Breakfast is traditionally considered one of the most important meals of the day, regardless of your age. A fortiori, an appetizing and balanced breakfast can be a good way to avoid undernutrition in the elderly. Cap Retraite offers you some recipes combining nutrition, ease and affordability to brighten up your mornings.
How to prepare a balanced breakfast for an elderly person?
To meet all of their nutritional needs, older people should continue to eat three meals a day.. Breakfast is probably the most important, since it breaks the overnight fast. It is recommended to introduce different types of food:
- carbohydrates: bread, cereals, etc. They offer a good source of energy for the day;
- fruits and vegetables to fill up with vitamins and fiber, important for intestinal transit;
- dairy products, rich in calcium and proteins;
- liquids to rehydrate you after a night without drinking: tea, fruit juice, glass of water…
Above are some healthy breakfast ideas for seniors that provide good nutrition to start the day off right.
Spinach: good for the eyes and muscles of seniors
Spinach is excellent for seniors because it is known to:
- reduce the risk of breast and esophageal cancer;
- prevent various eye disorders affecting seniors: macular degeneration, cataracts, etc. ;
- provide a host of vitamins (A, B9, K, B12, B6) and minerals (iron, copper, etc.).
A Swedish study published in 2012 in the journal Journal of Physiology proves that Popeye was right: spinach strengthens muscles and improves their performance. Introducing spinach in the menus of the elderly would therefore reduce muscle wasting.
It is recommended to consume spinach with a source of vitamin C to improve the absorption of vitamins, due to the presence of oxalic acid in the vegetable.
Be careful, however, for the elderly who take anticoagulants: vitamin K does not mix well with these drugs.
Spinach pie is a great option for a healthy breakfast, perfect for seniors, as it includes protein and vegetables to start the day off right. An original idea to prevent undernutrition in the elderly.
There are many different recipes. Depending on your dietary restrictions, you may need to customize or modify them to suit your needs.
Easy spinach pie
- 1 puff pastry or 1 frozen pie shell
- olive oil
- 150g frozen spinach
- ¼ grated onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 115g cream cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Saute spinach and onion in olive oil in skillet until onion is tender and spinach is completely thawed, then cool slightly.
- Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and place it on the bottom of the pie.
- Top with the spinach and onion mixture.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add grated cheese, milk, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Pour the mixture over the pie.
- Bake in hot oven for 45-55 minutes or until center of pie is set. You may need to cover it with foil for the last 10-15 minutes, to avoid burning the crust.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.
Oats for breakfast for better digestion
Rolled oats make for a simple, traditional breakfast. Oats are very nutritious and rich in fiber that guarantees the functioning of the digestive system of the elderly.
Be sure to buy good quality rolled oats and flavor your oatmeal with healthy options, rather than adding white sugar.
Consider the following additions to flavor your oatmeal:
- Fresh fruit: berries, kiwis or mangoes
- Raw brown sugar
- Pumpkin spice
- Vanilla extract
- Organic honey.
It is recommended to consume oatmeal in its most natural form possible. Instant or quick-cooking oats do not have the same nutritional benefits as steel-cut oats. It certainly takes longer to cook, but the difference is not huge.
Oats contain valuable nutrients for the elderly:
- fiber (especially beta-glucan, reducing blood cholesterol levels),
- vitamin E (excellent against cardiovascular diseases), zinc, iron, selenium, manganese, copper…
- ½ cup steel-cut oats
- 1 glass of water
- 1/3 cup pumpkin (canned)
- ½ glass of skimmed milk (cow, goat, rice milk or soy milk)
- 1 C. vanilla coffee
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- raw walnuts or almonds (crushed or slivered)
- 1 C. maple syrup
- put the oats and water in a saucepan;
- bring to a boil, stirring occasionally;
- lower the heat and bring to a simmer;
- cook until oatmeal is creamy, about 8-10 minutes;
- add pumpkin, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon;
- add walnuts or maple syrup.
Labneh (Greek yogurt)
Another great idea for a quick and light breakfast: yogurt.
The labneh (typical dish of oriental cuisine, made from condensed fermented milk) is rich in protein and aids digestion in the elderly.
It also helps regulate blood pressure and is an excellent source of calcium. Check the labneh label to make sure it has all the nutrients you desire.
- Put 1 glass of plain labneh in a bowl and add 1 kiwi and 1/2 banana, cut (freeze the other half of the banana to prepare smoothies);
- Sprinkle with a handful of chopped unsalted roasted cashews or unsweetened coconut flakes.
Labné with cereals and chia seeds
- Put a glass of plain labneh in a bowl and add your favorite cereal or muesli;
- Sprinkle with a handful of chia seeds (rich in dietary fiber and “healthy” fats, as well as omega-3, vitamin B9 and calcium, they would also help prevent cardiovascular disease).
Tofu, a vegan food rich in essential nutrients
A cup of tofu contains twenty grams of protein. Tofu is a great alternative to eggs that are nutrient-dense but higher in cholesterol.
Soy products like tofu contain powerful antioxidants, called isoflavones. As such, they help minimize oxidative stress caused by molecules called free radicals.. It is this oxidative stress that is implicated both in aging and in the development of several chronic diseases. Regular consumption of isoflavone-rich foods, such as tofu, is associated with lower cholesterol levels, especially “bad” cholesterol. Eating legumes, including soy, lowers risk of heart diseasedue to the phytochemicals and fibers they contain.
Tofu can be scrambled alone or with cheese. You can add vegetables to create a balanced breakfast for seniors.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 280g extra firm tofu
- 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ small bunch of chopped parsley
- rye bread, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
- Stir in the garlic, turmeric, cumin and paprika and cook for 1 min.
- Coarsely mash the tofu in a bowl using a fork, leaving a few thick pieces. Add to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to high, then add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes longer or until starting to soften.
- Stir the parsley into the mixture.
- Serve alone or with toasted rye bread.
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