Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Healthy recipes for the elderly

I love to learn new things, and one thing I'm digging into more these days concerns healthy recipes for the elderly. Since I'm cooking for my mom I have a different set of health issues to take into consideration. I am learning to cook with an eye towards control against diabetes, lowering cholesterol (with that whole thing of lowering the bad and raising the good), appealing to a very fast metabolism that needs regular, small meals, and lots more.

I'd love to hear some of your recipes for good, healthy meals and snacks for an elderly person. I'm particularly looking for recipes with bananas and blueberries, and probably some oatmeal and walnuts, too. Mama loves those things and if I could make something like cookies or muffins, she could snack on some yummy, healthy goodies and not worry about it.

Got any ideas?

Caregiver at Home


  1. Joan, just found your post. I take care of my 85 year old Mother in our home, and we run an in home business as well. I do about 3-4 loads of laundry a day because of her incontinence. I need recipes that can be easily digested as her diarrhea leaves her loopy (er) and dehydrated. I have searched the internet. Seems no one has a clue.

  2. Anon, I'm so sorry I didn't reply earlier. I've been thinking about your question and what you might be able to do. One thing that immediately came to mind is that my mom takes a Colestipol tablet for diarrhea when she needs it, so perhaps you could ask your mom's doctor about that. The drug's mainly used to lower cholesterol but has a side-effect of controlling diarrhea. It has worked for Mama, thankfully. I'm not a doctor, so it's just a thought to check into, but we've had success with it here. Diarrhea definitely leaves these little seniors loopy and dehydrated, so I definitely hear you there. It's not a good place at all for them to be. Here's a link I found: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601915

    Does she tolerate or enjoy smoothies or drink supplements like Ensure? Mama loves smoothies, so I can make those with milk, peanut butter, some fruit, whatever sounds good that I have on hand. If nothing else, ice chips would be good for your Mom to suck on just to keep from dehydrating. I make a LOT of stews and thick soups for Mama, which seem to help. They're easy for her to digest but packed with nutrition. A favorite is to make a stock with either beef or chicken, then boil that awhile till the meat is extra tender. I mince the meat up (remove any bones so I don't have to worry about Mama getting choked on anything), then continue to slowly cook the soup/stew as I add canned tomatoes, maybe a cup of dry pasta or macaroni or a cup or two of canned (rinsed) beans like cannelini (white kidney beans--they're soft and have very good flavor), then I finally add a package or two of frozen vegetables. Mama likes okra in her soups/stews, so I usually add some of that also. I season with herbs and a little salt/pepper, then let it cook till it's very soft and easy to eat. I make a big stew pot each time I cook one of these recipes. Then I fill several glass (wide-mouth) canning jars with the cooled soup, screw on a lid, and pop them into the freezer. Mama can pick and choose whether she wants beef vegetable today, or chicken with beans, or whatever else I've frozen. I don't have to process the jars in any type of canning water bath because I freeze them instead, but the jars I use are simpler than plastic to heat up. I just pop a jar in the microwave (remove lid first) or place one in a couple of inches of water in a small pot on the stove. I can heat the water up gently and it will quickly thaw the soup. The wide-mouth jars make the frozen soup easy to remove and serve. I hope some part of this is helpful, Anon. In the meantime, blessings to you. If you have any other ideas or questions, please let me know. ~Joan