If your senior loved one has swallowing difficulties or dental disorders, it’s important to include soft, healthful foods in his or her diet. Your loved one doesn’t have to give up all of the foods he or she loves. Use these tips to create meals of soft foods that include your loved one’s favorites for a healthy, balanced life.
Opt for Soft and Moist Foods
If your loved one is on a soft food diet, look for foods that are already soft and moist. These include:
- Cooked beans
- Cottage cheese
Use a Food Processor
Finely dicing vegetables and meats may make it easier to chew and swallow food. Using a food processor can help. Simply add food to the processor and pulse until finely diced. The vegetables or meat may then be cooked as usual.
It’s extremely important to get enough protein to maintain muscle mass. Because many seniors on soft food diets don’t prefer the texture of mashed meats, eggs are a great way to increase the protein your loved one eats. Eggs can be hard-boiled and diced finely in an egg salad, scrambled for breakfast, or poached for an afternoon snack.
Slowly Simmer Vegetables in Soups
Soup is a great way to enjoy a variety of different foods. The best way to prepare soup is to allow the vegetables to simmer in a flavorful broth until extremely soft. Add cooked rice or pasta for a well-rounded meal, or top with crackers and allow them to soften before eating.
Cooking methods such as simmering liquids slowly is a great way to soften foods, but they can be time-consuming and labor intensive. Being a primary caregiver often means you don’t have the time to devote to things like slow cooking if you want to accomplish everything else on your to-do list, and it’s easy to forget to take care of your own needs. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Wellesley, MA, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Blend Frozen Fruits into Smoothies
It may be difficult for your loved one to eat fruits such as apples, pineapple, or pears, but he or she can still enjoy these fruits in a smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to boost your loved one’s vitamins and minerals. Simply chop up fruits and freeze. When ready to serve, toss the frozen fruit with a splash of milk into the blender and blend until smooth. Add some honey for sweetness if necessary.
Making healthy food choices for your loved one can be challenging, especially if those choices must fit within a diet restricted to soft foods. A highly trained caregiver can recommend nutritious options and help you plan a healthy diet for your loved one. In Wellesley, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Soften harder breads, crackers, or cookies by placing them in a bowl and adding a splash of milk or cream. The dairy will give your loved one a boost of calcium, and the dish can be eaten with a spoon once softened. Cheese sauces can also be added to cooked vegetables or rice to make eating easier and provide a flavorful boost.
Mash Harder Vegetables
Mashed potatoes are a comfort food that should be easy for your loved one to eat. Look for other hard vegetables that can be mashed to give your loved one some variety. Turnips, sweet potatoes, squash, cauliflower, and carrots can all be steamed and mashed with a small amount of butter and milk.
If your loved one’s diet is restricted to soft foods, these tips may be sufficient for you to make sure he or she gets plenty of nutrition. However, if your loved one’s dietary requirements are more complicated, it may be a good idea to add a professional caregiver to your caregiving team. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Wellesley families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call us at (781) 239-0060 today.