Loss of teeth is sometimes a symptom of aging, but just because you need softer foods doesn’t mean your nutrition should suffer. The following 10 foods are nutrient dense while also being easy to chew for seniors without teeth.
1. Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are the most complete protein source out there and are also full of healthy fats. Soft scrambled eggs are easy to make and chew. For an added flavor boost, add a spoonful of cottage cheese or light sour cream to the eggs before scrambling.
2. Mashed Potatoes
If you leave the skins (which provide additional fiber) on, cut back on the butter, and use milk instead of heavy cream, mashed potatoes are actually a pretty healthy side dish.
3. Well-Cooked Steam Vegetables
Raw vegetables can be challenging for seniors without teeth. When cooking vegetables, try using a steamer instead of boiling them. Steaming helps retain the vegetable’s nutrients, as opposed to boiling that leaves most of the vitamins in the cooking water.
Smoothies are a great way to boost your diet, plus there’s no chewing required. Blend up your favorite fresh (or frozen) fruits, plain Greek yogurt, milk (can also use dairy-free milk), and any additional supplements (chia seeds, flax meal, acai powder, etc.). You can even add fresh spinach for a superfood boost – we promise you won’t even taste it!
5. Flaky Fish
Flakier fish is easier to chew than meatier varieties. Opt for cod, salmon, or orange roughy instead of swordfish, mahi-mahi, or tuna. Eating fish at least weekly is a great way to get omega-3’s and protein. Baked or grilled fish is always much healthier than fried.
For seniors who aren’t lactose intolerant, yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein. Plus, it has probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria. Choose whole-milk yogurt instead of fat-free, which is usually loaded with sugar and other artificial ingredients.
Most soups, especially pureed ones, are pretty nutritious and easy to eat for seniors without teeth. There are 100’s of soups to choose from, some of our favorites include potato-leek, tomato-basil, and minestrone.
Old-fashioned oats are actually one of the healthiest breakfast foods you can find, in addition to being easy to chew. Try to avoid adding a heaping spoonful of brown sugar, instead opting for honey or soft fresh fruit.
9. Slow-Cooked Meat
Meats cooked over high heat are probably the most difficult foods for seniors to chew. In contrast, slow-cooked meats like pulled pork or beef stew are much better options for seniors that have difficulty chewing.
Beans are a healthy source of fiber and protein, and when you cook them long enough, they become completely soft. There are plenty of recipes available that include beans, such as refried beans, black bean soup, and baked beans.
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