Good food for elderly people

Good food for elderly people

Maintaining a good diet can be difficult but especially so if they have problems with their dentures or a sore mouth. If this is the case you need to really think about what foods are going to be easy to eat and still contain nutritious elements.

Whilst this article will provide some ideas  – it is essential to address what is causing the elderly person to struggle to eat. New dentures or treating the condition causing the sore mouth would help maintain overall health especially if thrush is the cause of the soreness.

When we have good teeth and healthy mouths it is difficult to imagine how challenging otherwise innocuous foods can be to someone elderly. Crackers and crisps become sharp when teeth are missing and tomato skins a choking hassard.

A simple tip here: prick the skin of the tomato and plunge into a mug of boiling water. This will allow you to peel the skin away. 

One solution is to liquidise foods.  Once again I learnt this the hard way, it takes more time but can be done in advance. Always liquidise the different components of the meal individually. No-one is going to find a brown dish of mixed pureed food tempting.

There are lots of different mini food processors available which are ideal for pureeing small amount of food. 
Some people like to pipe the individual food items onto the plate for presentation purposes but to be honest if you are heating the food in a microwave it is likely to lose its shape and it is additional work. Some care homes have invested in shaped moulds for making a number of portions that can then be frozen. This does save time and daily planning but to be honest you can achieve a similar result using a silicone muffin tray at the fraction of the cost.

 

Elderly people find it difficult to chew and swallow meat unless it is incredibly tender, poaching meat in stock or a thin gravy is better than roasting or frying it. Often foods can taste bland and seasoning is needed whilst trying to avoid too much salt a low sodium alternative is handy. Pepper can enhance flavour with no health implications.

    • Homemade soups packed with veg
    • Yoghurts
    • Blamanges
    • Custards
    • Rice Pudding
    • Semolina
    • Tapioca
    • Soft bread/rolls
    • Boiled eggs
    • Scrambled eggs
    • Fried eggs
    • Poached eggs
    • Omelettes
    • Skinless sausages
    • Fish
    • Minced beef meals such as cottage pie
    • Corned beef
    • boiled ham
    • Spinach and all veg cooked until soft
    • cheese can be grated to make it easier to chew
    • Mashed and boiled potato
    • Biscuits dunked in tea – essential
    • Porridge
    • Weetabix made with hot milk
    • Bananas

Whilst these are foods that can be tasty and healthy for someone elderly  – it is essential that the issues causing the eating difficulty are addressed. New dentures or treating the condition causing the sore mouth would help maintain overall health.

 

Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

2 Comments

  1. Hello Doris,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment on Caron Cares. Your husband is certainly very organised and thoughtful. Cranberry juice is great for older people as it helps to prevent urinary tract infections which are so common in that age group. Anther thing I have found handy is that when making a cheese sauce or gravy – freeze it in an ice-cube trays and then just to defrost what is needed for each future meal.
    Thanks again for commenting
    Best wishes
    Caron

  2. My husband makes meals for his mum who is 92 years old. Everytime he cooks a meal, he puts two plastic ‘take away’ containers next to our plates and puts extra meat and veg aside for his mum. He puts them in the freezer then delivers them on his next visit. She loves popping the meals in the microwave, without the bother of cooking from scratch. She seemes very healthy as a result. In addition cranberry juice seems popular with older people, especially served in a wine glass. Cheers! Doris Sheridan

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