Looking for quick and easy meals for older adults that are as healthy as they are delicious? We have eight recommendations we think you’ll love.
Cereal with Fruit
Whole grains are an important part of our diet as older adults. You can tell if a cereal has whole grains by looking at the first ingredient on the list. Does it have whole-grain oats, wheat, corn, buckwheat, or rice listed? If so, next check that it has around 3 grams each of protein and fiber, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 grams or less of added sugar, and less than 200 milligrams of sodium.
Enjoy a dish of fresh fruit with your cereal to add a pop of flavor to your meal, as well as a healthy source of fiber and vitamins.
Oatmeal is another healthy meal for older adults to help start your day right. It’s a quick, easy way to get those whole grains that are so important for good health as we age. Oats are a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and antioxidants.
You probably already have a favorite way to make your oatmeal—perhaps the way your mother taught you as a child—but here is a basic oatmeal recipe if you need a refresher on the proportions.
- ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
- ½ cup fat-free milk
- ½ cup water
- Brown sugar
Directions: Combine oats, milk, and water; bring to a boil. Set heat to low and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool. Add brown sugar and fruit to taste.
When you get tired of breakfast staples but also don’t have time for a labor-intensive recipe before you head out the door to your social or volunteer engagements, french toast is a happy medium.
Here’s a quick and easy french toast recipe with some healthy alternatives mixed in.
- 3 Tbsp fat-free milk
- 1 egg
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 tsp margarine
- Pancake syrup
Directions: Whisk milk and egg together. Dip bread slices in, coating each side. Heat margarine in skillet; fry until golden brown on each side.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
As the National Council on Aging says, it’s best to make your plate look like a rainbow. That means a nice mix of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
For lunch, try some yogurt, a side of fruit or vegetables, and a fresh chicken salad sandwich on toasted whole grain bread. You can find an easy chicken salad recipe here (adding halved grapes gives it a nice pop!).
Easy Lunch Salads
Wondering what vegetables are best for older adults? There’s an easy way to tell. As we mentioned above, a colorful plate is best. The darker and more vivid the color of a vegetable, the better it is for you. Incorporate vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard into your salads to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.
Here is a collection of salads that are quick and easy to make for lunch.
Related: Fresh Produce Recipes
Honey Mustard Baked Salmon
Seafood is a great food group to keep in mind when looking for healthy meals for older adults. We need protein as we grow older because we process it less efficiently and therefore need more of it. It’s best to get that protein from lean sources like lean meats, seafood, eggs, and beans.
Here is a recipe for honey mustard baked salmon to help maintain a healthy level of lean protein in your diet. Enjoy it on a bed of brown rice to get another serving of whole grains and add some green vegetables to make your plate a healthy mix of colors.
Healthy Cauliflower Alfredo
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite dishes. There are many light versions of classic favorites available that have healthy alternatives swapped in for some of the things that aren’t so good for us.
Try this healthy cauliflower alfredo recipe and you’ll see what we mean!
Asian Chicken (Freezer Friendly)
Sometimes, the biggest challenge with eating healthy is finding the time to cook. For many, retirement can be just as busy as any other stage of life. For still others, cooking becomes more of a hassle as we grow older.
Freezer meals are an easy way to eat healthy without having to cook a fresh dish every single day. Here’s a recipe for Asian chicken thighs that you can freeze and save for later.
Read Next: Senior Fitness Trends for 2019
Healthy Eating for Healthy Living
Of course, a balanced diet is only one part of your holistic health journey. Physical fitness also plays a big role in the healthy aging process. For more tips on health and wellness, read our free guide for older adults, Creative Ways to Stay Healthy After Age 60.