Nutritious soft foods for ageing loved ones
Bupa Dietitian Gemma Cosgriff shares her ideas on how to cook nutritious and delicious meals for your elderly loved ones who can no longer eat hard foods.
Obvious choices like soups, eggs and yoghurt can appear bland and boring, and softening old favourites like meat and three veg may not seem possible. But with a little imagination and a few kitchen tools, you can improve the taste and nutrition of your loved one’s meals.
Most people who need to eat food that’s easy to chew and swallow have the same nutritional requirements as people who can eat food in its regular form.
Unless your loved one suffers from an illness with specific nutrient requirements, they still need to enjoy a wide variety of foods from the five groups every day. The difficult part is trying to modify the texture of the food while maintaining the taste.
Kitchen techniques and tools
- Porridge – topped with pureed fruit and yoghurt, this is a nutritious breakfast option.
- Hummus – blend chickpeas with roasted garlic, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice for a filling snack.
- Fruit and vegetable smoothies – experiment with leftovers in the fridge or scour the web for puree recipes.
- Risotto – blend a chicken and vegetable risotto into a soft meal that can be eaten with the chicken pieces broken down.
- Chilli con carne – add cooked vegetables to legumes and blend this meaty stew into a spicy, protein-rich meal.
- Soup – cook down vegetables, add spices for extra flavour and remove any bones before blending into a puree.