Home Health Care News

Recipes For Seniors


Lunch Recipes For Seniors

“We know that we really are what we eat,” said Elisabetta Politi, dietician director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. But each senior’s diet plan is individual, she noted. “If dad has reached age 75 and has not developed heart disease or cancer, you need not recommend any different food intervention than what he is already doing. Dad has found a meal plan that works.”

The follow lunch recipes are great ways to achieve a healthy diet without having your senior getting frustrated by eating the same thing day in and day out.


Chicken Salad

Servings: 5
Serving Size: 1/2 cup

1 1/2 pounds raw chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
3/4 cup celery, diced
2/3 cup red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional

After chicken is cooked, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold on top of a bed of romaine lettuce.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 200
Carbohydrates: 4 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Protein: 28 grams
Sodium: 220 mg


Broccoli Slaw

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1/2 cup

2 tablespoons crumbled veggie bacon
3/4 pound broccoli florets or slaw (bagged)
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently until crisp. Chop coarsely. Whisk yogurt, mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add water chestnuts, onion, bacon, and broccoli and toss or stir to coat evenly.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 70
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Protein: 3 grams


Tuna Melt on English Muffins

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/2 muffin

2 English muffins, 100% whole-wheat
8 ounces light tuna, packed in water, drained
4 tablespoons celery, minced
4 tablespoons red onion, minced
1 teaspoon flat-leaf parsley, minced
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the broiler and set the rack about 4-5 inches from the heat source. In a small mixing bowl, break up the tuna with a fork. Toss with the celery, onion, and parsley. Add the mayo and mustard, and stir to combine. Season with the pepper and lemon juice to taste. Spread the muffins out on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler for 2 minutes. Top the toasted muffins with tuna salad and cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and heat for 3-5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

*Serving Suggestion: Serve with sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, and fruit for a complete meal.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 240
Carbohydrates: 18 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 21 grams


Chicken Caesar Wrap

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/2 wrap

1/2 pound roasted chicken breast, boneless, thinly sliced
1/4 cup low calorie Caesar salad dressing
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 spinach or whole-wheat tortillas, large (10-12″)
4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

In the center of a tortilla, place 2 cups lettuce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons dressing, and 4 ounces of chicken. Fold in the sides and roll up. Cut in half. Each wrap makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 300
Carbohydrates: 30 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 23 grams
Sodium: 450 mg


Cooking Under Pressure: Poor Diet

Poor Diet – A Recipe for Disaster

Seniors whose diets are lacking nutritionally are at an increased risk for a variety of health problems. That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care network partnered with the University of Maryland and Duke Diet and Fitness Center (a part of Duke University Medical Center) to launch its Cooking Under Pressure campaign.

This handbook is designed to help you plan nourishing and healthful menus that are easy to cook and pleasing to your senior’s palate. In this guide, you’ll learn:

Cooking Under Pressure also features a website, FoodsforSeniors.com, that offers resources, recipes and other tools.

In today’s busy world, many seniors have limited access to healthy foods, which can be a recipe for disaster. Eating a healthy diet takes knowledge and planning, and much of this often falls on the family caregiver’s plate. Use the tips and suggestions presented here as a recipe to help you serve a meal plan to keep your senior physically and tastefully satisfied. And who knows? You may end up with a new recipe or two for yourself!


Cooking Under Pressure: An Introduction

Healthy eating is essential for people of all ages, but for many seniors, a well-balanced diet is the key to feeling their best. In fact, nutrition experts consider good nutrition the first line of defense in the fight to stay healthy.

Research conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care franchise network supports the important role healthy eating plays in successful aging. The caregiving network found that eating 62 percent of adult children in the U.S. and 57 percent in Canada caring for an older adult said their senior had three or more nutritional risks including:

1. Three or more prescribed or over-the-counter drugs per day

2. An illness or condition that made the senior change his or her diet

3. Having lost or gained more than 10 pounds in the past six months without trying

A variety of issues, from medications and illnesses to memory problems and physical constraints, can jeopardize a senior’s ability to maintain a balanced diet. Seniors may find grocery shopping difficult, feel uncomfortable in the kitchen or lack the skills necessary to maintain a well-balanced diet. Caregivers often want to help but may not have the time or ability to assist with daily meal planning. Factor in mixed incomes and a shaky economy, and it’s easy to see why achieving a healthy meal plan can be a pressure cooker of stress for seniors and caregivers alike.

With so many “cooks in the kitchen,” a senior’s diet is sure to suffer. This handbook is designed to help you understand the importance of senior nutrition and offer some no-nonsense ideas to transform mealtime into a healthy and pleasurable experience for everyone.


Dessert Recipes For Seniors

It’s perfectly normal for a senior to have a bit of a sweet teeth, it’s just important to limit that sugary intake. The following are some satisfying desserts that are almost guilt-free.


Servings: 16
Serving Size: 1 piece (1/16 of pan)

9 ounces fat-free sour cream
9 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons skim milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces light frozen whipped topping
1 cup brewed coffee
10 1/2 ounces ladyfinger cookies
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth. While mixing, add sugar, milk and vanilla and blend until smooth. Fold in frozen whipped topping gently with a spatula. Dip ladyfingers in coffee and layer half of them in bottom of a 10 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ or similar size pan. Layer half of the cream cheese mixture onto ladyfingers. Repeat with the rest of the coffee-dipped ladyfingers and cream cheese mixture. Dust cocoa powder on top and refrigerate 4-16 hours. Serve with fresh berries and mint.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 160
Carbohydrates: 23 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Sodium: 90 mg


Chocolate Tofu Parfait

Servings: 16
Serving Size: 1/2 cup

1 (12-ounce) package chocolate chips
1/3 cup coffee, regular or decaf
1 (16-ounce) package tofu, silken
1 tablespoon honey
12 ounces frozen light whipped topping

Over a double boiler, melt chocolate in a medium bowl. Process the coffee, tofu and honey in a blender. When smooth, slowly add melted chocolate. Process until smooth and fully incorporated. Pour mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate until firm (about 3 hours) or place in freezer for 45 minutes. Remove from refrigerator or freezer and gently fold in whipped topping with a spatula. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 170
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 20 mg


Apple Crumble

Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1/2 cup apple mixture, 1 tablespoon topping

6 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Juice from 2 lemons

3 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons oats
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Peel, core and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices. Place apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with sugar, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon. Pout into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and spread out into an even layer.* Set aside.

For topping, mix flour, oats and brown sugar in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work in the cold butter until pea-sized lumps are formed. Top apples with mixture; bake 45 minutes or until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown. Rotate pan once halfway through cooking.

*Note: You can also place 1/2 cup apple mixture with 1 tablespoon topping in individual ramekins before baking for easier portion control or serving later. Bake ramekins all together on a cookie sheet.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 100
Carbohydrates: 18 grams
Fat: 2.5 grams
Protein: 1 grams


Sweet Potato Pie with Almond Crust

Servings: 16
Serving Size: 1/16 pie

Almond Crust Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup egg whites
2 packets Splenda
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch round, deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine flour, egg whites and Splenda. Slowly add butter and form dough into a smooth ball. Roll dough to about 1/8″ and press into pan. Fold uneven edges under and pinch all around the top to form an even edge.

Sweet Potato Mix Ingredients:
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons Splenda

Mix mashed sweet potatoes, eggs and milk in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all of the seasonings. Combine seasonings with pie mixture and pour into pie shell spreading evenly. Bake the pie until light golden and set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 140
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Protein: 4 grams


Dinner Recipes For Seniors

Healthy eating is essential for people of all ages, but for many seniors, a well-balanced diet is the key to feeling their best. In fact, nutrition experts consider good nutrition the first line of defense in the fight to stay healthy.

With so many “cooks in the kitchen,” a senior’s diet is sure to suffer. The following dinner recipes paired with dark green vegetables (broccoli, kale), orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash), or beans and peas (pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split pears, lentils) can transform any meal into a healthy one.


Almond Crusted Salmon

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 4 ounces salmon

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each
4 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/4 cup Egg Beaters or similar egg substitute
4 teaspoons all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, egg substitute and almonds in separate shallow bowls. Place on side of each salmon fillet in flour, followed by egg substitute. Press almond mixture into the salmon. Set the salmon aside, nut side up, and repeat for other fillets. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Place almond side of each salmon fillet down in saute pan and book until the nuts are browned. Flip fillet and cook 1 minute. Remove from pan and place on a sheet tray coated with cooking spray. Repeat process for remaining fillets. Finish in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is flaky and opaque and the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 300
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fat: 16 grams
Protein: 34 grams


Chicken Cannelloni

Servings: 8
Serving Size: 2 cannelloni

2 pounds chicken breast, raw, trimmed (or 2 pounds ground chicken)
3/4 pound frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 pounds nonfat ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and cut in half
4 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 teaspoons oregano

Cook chicken in the oven or on the grill until done. Grind in a food processor. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, egg whites, garlic, Parmesan, nutmeg, and pepper. Add spinach and chicken and mix well. Cut lasagna noodles in half and arrange on a clean countertop or wax paper. Place 1/4 cup of filling on the end of each lasagna piece and form a log. Roll pasta with filling into neat tubes and place in a baking pan on a layer of marinara sauce. On each roll, spread on another portion of sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and oregano. Cover with foil and bake in oven at 300 degrees for about 25-35 minutes. Return to oven uncovered to lightly brown cheese. Let rest 5 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 400
Carbohydrates: 32 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 33 grams


Tandoori Chicken

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 4 ounces cooked

25 ounces chicken breasts, raw
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash ground cloves

Stir together yogurt, onion and garlic in a shallow glass dish. Add lemon juice and the rest of the spices; mix. Add chicken and coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat over to 500 degrees. Coat a wire rack with cooking spray and set it over a foil-covered baking sheet. Place the chicken on the prepared rack. Bake the chicken until browned and no trace of pink remains in the middle, 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 230
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 39 grams
Sodium: 190 mg


Penne Alfredo with Salmon

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup pasta and 2 ounces salmon

1 pound salmon fillet
Vegetable cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk (hot)
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
6 cups hot cooked penne pasta, cooked without salt or fat

Place salmon, skin side down, on a broiler rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on broiler pan. Sprinkle with pepper. Broil 6 inches from heat for 11 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork. Flake salmon into bite-sized pieces, set aside and keep warm. Melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add flour, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Gradually add hot milk, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese; stir until cheese melts. Pour over pasta and toss well. Top with salmon, sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 380
Carbohydrates: 42 grams
Fat: 11 grams
Protein: 28 grams


Light Snack Recipes For Seniors

It’s perfectly normal to be hungry in between meals from time to time and seniors are no different. When a light snack such as a few celery or carrot sticks don’t do the trick, try these light snack recipes.


Rice Pudding

Servings: 7
Serving Size: 1/3 cup

1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
1 whole clove
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cup skim milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste

Cook rice in water in a saucepan on low heat with the cinnamon stick and whole clove in the water. When rice is done, add both milks and bring to a simmer on low heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cooke until the mixture reaches desired consistency; the rice will break down and the liquid will start to thicken. Remove the cinnamon stick and clove, and add the sugar and ground cinnamon to taste just before serving. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve cold later.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 110
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fat: 1.5 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 50 mg


Whole-Wheat Pecan Muffins

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 muffin

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1/3 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg white
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flours, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, almond extract and egg white. Stir well with a whisk. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour blend, and stir until all of the flour is moistened. Do not over-mix.

Spoon the batter into 4 muffin cups coated with cooking spray or lined with paper muffin cups. Sprinkle with nuts and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in the center. Remove from pans immediately.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories per serving: 145
Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 4 grams


Breakfast Recipes For Seniors

Variety is truly the spice of life. To keep meals interesting and healthy, many seniors enjoy mixing up their food choices – particularly within each food group – every day.

The following breakfast recipes from the Duke Diet and Fitness Center offer interesting and versatile choices which, when combined with fresh ingredients, will lead to a well-balanced and healthy meal plan for many seniors. Also, it’s a great way to start off the day!

Apricot Cranberry Oatmeal

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup

4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons dried apricots
Dash salt

In a large bowl, combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a bowl and stir well. Cover the bowl and leave overnight in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter. In the morning, stir the contents of the bowl and pour into a pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the oats have absorbed all of the water. If you prefer dry oatmeal, use about 1/4 cup less water. If you prefer your oatmeal very moist, add 1/4 cup more water.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 200
Carbohydrates: 37 grams
Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 6 grams


Banana Oatmeal Creme Brulee

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 3/4 cup

2/3 cup plain quick oats (2 cups cooked)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
3 bananas, cut 1/4 inch thick at an angle
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon white sugar

Cook oats according to package directions with cinnamon added. In a 1-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray, spread the cooked oats evenly. Using a spatula, spread the vanilla yogurt evenly over the oats. Next, layer the banana slices on top of the yogurt. Combine both sugars and sprinkle over bananas. Using a propane torch or broiler, caramelize the sugar on top of bananas until it is brown and bubbly. Be careful not to burn the sugar.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 185
Carbohydrates: 40 grams
Fat: 1 grams
Protein: 6 grams


Spinach Florentine Omelet

Servings: 1
Serving Size: 1 omelet

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Egg Beaters or similar egg substitute
1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup spinach, chopped
1/4 cup tomato, diced

Apply cookie spray to a saute pan and set over medium heat. Cook the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach. Stir the vegetables until the spinach is wilted. Spoon the vegetables onto a plate and set aside. Spray the pan again, return to the heat and pour the eggs evenly over the bottom. Shake the pan periodically, and when the egg starts to slide freely, the bottom side is done. If the omelet looks like it is cooking but not sliding from the pan, use a spatula to loosen the bottom as needed. As the top begins to become firm, place cheese in the center and allow to melt. Then add the vegetables over the cheese and fold the egg over to form the omelet. Slide the omelet from the pan onto a serving plate.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 115
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Protein: 19 grams
Sodium: 500 mg


Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 2 pancakes

2/3 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (whole wheat flour will also work)
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup rolled oats (ground fine in food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar and stir until uniformly blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and oil together and then stir in buttermilk. Pour the egg mixture into the flour blend and stir together – do not over-mix. Add the blueberries and fold into batter. In a large saute pan or griddle, apply a light coating of cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into the pan. Turn the pancakes when bubbles form around the edges and on top. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 180
Carbohydrates: 30 grams
Fat: 4 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 290 mg

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