Dietitian-approved menus feature a variety of nutrient-rich foods to help older adults stay healthy as they age. Whole grains are great sources of dietary fiber as well as several important vitamins and minerals, so they’re often added to senior care center meals and snacks.
From amaranth and barley to wheat berries and wild rice, whole-grain foods both take center stage and play supporting roles in dietitian-approved menus. September is Whole Grains Month, so what better time to learn more about serving delicious and nutritious whole-grain foods to your senior care center residents?
Senior Dietary Guidelines for Whole Grains
Of these total grains per day, at least half should be whole. In other words, senior women should aim to eat a minimum of 3 servings of whole-grain foods, and senior men should make at least 4 of their grain servings whole.
Health Benefits of Whole Grains
Whole-grain foods offer a host of health benefits. Diets that feature more whole grains have been linked with:
Decreased risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Slower cognitive decline
Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Refined grains, or those that are missing one or more of their three key parts – the bran, germ and endosperm – don’t offer these same benefits to senior health.
Dietitian-Approved Tips for Serving More Whole Grains
Incorporating more whole-grain foods in senior care center meals and snacks isn’t difficult. In many cases, it’s a matter of making an easy ingredient substitution or addition, like:
Swapping out half of the white flour in baked goods for whole wheat flour
Using whole cornmeal for muffins and cornbread
Mixing uncooked oats into burgers, meatballs and meatloaf
Adding cooked wheat, rye berries or brown rice to soups and stews
Older adults also enjoy trying new foods. Why not try dietitian-approved recipes for whole-grain foods that may be unfamiliar to your senior care center residents, such as:
Pilafs, risottos and rice-like dishes made with bulgur, quinoa or sorghum
Whole-grain salads that feature barley, farro or wheat berries mixed with greens and veggies
Barley bread, teff flatbread and other interesting whole-grain breads
Planning dietitian-approved menus that are rich in whole-grain foods is easy with the Grove Menus. Our food menu program has hundreds of delicious and nutritious recipes, all of which can be modified as necessary to meet the individual health needs of senior care center residents.
Along with dietitian-approved menus, the Grove Menus system includes a suite of user-friendly food menu program tools that can help streamline meal and snack production, reduce waste and cut costs. For senior care centers, adopting our software system is an effective way to facilitate food service operations.
For more information on Grove Menus, or to schedule a free, no-obligation demonstration of how our dietitian-approved menus work to serve up the whole grains seniors need, contact us today.