Nutrition can cause or prevent health conditions. It can worsen or alleviate symptoms. It doesn’t matter of it’s breakfast or dinner; food is essentially medicine. But breakfast can be especially important, even as our nutritional needs continue to change throughout our lifetime.
Those changes can make it tough to determine what is a good breakfast for seniors and what isn’t. However, with only a little imagination, you’ll find there are still plenty of simple-to-make meals that are healthy to enjoy on a regular basis.
Breakfast Ideas for Older Adults
One of the more difficult aspects of eating healthy is all the planning involved. Making smart food choices is about understanding the type of nutrition your body needs and then working to reach your daily nutritional goals with healthy foods. While all people have slightly different dietary needs, the best breakfasts for seniors will almost invariably incorporate protein.
How much protein do seniors need? It’s actually not a settled question. The recommended protein consumption targets, which inform the nutritional guidelines printed on the side of food packaging, were designed to meet the needs of young people. Experts widely agree those targets are insufficient for seniors, who require more protein in their diet than younger adults.
It’s still not known precisely how much protein seniors should consume, but some experts have suggested seniors want as much as 1.3 grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight. To reach such high levels of protein consumption, a healthy breakfast for seniors will likely have to incorporate protein.
Yogurt and Oatmeal
Greek yogurt is nutritionally dense and packed with protein. Seniors are often best served by selecting plain Greek yogurts because they contain less sugar. But choosing plain yogurt doesn’t mean settling for plain food. Greek yogurt is great for mixing with nuts, cereal, oatmeal, or granola.
Speaking of oatmeal, that’s another exceptionally healthy and easy-to-prepare breakfast food. It’s rich in protein, easy to chew, and easy to improve with some toppings. Fresh fruit, seeds, and nuts are great choices because they provide fiber and protein.
Eggs and Smoothies
Apart from being rich in protein, eggs provide a variety of important vitamins, especially vitamin D, which can stave off osteoporosis. Between scrambling, boiling, poaching, baking, and omelets, you’ll find there are plenty of ways to make eggs even more delicious and nutritious.
However, there are two caveats. People with high cholesterol should consider avoiding eggs because they’re full of dietary cholesterol. And men should avoid eggs because eating three per week has been shown to nearly double the risk of prostate cancer.
For people with a weak appetite, it can be especially tough to eat in the morning. Athletes and bodybuilders are drawn to fruit smoothies because they’re simple to make but also because even when you don’t feel like eating, they can be an excellent way to get nutritionally dense calories. It’s also a great opportunity to add protein powder.
Most Important Meal of the Day
Healthy eating is a marathon, not a sprint. With a little planning, it’s possible to get a jump-start on daily nutritional needs without having to make anything more complicated than oatmeal or eggs.