Soft Food Recipes for the Ill or Elderly
While I was in college, I worked at a local retirement home as a certified nursing assistant. My responsibility was to care for our residents, oftentimes helping them with daily life activities like getting dressed or going for a walk. For some, I would sit and help during meal times. As our loved ones age, it can be difficult for them to swallow food or chewing may not be a possibility any longer. In this case, having foods that are pureed or soft in texture is necessary. Here are 8 delicious, soft food recipes for an elderly loved one in your life or someone who may be struggling with eating due to chemo or other health issues:
Simply steam or cook your veggies until tender, lightly season and then puree. Depending on how thick or thin your puree needs to be for your loved one, add enough water or broth until the right consistency is reached. If they are on a low salt diet, use unsalted vegetable or chicken stock to help season the puree.
This recipe from the Pioneer Woman would be easy to customize to you or your loved one's needs. She even shares a smart way to thicken the soup if it's too thin.
Mashed potatoes can be comforting and easily digested. At the retirement home where I worked, one of my residents enjoyed a serving every day. Her family stored prepared mashed potatoes in the refrigerator on her floor, and a family member came each night to warm them and feed them to her. If you want to make mashed potatoes ahead and keep them frozen until ready to eat, I recommend this article: The Best Way to Freeze and Reheat Mashed Potatoes.
Seniors may eat less over time. For this reason, smoothies can be a great way to add needed nutrients to their diet. Simply add yogurt, fruit, vegetables or leafy greens, and even nut butters for protein. I'd recommend trying some of the recipes found here.
The lemon and turmeric in this recipe offer a burst of flavor! This soup can also be blended, so that it is easy to swallow. Adam and Joanne from Inspired Taste offer many great suggestions in preparing and storing this soup. I'd recommend reading their whole post!
This recipe would work well for someone who is on a mechanical soft food diet. This means they can still chew soft textured foods. The chicken, apples, and squash would be soft enough that minimal chewing is needed.
Pudding can be a nostalgic sweet treat. Click the link to see 38 different pudding recipes that are classic and timeless.
Do you see a recipe you want to try or share with a senior in your life? I hope you find these ideas helpful and are reminded that pureed or soft foods don't need to be bland!
***If you or a loved one close to you needs a soft food diet, please talk to a doctor about what is recommended before you prepare your purees!
For the White Bean Soup with Kale recipe shown above, click here.
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