Often, mealtime can be quite challenging for the elderly, especially those in home or memory care. Some meals can be too "heavy", too "much", or perhaps their appetite is not as strong as it once was, so they often opt out of the meal altogether. That is why ensuring a simple healthy snack is available can make a difference in keeping your loved one, or person in your care, healthy and happy.
Here are some easy snack ideas to introduce into their daily menu, but please keep in mind any dietary restrictions and consult their physician for any allergies or medication conflicts.
"Grab and Go" - snack items, such as sliced vegetables (carrots, sweet peppers, cucumbers, etc.), fresh, sliced fruits (grapes, banana, apple, etc.), hard-boiled eggs, and cubed cheese paired with hummus, guacamole, or whole grain crackers are easily prepped, bagged, and stored ahead of time for easy snacking.
Yogurt - packed with protein and probiotics, this is a healthy snack choice. It's filling and can be paired with fruit, granola, or left on its own.
Granola - this high fiber snack option is a great choice for seniors because it promotes optimal bowel health and contain essential vitamins and minerals to further boost their digestive health while enhancing immunity.
Cottage Cheese - often paired with canned peaches and light syrup, cottage cheese is a protein rich option that is also soft and easy to eat.
Ice Cream or Pudding - these options are always enjoyed! They are tasty, come in a variety of flavours, convenient, and n the case of pudding - have a longer shelf life than most other snacks.
Recipe for Baked Cinnamon Apples
3 pounds of apples (Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or apple of your choice)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cornstarch
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350℉ degrees.
Peel the apples, cut and remove the core and cut into slices about 1/3-1/2 an inch thick.
Add the apples to a large bowl or you can mix right in a pie dish, or 2 quart baking dish. Add the light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. If using a bowl, spoon the apples into a pie dish or 2 quart baking dish.
Cut the butter into small squares, and place them over the top of the apples.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after the apples have baked for 15 minutes. This prevents apples on the top from drying. Bake until the apples are tender and soft.
Remove and serve on their own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Serve warm.
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