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Nutritious yet Yummy Food for Seniors

We’ve put together a list of healthy, nutrient-dense recipes for seniors, including breakfasts, salads, soups, vegetarian meals, and main dishes—most with just a handful of ingredients.
Lots of different factors make it difficult for seniors to eat healthy, from changing taste buds to medication side effects to a lack of interest in cooking for just one or two people. On top of that, older adults have different nutritional requirements. Though they need fewer calories, they need more protein, calcium, B vitamins, and other nutrients.
A Place For Mom is here to help seniors and their families meet the challenge of healthy—and simple—cooking: We’ve consulted our nutritionists, scoured the web, and collected 25 wholesome recipes that are nutrient-dense and heart-healthy, with plenty of vitamins as well as protein and fiber. Even better, most of these recipes have just a handful of ingredients.

Some of you might be heading foreign countries like USA or UK or Australia or any other forign countries soon. The ingredienets mentioned in this article are mostly non-available in India. But you can always try and enjoy these foods while in abroad.

Banana Split Oatmeal
Yield: 1 serving

  • 1⁄3 cup oatmeal, quick-cooking (dry)
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 3⁄4 cups water (very hot)
  • 1⁄2 banana (sliced)
  • 1⁄2 cup frozen yogurt, non-fat


  • In a microwave safe cereal bowl, mix together the oatmeal and salt. Stir in water.
  • Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on high power for another minute. Stir again.
  • Microwave an additional 30-60 seconds on high power until the cereal reaches the desired thickness. Stir again.
  • Top with banana slices and frozen yogurt.

Source: USDA SNAP-Ed Connection/University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Recipe Collection, p.14; Staff from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Healthy Breakfast Frittata
Serves 2

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 lb ground lamb or turkey
  • 1 + 2 TBS chicken broth
  • 3 cups rinsed and finely chopped kale (stems removed)
  • 5 omega-3 enriched eggs
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Mince onion and chop garlic; let them sit for 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting benefits.
  • Preheat broiler on low.
  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a 9-10 inch stainless steel skillet. Sauté onion over medium heat, for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add garlic, ground lamb or turkey, and cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat, breaking up clumps.
  • Add kale and 2 TBS broth. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook covered for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and mix.
  • Beat eggs, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and pour on top of mixture evenly. Cook on low for another 2 minutes without stirring.
  • Place skillet under broiler in middle of oven, about 7 inches from the heat source so it has time to cook without the top burning. As soon as the eggs are firm, it is done, about 2-3 minutes.

Source: The George Mateljan Foundation

Crust-less Spinach Pie
Yield: 2 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1⁄2 cup flour
  • 1⁄2 cup milk (1%)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces mozzarella
  • 2 cups spinach (chopped, fresh)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt butter or margarine in an 8 inch baking pan.
  • Beat eggs well. Add flour, milk, garlic and baking powder. Pour into baking pan. Stir in cheese and spinach.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm and the cheese is slightly golden brown.

Source: USDA SNAP-Ed Connection/Washington State University, Farmers Market Nutrition Program

Greek Yogurt Parfait
Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 cups plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 28 clementine segments
  • 1/4 cup shelled, unsalted dry-roasted chopped pistachios


  • Combine yogurt and vanilla in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 cup yogurt mixture into each of 4 small parfait glasses; top each with 1/2 teaspoon honey, 5 clementine sections, and 1/2 tablespoon nuts.
  • Top parfaits with the remaining yogurt mixture (about 1/3 cup each); top each with 1/2 teaspoon honey, 2 clementine segments, and 1/2 tablespoon nuts. Serve immediately.

Source: CarbLovers Diet

Breakfast Barley with Banana & Sunflower Seeds
Yield: 1 serving

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking pearl barley
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  • Combine 2/3 cup water and barley in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 6 minutes.
  • Stir and let stand 2 minutes.
  • Top with banana slices, sunflower seeds, and honey.

Source: CarbLovers Diet
Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad
Yield: 1 serving

  • 4 cups napa cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 TBS minced ginger
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed
  • 2 TBS chopped cilantro
  • 4 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded or cut into 1″ cubes

Toss all ingredients together and serve.
Source: The George Mateljan Foundation

Greek Salad
Yield: 1 serving

  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 2 TBS chopped mint
  • 3 TBS crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 TBS chopped olives
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine first five ingredients.
  • Toss with olive oil and vinegar, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Source: The George Mateljan Foundation

Mediterranean Tabouli Salad
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 cup wheat bulgur (dry), makes 2 cups after combining with liquid
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
  • 3 cups minced fresh parsley
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice or wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  • Place 1 cup wheat bulgur and salt to taste in a bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water or broth over the bulgur, stir once and let sit for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  • Mince onion and press or chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health properties.
  • Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  • For added flavor you may want to add more olive oil and lemon juice.

Source: The George Mateljan Foundation

Marinated Three-Bean Salad
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 can lima beans (8.5 ounce)
  • 1 can cut green beans (8 ounce)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (8 ounce)
  • 1  onion (medium, thinly sliced and separated into two rings)
  • 1⁄2 cup bell pepper (chopped sweet green)
  • 8 ounces Italian salad dressing (fat-free)


  • Drain the canned beans.
  • Peel and slice the onion and separate into rings
  • In a large bowl, combine the lima beans, green beans, kidney beans, onion rings, and green bell pepper.
  • Pour the Italian dressing over the vegetables and toss lightly.
  • Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. The salad can be left in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Drain before serving.

Source: USDA SNAP-Ed Connection/Texas Cooperative Extension, The Texas A&M University System, Expanded Nutrition Program

Poppy Seed Fruit Salad
Yield: 6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons orange-mango fat-free yogurt (such as Dannon)
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seed salad dressing
  • 2 cups halved strawberries
  • 2 cups cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup honeydew melon balls
  • 1 cup cantaloupe balls
  • 12 Boston lettuce leaves


  • Combine yogurt and salad dressing in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.
  • Combine strawberries, pineapple, and melon balls in a large bowl, tossing gently.
  • Line each of 6 plates with 2 lettuce leaves; spoon 1 cup fruit mixture onto each plate.
  • Drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon dressing. Serve immediately.

Source: Light
Immune-Boost Soup

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms (maitake or portabella)
  • 1 head escarole, roughly chopped (can substitute with kale or chard)
  • 1 can low-sodium white beans (can substitute with lima beans)
  • 1 QT organic low-sodium chicken broth/stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Sautee diced onions and mushrooms in 1 TBS of olive oil.
  • Add broth/stock and beans to veggie mix.
  • Bring to a boil and then add escarole.
  • Bring to a simmer, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born
“Just Veggies” Soup

  • 1 frozen pkg Whole Foods 365 Vegetable Medley (or your favorite frozen veggie mix)
  • 1 QT Whole Foods 365 Low-sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 TBS pecorino cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Sweat diced onion, carrot, celery in 1 TBS olive oil.
  • Add frozen veggie mix and 1 QT of chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let soup warm.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into a bowl and top with pecorino cheese for extra flavor!

Source: Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born
Pumpkin Soup
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 can white beans (15 ounce, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 onion (small, or 2 tsp. onion powder)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 ounces, plain)
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth, low-salt (14.5 ounces)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme or tarragon
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)


  • Blend white beans, onion, and water.
  • In a soup pot, mix bean puree with pumpkin, broth, and spices.
  • Cover and cook over low heat about 15 to 20 minutes until warmed through.

Source: USDA SNAP-Ed Connection/University of Connecticut, Family Nutrition Program, Senior Nutrition Awareness Project (SNAP) Newsletters
Spring Vegetable Soup
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 red cabbage (medium head, about 2 cups, finely shredded)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (medium, seeded and chopped)
  • 1⁄2 cup canned artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups vegetable juice (low-sodium tomato or)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute cabbage, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and peas for 10 minutes.
  • Add tomato juice and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, add basil and simmer for 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender and soup is piping hot.
  • Serve in individual serving bowls. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Source: USDA SNAP-Ed Connection/American Institute for Cancer Research, Recipe Corner

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