An assisted living facility menu planning program provides recipes for healthier senior dishes – including burgers.
Hamburgers are traditionally dripping with calories and fat, but nutritious versions can be just as tasty. In honor of National Burger Month this May, we’re sharing our top menu planning program tips for building healthier burgers for seniors.
Swap Out Some of the Beef
For many seniors, beef is a must for burgers – ground turkey or chicken just isn’t the same. Using lean or extra lean ground beef is best but, to make hamburgers healthier, replace half the meat with finely chopped mushrooms. The hearty texture goes well with ground beef, and mushrooms add a big nutritional punch.
Add Healthy Mix-Ins
Seasonings like salt, pepper and dried herbs boost flavor without adding calories or fat. To pack in more taste and nutrition, consider making burger patties with mix-ins like barbecue sauce, steak sauce, minced onion or even shredded zucchini.
Make Smaller Patties
When it comes to healthier burgers, serving size is important. Seniors can safely enjoy hamburgers on a regular basis, but older adults don’t need supersized servings. Make slider-sized burger patties instead, using about 3 to 4 ounces of meat for each.
Choose the Right Cheese
To some, a burger isn’t a burger without the cheese – but many cheeses are high in calories and fat. Processed cheese slices are the usual choice, but low-fat shreds or ultra-thin slices of block cheeses make for healthier burgers.
Stay Away from White Buns
White buns don’t offer much in the way of nutrition. Whole grain buns are much healthier and using half the bun to make open-face burgers is a great way to cut calories. Or, switch out the regular white bun for a 100 percent whole wheat English muffin.
Pile on the Veggies
Another way to make burgers healthier – and more flavorful — is to top them with a pile of veggies. Leafy greens like spinach or kale work well, or pile on some cabbage slaw. You can also try sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions or roasted red peppers.
Be Careful with Condiments
Mayonnaise is high in fat and calories, and ketchup is filled with sodium and sugar. To make healthier burgers for seniors, use these condiments in sparingly, or switch them out for mustard, hummus, guacamole or salsa.
Building healthier burgers to celebrate National Burger Month is easy when you use the Grove Menus software system. Our menu planning program features hundreds of delicious and nutritious dietitian-approved recipes as well as an integrated suite of user-friendly tools that facilitate food service operations.
To learn more about the Grove Menus software system, or to schedule a free, no-pressure demonstration of how our assisted living facility menu planning program can help you serve healthy, hearty meals while saving time and money, contact us today.