Eating is one of the most important things we do. Eating not only provides us with sustenance, but it also gives us a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. For elderly people who have difficulty chewing solid foods, this can be difficult to enjoy on their own. But there are Easy to chew foods for elderly people that they can eat without much fuss or trouble!
Believe it or not, many senior citizens still have their teeth – not all wear dentures! In fact, more than 60 percent of all seniors have all or some of their natural teeth. There are several unique issues that affect the care and preservation of an elderly person’s teeth.
The Best Easy to Chew Foods for Elderly People
In the early stages of tooth loss, it is important to maintain good dental hygiene – brushing teeth twice a day and flossing daily. This will help prevent cavities from forming or worsen.
For those who are less fortunate here are some easy to chew foods:
- Cheerios softened in milk and one-half a ripe sliced banana or even a cereal like Raisin Bran.
- Try scrambled eggs with milk and shredded cheese.
- Another great egg option is trying them poached. I love them with cheese sauce and over toast!
- Whole-wheat pancakes or waffles with syrup are also a good option.
- A great fiber-filled treat is an oatmeal with milk and brown sugar.
- Another great fiber option is a fruit bowl containing diced mandarin oranges, pears, peaches, and melon
- It can be as simple as just graham crackers in milk!
Don’t skip the glass of juice: try prune juice because it combats constipation that many seniors deal with or even a glass of cranberry juice as it is known to prevent urinary tract infections.
Lunch and dinner ideas
While breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, there are other meals to look forward to.
- V-8 soups are both delicious and nutritional.
- Chef Boyardee Mini Bites Micro Raviolis are often on sale for just a buck a can – you can even grab them at your local Dollar Tree store.
- Cream of tomato soup with diced avocados is a nice option with a slight Hispanic flair.
- A nice hamburger chili is not only filling but full of both fiber and protein.
- Tamale pie is another option, but instead of using cornbread to top the dish – use even a mix of chopped corn tortillas and shredded cheddar cheese.
- A green bean casserole is a nice option, but for Easy to chew foods you can try using baby lima beans or even green peas.
- Cottage cheese with soft fruits and Easy to chew foods like sliced apple or banana is a great option.
- Hormel “Compleats” dinners in gravy are both fast and easy meals to whip up. It’s great for those living alone who don’t like to make a huge meal.
- Spaghetti with lots of meat sauce adds protein as well as being easy to chew. Try using the new “pot-sized” noodles as they are a little less than half the length of normal-sized noodles.
- Mashed potatoes with plenty of meat gravy sauce and soft green beans or carrots can make for a nice meal.
You can even try baby foods! Things like strained meats; creamed corn; carrots or vegetables, cooked until very soft, then seasoned and buttered to taste. They have come a long way with how amazing and tasty they are.
- Milkshakes or malteds are a great Easy to chew food for seniors. They add dairy and that boost of sugar that helps them out. You can easily add a scoop of protein powder to them that adds 20 grams of protein.
- Greek yogurt is roughly 10 grams of protein and has a ton of flavor options. You can get kinds that have fruit in them too!
- Jell-O – everyone has room for Jell-O and there are a ton of different kinds of flavors.
- Ensure. It is a meal replacement but has nutrients and is just the right size.
- Brownies in milk – it may sound a little weird but brownies can be broken up into a bowl and mixed with milk. You get the great taste and it is soft to manage. It is even better when the brownies are on the drier side.
- Cake in milk – same as the brownies. It really is tasty!
- Ice cream – this is a no-brainer and there are a ton of flavor options.
- A Hershey bar (no nuts) – it melts in your mouth – yum!
- Pudding – again, a ton of flavor options – even tapioca!
- Use applesauce on a spoon with medications to help the pills go down easily.
- Mix nutritional protein powder in food as directed.
- Mix Benefiber in liquids and soups for more fiber.
- Gatorade is handy in powder form for hydration maintenance.
- Provide water, water, and more water for your loved one to stay hydrated, and to avoid urinary tract infections!
Swallowing may also be a problem, so be sure the food is served cut in tiny bites, vegetables are cooked longer until soft, and served with juice, gravy, or sauce. The ideas presented may also help after dental surgery.
Once you have a good list of foods that can be eaten, it’s helpful to prepare a computerized shopping list that can be edited, printed out, and taken with you every time you shop.
It’s a challenge to come up with original recipes where chewing and swallowing are issues. I found several cookbooks online published exclusively for this dilemma.
- Easy-to-Swallow, Easy-to-Chew Cookbook: Over 150 Tasty And Nutritious Recipes For People Who Have Difficulty Swallowing
- HEALTHY SOFT FOOD DIET: Delicious And Nutritious Easy To Chew And Swallow Recipes Food Maximum Enjoyment And Dietary Guide Food Swallowing Difficulty
- The I-Can’t-Chew Cookbook: Delicious Soft Diet Recipes for People with Chewing, Swallowing, and Dry Mouth Disorders
Finally, it is best for someone to be available when an elder is eating. Mishaps occur…choaking, fainting, falling, dropping utensils, being unable to lift the glass for a drink…you name it, anything can happen!
Eating is one of the most important things we do and it’s essential that our elderly loved ones are able to enjoy this experience as well. This article has provided some Easy-to-chew meals in hopes that you’ll have some good Easy-to-chew food options.