soft foods is one of the best ways to get proper nutrition in order for them to have and maintain a good quality of life as they age.
Ideal Foods For Senior Citizens
The majority of diseases that affect seniors are caused by inadequate eating, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Diabetes, osteoporosis, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancer are diseases that are common for the elderly and diseases that have been linked to diet. Most seniors’ meals lack the variety that lead them to having a micro-nutrient deficiency.
So when you are thinking of what types of foods to serve to your elderly parents, always keep in mind to diversify their food menu. There are a variety of foods that are ideal for older people. These foods are typically low in calories, high in nutrients, and easy to digest. Adult people have different nutrient needs than younger people, due to age-related reasons, muscle and bone mass decreases. However, of them need the same amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat as people of other ages. They also need more vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium.
Protein is essential for the body and provides the amino acids which are needed to build and repair tissue. Small pieces of food portions with high protein content provide a good amount of Vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acid. In addition, protein has been shown to help maintain muscle mass and reduce the risk of sarcopenias. Some of the best sources of protein for them are:
- Lean Meat (chicken, turkey, fish) – They are good source of protein and contain very little fat and are also a good source of iodine.
- Beans (lentils, chickpeas, peas and soybeans)
Carbohydrates are frequently misunderstood and at times considered bad because they are included in many sugary meals such as cakes and cookies. However, the right type of carbohydrates, when consumed in moderation, brings great nutritional benefits to a seniors’ well-being and they are as follows:
- Increases their energy levels.
- Promote feeling of meal satisfaction – complex carbohydrates stay in the digestive system longer which help them to keep fuller longer.
- Provide a good amount of powerful antioxidants and nutrients – fruits and vegetables are examples of good carbohydrates that provide nutritional benefits that seniors need.
- Maintain Good Digestion – there are a lot of carbohydrates that also contain fiber which helps to maintain a good digestive system. Fiber helps to push food through the intestines, making him or her feel less constipated.
- A good source of low-fat protein – beans, yogurt and quinoa are foods that are not only a great source of good carbohydrates but are a good source of low-fat protein as well.
Healthy Fats often refer to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can help aid in the reduction of “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol which clogs arteries. They also help to manage blood sugar levels, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. Foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil, avocados, pumpkin and sesame seeds, nuts like hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. While foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fats are sunflower oil, corn oil, flax-seed oil, soybean oil, walnuts, fish and flax-seeds.
Omega-3 fats are a form of polyunsaturated lipids that are very significant. These are not produced by the body, so they must be obtained through food. The good news is that you just need to eat fish 2 to 3 times a week and you are good to go. However, foods that contain saturated fats should be avoided as saturated fats are known to be harmful. Below are foods that should be avoided by seniors:
- Pizza and cheese
- Dairy products like whole and reduced fat milk, dairy desserts and butter
- Sausage, bacon, hamburgers,and beef
- Cookies and other grain-based desserts
- Fast food dishes.
Good Sources of Magnesium, Calcium and other Vitamins and Minerals
- Leafy greens and green vegetables provide a good amount of calcium along with other vitamins and minerals.
Breakfast Recipes for the Elderly
Here are some great ways to get your loved ones day started with a nutritious meal.
Oatmeal with Raisins, Fruits and Almonds – Oatmeal is a great breakfast option for the elderly, as it is both filling and nutritious and is great for those with a health condition such as heart problems. It’s one of the best soft food ideas for breakfast. Adding raisins and nuts provides additional flavor and nutrients, making it a delicious and healthy meal. You can even create what I call gourmet oatmeal. Here’s how to create this:
- Crush bananas in your bowl so they have an almost liquid consistency. This releases the banana’s flavor. Next, add the appropriate amount of water to your pan to make your oatmeal, add blueberries, raisins and salt into the water as well as a 1 tsp of all natural peanut butter. Bring to a boil and add the oatmeal. Cook until oatmeal is done. Pour into the bowl on top of the crushed bananas. Mix so you see banana swirls in the oatmeal. Then top with your favorite fruits, nuts and add sugar if desired.
Banana Smoothie – For a refreshing banana smoothie, mix 1 banana, 1 cup of cold milk, and 1 tablespoon of honey together in a blender.
Baked Chickpeas and Mackerel Patties -This recipe is filled with flavor from red onions, green onions, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sesame oil, bay spices, and paprika, as well as nutrients from mackerel and chickpeas. It’s best served with white rice. Mackerel and chickpeas are both foods that are rich in protein, high in omega-3 fatty acids and have lower calorie content which makes them healthy foods for your elderly mother and loved ones.
Eggplant and Tomato Casserole – A great make-ahead breakfast and a recipe that is so easy to prepare. There is no frying, no need to remove the eggplant skin because everything is cooked in the oven. Eggplant is the start of this recipe because it is provides a good source of nutrition that may help to boast memory and provide fiber for their digestive health.
Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy – For a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving meal, try roasted turkey breast with gravy. This dish is easy to make and can be served with any type of bread or rice. The gravy can be made with any type of stock or gravy mix, and can be spiced up with any type of herbs or spices.
Soft Fruits For Soft Snacks – Bananas and raspberries are ideal snacks for them because they are easy to chew and they are a good source of magnesium and other vitamins and minerals that are good for the heart.
Juices extracted from fresh fruits and vegetables are also one of the best way to make nutrients easier to absorb especially for older adults who no longer have teeth and who do not have a strong appetite. These juices are packed with lots of nutritional value that they need.
Vegetable Soup (Breakfast Soup Loaded With Vegetables) – Soup that can be both eaten for breakfast and lunch. It is a soup literally loaded with vegetables because it has cabbage, carrots, green onions and spinach. It’s also a soup that is loaded with good flavor from different cooking sauces and seasonings. This soup recipe is a make-ahead breakfast because it will stay good for 4 to 5 days inside the refrigerator.
One Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe: Asian Rice Porridge – This is one of the most delicious soft foods and one of the most soft food recipes for them that you can make. It is a very simple dish, easy to prepare and a very healthy meal. You only need a Dutch oven, and then you combine all ingredients in the Dutch oven. Chicken and rice are the stars in this recipe and they are cooked together with other super food ingredients such as cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, green onions, garlic, and seasonings. All are used in this recipe making this recipe not only a one-pot meal but also a healthy complete supper.
Healthy Canned Tuna Recipe With Chickpeas and an Asian Twist -This is another super easy recipe and yet is packed with a lot of flavors which makes this recipe an ideal food for breakfast and lunch. The combination of canned tuna and canned chickpeas cooked with cooking sauces loaded with umami flavors makes this a healthy and filling meal to anyone and is another great option for those that need soft meals.
Healthy Recipes for Dinner
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup With Jalapeno And An Asian Twist – This is the Asian version of the famous chicken noodle soup that is not only packed with a lot of delicious flavors but also packed with nutrients and is very high in fiber. Aside from chicken, tofu is one the ingredients which is also known for for the fact that it’s rich in protein and contains essential amino acids needed by the body. The bean sprouts, green onions, cabbage, carrots and jalapeno are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If your loved ones are not a fan of spicy food just remove the jalapenos, it will still be a delicious meal.
The Healthy Fresh Chopped Vegetable Salad Recipe – This recipe is simple to prepare and a delicious salad dish because it is made from healthy raw veggies. It is a salad recipe that does not include any leafy greens which makes this recipe a great salad to prepare on any time of day. The nicest aspect about this chopped salad is that it can be prepared in advance.
Baked Chicken Breast Recipe Marinated With Yogurt and Coated With Panko – This is packed with flavors coming from the delicious taste of yogurt and spices making these baked chicken breast tender and juicy.
Easy Baked Black Bean and Chickpea Burgers Recipe -Try this recipe when your loved ones are craving a good hamburger meal, since hamburger is one of the foods that are rich in saturated fats. This is an excellent choice to satisfy their craving and yet you give them peace of mind because they are eating a healthier version of burger patties.
Recipe For Salmon Soup With Vegetables: Fish Soup in Sour Broth – A recipe made of bite sized salmon (flaky fish) along with spinach, chicken broth, potatoes, lime and lemon juice, tomatoes and spinach.
Whole Chicken Soup With Vegetables: Filipino Chicken Tinola – Do not be intimated by the concept of cooking the whole chicken in one big pot. If you do not like the idea, you can use different parts of the chicken. This recipe produces chicken that will melt in your mouth. The chicken is not only delicious but is also super tender which makes it ideal to eat by seniors who are having a hard time chewing hard foods. The main ingredients are young chicken, ginger, spinach, chicken broth and papaya.
Pollock Fish Fillet Recipe: Easy Seafood Pasta Meal – Easy and affordable seafood dinner meal cooked in tomato sauce.
I hope that this list of soft food recipes for the elderly give you some inspiration to try new recipes that will help the older people in your life to get the nutritional value that they need. Plus they are all easy meals to prepare. Remember always eat in moderation!