25 October 2019
Healthy breakfast ideas for older people
Breakfast is famously referred to as the most important meal of the day, and with good reason. As you naturally fast during sleep, your body will wake up in need of something filling and nutritious to replenish your body, kick-start your metabolism and boost your energy levels. Having a healthy breakfast can be especially beneficial for older people, who, just as they would research the best prices for stairlifts, should learn which breakfast ingredients can improve the quality of their day.
A wholesome classic to start your day is porridge. Packed full of fibre, incredibly filling and extremely easy to make, this breakfast is great for older people.
Becky from The Lifestyle Blog UK, recommends this meal, she explains: “I would highly recommend making yourself porridge for breakfast. My gran has just turned 95 years old and is as active as she was when she was 75; she still does work in the garden, goes out on day trips and hosts a family gathering of up to 25 people! I asked her why she thinks she is so active and healthy, and she put it down to the fact that she has had a bowl of porridge every morning of her life since she can remember.
“My gran swears by having a very simple, natural mix with just porridge oats, water and then a nice sprinkle of brown sugar on the top for added crunch. I, however, like to have mine with a scoop of yummy chocolate protein powder and a few berries on the top - I'm a lot more active than her so I need a little bit extra.”
There are plenty of ways you can make your bowl of porridge a bit more exciting. You could add peanut butter for some protein or mix in a chopped banana for some extra carbohydrate. If you already find porridge filling enough, adding some cinnamon or honey into the mix are both great for making porridge have a bit more flavour.
Becky continues: “I think breakfast is THE most important meal of the day. Get it right and it will set you up for the rest of the day by fuelling your body and mind. The great thing about porridge is that it's so easy - anyone can make it! Oats are a slow-releasing carbohydrate, it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. I am super sensitive to quick releasing carbohydrates as they can make me feel quite jittery, especially first thing in the morning but since having porridge every morning (every day for the last 2 years), I find my digestive issues have got so much better.”
A brilliant way to pack a whole load of goodness into a small, easy to consume breakfast is to blend up a healthy smoothie. This is great for older people who find it hard to find an appetite in the morning but feel they need the energy boost.
Erika from the lifestyle blog Mondays in PJs recommends this breakfast, as she often enjoys her energizing morning smoothie in the mornings. She tells us: “I like to start with a protein-packed smoothie. Smoothies are such a great way to get a lot of nutrition in an easy, quick and delicious way.”
You can adapt your smoothie to your needs. For instance, if you need to boost your sugar levels, berries are the perfect addition. Or, if you need more iron in your diet, try adding spinach, kale or other leafy greens into the mix. You can mask the taste of the greens easily with sweet fruits such as apples, kiwis or pineapple. Adding yoghurt into the mix is a great way to thicken the smoothie, however, if you need to avoid dairy, try using fruit juice.
If you’ve got a busy schedule, or you struggle to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then try to make a big batch of smoothie in one go and keep it cool and covered in the fridge, then you can simply pour yourself a glass to enjoy each morning.
Whether you like them poached, scrambled or boiled, eggs are a great breakfast food for older people. According to Healthline, they are loaded with nutrients, including ones that help lower the risk of heart disease, and improve eye health. They are also a great source of protein, which can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass and lower your blood pressure.
Eggs are super easy to prepare and give you plenty of breakfast choices. If you’re trying to prepare a low-calorie breakfast, poached eggs age great to be enjoyed on a slice of whole-grain toast. If you want to have eggs for breakfast, but avoid toast, you can try creating this one-pan egg and veg breakfast. Omelettes are also a quick and easy way to make a breakfast full of nutrients, just add mushrooms, tomatoes, onions or spinach for a tasty meal.
Mellissa from The Diary of a Jewellery Lover continues: “aside from porridge, my other favourite healthy breakfasts include Spanish omelette, avocado and scrambled egg on wholemeal toast!”
Yoghurt and fruit muesli
Yoghurt contains high amounts of calcium, which is great for your bones and teeth, but Healthline also states yoghurt is high in vitamins, that may help prevent heart disease, and protein, that’ll help you stay full for longer.
Mellissa from The Diary of a Jewellery Lover, an affordable travel and lifestyle blog, mentions yoghurt one of her favourite breakfast ingredients: “I think it's important to have a range of healthy ingredients in your cupboard, so wholemeal bread, fruit, oats, eggs, vegetables, nuts, yoghurt and milk. You can make many breakfast dishes with these ingredients!”
Having yoghurt for breakfast can even help your digestion, especially Greek or natural yoghurts, which are high in probiotics. You can combine this with muesli which, according to Mind Body Green, is an excellent source of fibre and whole grains and can boost your digestive system.
Sarah from the lifestyle blog Sarah Trademark, tells us: “I think it is important to kick start the day with a meal, so why not make it a healthy one! I would suggest fruit muesli, the great thing about it is you can add whatever else into it, whether it is nuts and seeds or fruit - you can personalise it depending on your taste buds!”
Be careful not to choose yoghurts or muesli that have been processed or created with tons of artificial sweeteners. Instead, sweeten the pair yourself with a little bit of honey or by mixing in some berries.
You may think you have to avoid bread altogether to have a healthy diet, however, whole-grain bread is much different to white bread that has been made with refined grains. Whole-grain products, including bread, may even provide you with some health benefits as they’re are rich in fibre, magnesium and iron, making you fuller for longer as well as lowering your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Karen says on her lifestyle blog Karen’s World, “As you get older eating can become a bit of a chore especially if you are not feeling your best. So, the easiest and simplest meals become our staple and there is nothing that beats toast, even having some fruit with it makes it less boring but there are many other things you can have with toast!”
At the top of the British Heart Foundation’s list of healthy toast-toppings is avocado, the superfood which is full of healthy fats, rather than the saturated fats you’d find in butter. If you’re partial to spreading jam or chocolate spread on your toast, a great sweet, but healthy, alternative would be nut butter followed by slices of a banana.
Healthy breakfasts don’t have to seem unappealing, as the foods mentioned in this guide can be equally as delicious as a fry up. We spoke to Romy, from the vegan food blog Romy London UK says: “I feel breakfast is something very personal and individual, and I think it's important to start your day with what makes you feel your best. Breakfast is pure fuel to jumpstart your day, so finding the right balance between nutritious and enjoyable is key to create healthy breakfast habits.
“I love to ensure my breakfast includes a mix of carbs, healthy fats and protein - to get me fuelled for the day ahead and full for longer. Most of my breakfasts include oats, flaxseeds or chia seeds, soy yoghurt, fresh fruits (usually a banana, mango or berries) and nuts or nut butter.”
If you struggle with low mobility and find it difficult to prepare meals, then invest in some helpful kitchen accessories for older people, so you can enjoy some healthy and delicious food every morning.