Healthy Foods To Eat And Meals You Can Make On Your Own
Updated for October, 2021
As we age, eating healthily with lower calories and a good source of dietary fiber is very important to maintaining our immunity, energy, and vitality. For some seniors, however, though cooking and preparing a healthy diet and health food can help reduce diseases like heart disease and lower blood pressure, as well as aid weight loss, it may seem an arduous task.
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Easy and Nutritious Meal Ideas
A 2017 survey revealed that almost one-third of seniors have no emergency savings and 70 percent have less than six months of savings
Oat Bran with Fruit
Oat bran is full of fiber and nutrients and makes a creamy, delicious breakfast cereal. This quick and easy breakfast takes only 3–5 minutes and provides a versatile, fiber-packed start to your day.
- For one serving add 1/3 cup of oat bran to one cup of water.
- Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.
- Mix and let simmer for a couple of minutes (adding a bit of water if it gets too thick).
- Turn off the heat.
- Here, you can add a handful of your favorite nuts, seeds, or fruit (dried, fresh or even frozen) for some added texture, color, and nutrients. Cinnamon, ground ginger, maple syrup or honey can be added as well if you wish to add a bit of sweetness and spice.
- Pour into a bowl and enjoy!
- Try other variations of creamy whole grain cereals, such as steel-cut oats, quinoa and ground buckwheat.
Mexican Microwave Omelet
This is one of the easiest ways to make an omelet. If you have a microwave, you don’t need to worry about flipping or fussing over a stove.
- Take a microwave-safe bowl with a wide flat bottom. The wider the bowl base, the thinner your omelet will be.
- Grease the bottom of the bowl with a bit of vegetable oil, olive oil, or non-stick cooking spray.
- Break two eggs into the bowl and using a fork beat until smooth.
- Add half a cup of thawed frozen vegetables (for this recipe we use a Mexican mix variety of corn, beans, and red peppers).
- Add a tablespoon of milk, a dash of salt and Mexican seasoning to taste (chili powder or taco seasoning works as well) and mix in with a fork.
- Cover the bowl with a paper towel or microwave-safe plate and put in the microwave. Microwave on high for 50 seconds. If the eggs seem a bit runny, you can microwave for another 20 seconds until they are fully cooked.
- Using a spatula, lift or slide onto a plate and enjoy!
- Try to make other tasty versions of this omelet by adding or switching with other fillings, such as chopped spinach, tomatoes, onions, ham, turkey, or shredded cheese.
Baked Risotto Primavera
This is an easy-bake Italian rice recipe with a nice balance of veggies, whole grains and proteins. You can change the veggie and meat selection for another variation such as broccoli and beef.
- 1 cup short or medium-grain brown rice
- 3½ cups vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cloves of minced garlic *3 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 2 cups of frozen vegetables (Italian blend)
- 1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, oregano, and basil
- ½ cup of grated parmesan
- 1 pound of chopped chicken breast
Preheat oven to 425°F. Get a Dutch oven or ovenproof high sided skillet. Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add in rice and the broth. Bring to a boil, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices and then add in the vegetables and chicken. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice is just tender—50 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
Beef Barley Stew
This is a crockpot recipe, which is not only easy to use but doesn’t involve any messy stovetop cooking. Just set the timer and let it cook away. What you get is a hearty, delicious stew that tastes even better the next day!
- 1 1⁄2 lb. boneless chopped beef chuck steaks (1-inch chunks)
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 pound of sliced mushrooms
- 1 envelope of onion soup mix
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 (4 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) diced canned tomatoes (don’t drain when adding)
- 3⁄4 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 3⁄4 cup frozen green peas
- salt and pepper
Layer the carrots, mushrooms, and beef in the crockpot. Combine the onion soup mix, broth, Worcestershire, canned tomatoes, water, and barley and pour over the beef. Cover and set to cook on the setting LOW for 8 to 10 hours or setting HIGH for 4 to 6 hours. Towards the end, stir in the peas and cover once more. Cook another 20 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Smoothies are thick shakes easy to make and amazingly nutritious meal options for any time of the day. Smoothies can give you your daily intake of fruits and veggies, in an easily digestible and tasty beverage. The smoothie variations are endless and you can add in any mix of veggies and fruits, as well as adding seeds, nuts, and healthy liquid ingredients to boost its nutrient value.
- 1 cup almond milk (or soy, rice, coconut milk if you prefer)
- 6 oz. Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1 cup frozen berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or any other variety
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tbsp of wheat germ, ground flaxseed or chia seeds
Put the Greek yogurt, almonds, almond milk into the blender first and then add the fruits and wheat germ. Blend until mixed.