9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas for the Elderly
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We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day - but we at Lottie think it’s equally important to have the best breakfast for you; whether that’s a cup of tea and a grapefruit, or a hearty full English.
What’s more, when you reach your later years there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy breakfast just as much as when you were younger. However, getting old may bring with it certain dietary requirements.
To help you work up an appetite, we’ve picked out spoke tasty healthy breakfast ideas for the elderly.
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In this article on healthy breakfast ideas for the elderly:
- Diet and eating difficulties for the elderly
- Nutritional requirements
- Our nine healthy breakfast choices and ideas
Diet & Eating Difficulties for the Elderly
There are a few different reasons why elderly people’s eating habits change over time.
Appetite typically decreases with age, due to a similar decrease in physical activity. Appetite can also suffer as our sense of taste diminishes - as the taste and smell of food are the main reasons we enjoy it so much, lots of old people complain that eating isn’t as exciting as it used to be and their quality of life suffers as a result.
Changes in dietary requirements
Old age can also lead to a need to follow a special diet, particularly if the person in question has high cholesterol or diabetes. Further, certain medications for health conditions can cause reduced appetite and nausea, which makes eating unpleasant.
Elderly people may sometimes find daily tasks like shopping, putting away food and cooking more difficult, which can lead to poor eating habits. This is where services like home care and readymade meal deliveries come in useful.
Plenty of older adults find eating difficult as their dental health worsens and tough foods become harder to chew. Softer foods often then become the preferred choice. To help with this, some over 60s get free dental treatment in the UK.
If you have an elderly parent or grandparent, you may sometimes worry whether they are eating enough - or eating the right foods, especially if they live alone. Read on to learn more about how you can help them to get the right nutrients in their diet.
As we age, we still need to make sure that we are getting the right food groups to make a balanced diet. Although not everyone likes breakfast, it is nonetheless a great way for elderly people to stay on track for their nutritional goals for the day.
A good balanced diet should contain a mix of carbohydrate-rich foods, protein-heavy foods, and lots of colourful fruits and vegetables.
There are also many foods that can help with certain age-related conditions, such as fish and nuts, which prevent inflammation, aid vision and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to being rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Fibre-rich foods such as wholegrains, fruit and veg and nuts are also vital to aid digestion and support gastrointestinal health, while leafy greens and vegetables contain high levels of calcium, which strengthens bones and keeps blood pressure down.
If your loved one lives in a care home, they should be getting healthy, nutritionally balanced meals three times a day, as well as snacks. If your loved one lives alone, you might find the following breakfast recipes useful.
Healthiest Breakfast Choices
A tasty and nutritious breakfast can help give you an energy boost in the morning, make you feel happier and set you up for the day ahead.
For elderly people, breakfast can also be a calming ritual, helping them ease into their day in a relaxed and comforting way. We’ve provided our top 9 healthy breakfast choices for some morning meal inspiration.
1. Oats and Berries
Porridge is a quick and easy meal to prepare and can be enjoyed any time of the year. Oats are rich in fibre and are also a slow-release carbohydrate, giving you plenty of energy in the morning, while berries add colour and flavour.
You can use any milk you like to make your porridge, from dairy to oat milk. For an alternative option, why not try making some overnight oats and leave in the fridge for an easy breakfast in the morning.
Lots of people enjoy eating cereal for breakfast, including Weetabix. Not only is Weetabix low in fat and sugar, but it’s also high in fibre, as well as being fortified with certain vitamins and minerals.
Try Weetabix with milk, yoghurt and fruit - or go for the different Weetabix flavour options including chocolate and banana.
Eggs are one of the best and most versatile breakfast foods, containing 13 grams of protein and a blend of nutrients that pack a real punch.
Enjoy your eggs poached, boiled, whisked into an omelette and scrambled on some wholegrain toast, or try a soft-boiled egg with toast soldiers.
If you don’t like eggs, why not try spreading your toast with peanut butter or almond butter - both of which are another protein-rich and healthy fat option.
4. Yoghurt, Fruit and Granola
Yoghurt mixed with fruit and granola is a great combination of healthy fats, vitamin C and carbohydrates. Try Greek yoghurt, bananas and nuts with a drizzle of honey, or make yourself a tropical breakfast bowl with vegan coconut yoghurt, pineapple and mango - the choice is yours!
Just take care to check the level of sugar in your granola - some brands contain more than others. If you’re feeling brave, you can even make your own granola using nuts, oats, maple syrup or agave and dried fruit. If you don’t like yoghurt and granola, a simple fruit plate of melon, grapes and grapefruit makes another tasty breakfast.
5. Healthy Pancakes
Pancakes are a fun breakfast option - and they don’t have to be unhealthy either! Make your pancake batter using wholemeal or wholegrain flour and top your pancakes with berries, low-fat yoghurt and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.
You can also make deliciously fluffy banana pancakes using ripe bananas, oats, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
6. Smoothies and Juices
Not everyone can stomach a heavy breakfast first thing in the morning, so if this sounds like you or your elderly parent, try a healthy smoothie.
You can pack anything you like into a smoothie, from kiwis, cucumber, spinach, kale and grapes, to strawberries, raspberries, banana and mango. As well as being high in vitamins and antioxidants, smoothies are also easier for those who find chewing uncomfortable or painful.
Similarly, a glass of fresh fruit juice is light on the stomach and could be the perfect way to start your day, such as vitamin C-rich orange juice.
7. Tofu Scramble
If you or your loved one is vegan or doesn’t like eggs, tofu scramble makes a fantastic alternative.
The main health benefits of tofu are that it contains a high level of protein and protective antioxidants - it might even to help alleviate symptoms of the menopause!
With a similar texture to scrambled egg, tofu contains lots of protein - while also having less cholesterol than eggs. Why not scramble some tofu with cheese or vegetables for a nutritious toast topper.
8. Avocado Toast
Although avocado toast recently gained cult status as a dish for the younger generation, there’s no reason why older people can’t enjoy it too!
Avocados are soft and creamy, making the perfect topping for toast or muffins, as well as being chock full of healthy fats. Try mashing a ripe avocado with a fork and spreading on multigrain toast for a high-fibre, healthy breakfast.
9. English Muffins
A tasty breakfast staple, English muffins are versatile and work with a number of different toppings.
Try whole grain English muffins topped with roasted tomatoes and spinach, or spread hummus on top for a high-protein kick.
Alternatively, you can add sweet toppings to your muffins with butter and the jam or marmalade of your choice.
We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.