May is National Salad Month and it’s a great time to think about how to make salads delicious, nutritious, and easy to eat for seniors. There’s nothing better than a crisp cold salad on a spring or summer day that’s packed with healthy vegetables. Seniors should be eating lots of salads so that they are getting the vitamins and minerals they need. But some individuals may have a unique challenge when it comes to eating salads that their family members or home care assistance providers aren’t aware of.
Seniors may not want to eat salads because they have trouble eating them. Seniors who have bad teeth or dentures that don’t fit right could be struggling to eat salads that are full of crunchy, hard to eat ingredients. If your senior parent has home care assistance to help them with things like meal preparation, here are a few tips on how to incorporate salads into their diet a little easier.
A great way to make salads easier for seniors to eat while using the best seasonal produce is to have a home care assistance provider chop or shred all the ingredients before putting the salad together. Running the leafy greens through a food processor, dicing tomatoes into tiny cubes, shredding carrots, and making sure cucumbers are as thinly sliced as possible will make it much easier for your senior parent to chew the salad and get all of the vitamins and minerals that those healthy vegetables contain.
Another way to make salads easier to eat is to deconstruct the salad and serve all of the items in the salad separately. Your senior parent can combine all of the elements on their fork to get the taste of a complete salad in easy to eat mouthfuls instead of giant mounds of salad. You can also add in softer elements like cottage cheese that will be easy for senior parent to eat.
Use Crispy Onions For Crunch
Croutons provide some much needed crunch in salads but they can be extremely hard for seniors to eat. Your senior parent may even break a tooth on a stale crouton. Instead of adding croutons for crunch try adding crispy friend onions. The same onions that go on top of the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving every year are fantastic for adding crunch to salad but in a light way that won’t break teeth or require a lot of chewing. And the crispy onions add a lot of flavor to the salad.
Turn Salads Into Smoothies
Another way that seniors can get all the benefits of spring salads that are full of things like healthy kale, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, and other vegetables is to puree them and turn that salad into a smoothie. It might take your senior parent a little bit to get use to the texture but they may find that a veggie smoothie is much easier to eat than a full salad.