Are you concerned that your senior loved one, or older adult in your care, isn’t getting enough nutrition? It could be that they have difficulty grocery shopping or cooking for themselves or they may require assistance at mealtime. Whatever the reason, here are a few breakfast options and helpful planning tips to support your loved at the most important meal of the day.
As with any plan of care for a senior, those living with Dementia, or any older adult in your care, always consult a physician to ensure you are aware of any dietary restrictions or other recommendations they may have.
Always begin with a Plan.
Planning out daily meals ahead of time, not only saves time, but also provides a variety of options each day to reduce mealtime boredom. However, some seniors may enjoy predictability and routine, so perhaps their meals will be repeated each day, and that’s OK.
This is an opportunity to make sure that they are provided with a balanced, healthy, and nutritious menu that will keep them satiated and hydrated throughout the day.
Start with their favourites!
We want our loved ones and those in our care to be happy first and foremost, so by making sure their favourite foods are on the menu each week, you are guaranteed to see a smile! But, their favourites also must be nutritious and balanced, so look for recipes that have a healthier option for favourite foods.
Hydration is key!
Don’t forget to add fluids and water-rich foods to the menu! Dehydration is a serious concern for those of any age, but particularly more so with the elderly. Simply add fluids like juice, coffee/tea, supplement options like Boost or Ensure, and of course water to their daily meals and snacks.
By also adding drinkable yogurt, soup, watermelon, cucumber, and other water-rich vegetables to their diet, you are ensuring that they are getting the proper hydration they require. Perhaps even include a Fluids Checklist to track their fluid intake!
According to Canada’s Food Guide for Seniors, healthy eating is a key part of aging well. It is a way for you to stay healthy and strong, which is important to maintain your independence and quality of life. As you age, your body needs less food, but may need more of certain nutrients, such as vitamins or minerals. Here is what they suggest:
Eat a variety of healthy foods to make sure you get enough different nutrients.
Choose vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods that you enjoy. Frozen and canned options can be just as healthy and easier to prepare.
If your sense of taste or smell has changed, try different spices and herbs to add more flavour, instead of salt. You can also switch up the texture and temperature of foods to make them more interesting.
If some foods have become more difficult to eat, try choosing and preparing foods differently. For example, for a softer texture, try cooking vegetables instead of eating them raw.
Here are 10 delicious and nutritious Breakfast options to try:
Warm or Cold oatmeal and berries.
Veggie & Egg Scramble
A hard-boiled egg accompanied by fresh fruit and a slice of whole wheat toast
Whole grain pancakes or waffles with fresh fruits and drizzle of sugar-free syrup
Yogurt parfait – Yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and nuts
Whole wheat toast with a peanut butter or almond butter spread and some fresh fruits
Poached egg on a slice of whole wheat toast with some vegetables on the side
Egg Roll-up - Egg white omelet with diced, cooked sweet peppers, and rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla
Egg Cups – See our previous Blog post from February 12, 2020 for a delicious recipe!
Breakfast Muffins – there are plenty of recipes for delicious and nutritious breakfast muffins that mix sweet with savoury!
**Bonus: When in doubt, a breakfast smoothie can also be the way to go! It can include yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, spinach, peanut butter, ground flax seed, water/milk, or any combination of nutritious fruits, veggies, and proteins!
Whatever options you choose, don't forget to hydrate with liquids, and just have fun!
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