Developing recipe ideas for seniors can be a challenge because you must balance exacting nutritional needs with flavor and appeal. Smoothies, when prepared correctly, can help round out your facility’s food menu program.
Older adults – especially residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities – have special health considerations or dietary restrictions. This means that their meals and snacks must be carefully planned to meet their demanding nutritional needs. So, while blending up fruit, ice and milk might make for a simple and tasty drink, smoothie recipe ideas for seniors need a bit more nutritional oomph.
Fortunately, creating healthier smoothies doesn’t require a lot of effort.
No. 1: Make Smart Fruit Choices
Senior women only need about 1.5 cups of fruit per day, and 2 cups is plenty for older men – keep that in mind as you’re building healthier smoothies. In addition, to control carbohydrate consumption, choose low-glycemic fruits like cherries, plums and strawberries over fruits that rank higher on the glycemic index.
No. 2: Blend in a Healthy Liquid
Ice has no nutritional value, so leave it out of your smoothie recipes for seniors. And, contrary to popular belief, juice doesn’t make for healthier smoothies – juice is really just a concentrated form of sugar. Milk is a better option, but make sure to go for low-fat. Or, use calcium-fortified soy or almond milk.
No. 3: Pump Up the Protein
Many seniors don’t get the amount of protein they need to fuel their bodies for the day. So, when creating smoothie recipes for older adults, consider adding a serving or two of protein. Greek yogurt, nut butter, seeds and silken tofu are all good choices for healthier smoothies.
No. 4: Boost the Fiber
A high-fiber diet offers several nutritional health benefits to older adults. Consuming foods with fiber can help prevent gastric challenges such as constipation, while also keeping cholesterol and blood sugar under control. For a fiber boost in your smoothie recipes, blend in some berries, oats or bran cereal.
No. 5: Consider Adding Veggies & Spices
Vegetables have fiber, too, and they’re a great source of vitamins and minerals for healthier smoothies. Plus, veggies have very few calories or sugars. Of course, some vegetables aren’t appropriate for smoothies – onions and Brussels sprouts aren’t likely to add a good flavor profile. Some good options include spinach, kale, beetroot, celery and carrots, as they can boost both flavor and nutrition to smoothie recipes for seniors.
To pack in even more flavor, try blending in spices and extracts, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla or almond extract. This is a great way to bump up the taste in healthier smoothies without boosting the calorie count.
Creating delicious, nutritious smoothies for older adults is easy with Grove Menus. Our cost-effective suite of food menu program tools has hundreds of dietitian-approved recipe ideas for seniors. And all of our recipes can be easily modified to address health conditions and dietary restrictions.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-pressure demonstration of how the Grove Menus food menu program works. Let us show you how our user-friendly software system can improve the health of older adults by providing well-balanced recipe ideas for seniors.