Nothing beats the indulgence and comfort of our favorite go-to holiday meals, but those dishes you once loved may not fit with your current dietary needs or preferences. That’s why we’ve curated a list of five easy, delicious holiday recipes for seniors that will satisfy your taste buds and consider the common nutritional needs and dietary restrictions of older adults.
1. Butternut squash soup
Butternut squash soup is a creamy, scrumptious hot meal in season for winter. This is top of our list when considering healthy meals for seniors because it’s easy to digest, packed with vitamins and fiber, and tastes like buttery goodness. Butternut squash contains beta-carotene (an antioxidant) and vitamins A, C, and E, all of which boost the immune system, which is particularly important during cold and flu season.
This butternut squash soup by Love and Lemons is one of our favorite holiday recipes for seniors. It’s chock full of healthy immune boosters like olive oil, garlic, sage, rosemary, ginger, and vegetable broth, combined into a mouthwatering powerhouse dish.
If you’re a fan of soups and chilis, you’ll also love these five easy dinner ideas.
2. Cranberry and walnut salad
A light, refreshing salad filled with seasonal winter produce perfect accompanies heavy holiday meals. A cranberry and walnut salad combines the sweet tartness of cranberries with the crunchy texture of walnuts for a salad that packs a nutritious punch.
Cranberries are 90% water, so they can help stave off winter dehydration. They contain vitamins C, E, K, and manganese for a cocktail of powerful antioxidants. They may help prevent urinary tract infections, cavities, and cancer, and they’re known for boosting digestive health, reducing inflammation, and improving heart health.
Walnuts are the perfect healthy fat to add crunch and nutrients. Walnuts are chock full of vitamins like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, sodium, and B vitamins, but they’re particularly high in manganese. Manganese supports healthy bones, collagen production, and wound healing. Walnuts also improve gut, heart, and brain health, making them one of the healthiest additions to holiday recipes for seniors.
Best yet, a cranberry walnut salad is easy to prepare. Add your favorite lettuce, apples, and feta for an irresistible meal. Check out this recipe here.
The key to a good cranberry walnut salad is fresh produce. The fresher the ingredients, the crisper and better the salad. If you want the freshest ingredients, GoGoGrandparent offers grocery delivery so you can have delicious produce delivered right to your door. That means you can spend more time cooking (and eating_ your favorite holiday meals rather than battling hectic grocery store crowds and parking lots.
Check out more salad and lunch holiday recipes for seniors here.
3. Mashed sweet potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes are a classic side dish for holiday meals. They’re easy to eat, easy to digest, and even easier to enjoy. Sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious, healthy meals for seniors because they’re rich in vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, thiamin, and zinc. They also contain carotenoids – antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage. Studies show sweet potatoes may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration, and obesity. Plus, boiled sweet potatoes, like in sweet potato mash, are also low on the glycemic index, so they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar like other starches.
Mashed sweet potatoes aren’t hard to make. You boil some sweet potato chunks until soft, mash them, and add butter and cinnamon (or any topping you prefer). There are a lot of sweet potato mash recipes out there, so look for one that suits your diet and preferences. For example, add milk or cream to your potatoes if you’re trying to gain weight or eat more fat. If you’re on a low-fat, heart-healthy diet, stick to grass-fed butter and plain cinnamon. If you prefer savory holiday meals, rosemary and garlic are a delicious pairing.
Stuffed sweet potatoes are also among the easiest, tastiest holiday recipes for seniors. You make the sweet potato the same way you’d bake a regular potato, and then you “stuff” it with veggies and meat. Check out these stuffed sweet potato ideas to inspire new holiday meals this season.
4. Green bean casserole
Green bean casserole is one of the most beloved holiday meals, but with the cream of mushroom and fried onions, it’s not always the healthiest option. However, green bean casseroles can be one of the yummiest healthy meals for seniors when made with fresh, whole ingredients. Green beans are chock full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate, and potassium, which help to fight inflammation and regulate blood pressure. They’re also a solid source of protein and fiber.
This healthy green bean casserole by Ambitious Kitchen will surely become one of your favorite holiday recipes for seniors. It combines tender green beans with creamy mushroom and baked onions for all the flavor of your favorite comfort food – but with fewer unhealthy ingredients. This green bean casserole is a convenient option as it’s easy to prepare and pairs well with many different holiday meals and dishes.
To make your holiday cooking even more hassle-free, check out GoGoGrandparent’s Grocery Delivery to provide you with all the fresh ingredients you need, delivered right to your door in a snap.
5. Chocolate-covered strawberries
Finish off your holiday meals with something sweet and elegant. Chocolate-covered strawberries are delicious, visually appealing, and a healthy dessert alternative. Strawberries contain high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Dark chocolate is a source of antioxidants (flavonoids) that may improve blood pressure, balance good and bad cholesterol, reduce heart disease risk, and enhance brain function.
Plus, chocolate-covered strawberries are easier to make than they seem. (Your friends will be astounded by your newfound dessert-making skills.) All you need is fresh, washed strawberries and high-quality melted dark chocolate. Add some flavor, texture, and excitement to your strawberries with chopped nuts, toasted coconut, sprinkles, chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, crushed candy canes, or other scrumptious toppings. Learn how to make chocolate-covered strawberries here.
Don’t feel like cooking?
The holidays are a busy, stressful time of year. If you don’t have the time or energy to cook, consider ordering takeout through GoGo Gourmet. All you have to do is call up one of our friendly GoGo operators, place an order from your favorite local restaurant, and we’ll handle the rest.
The difference between traditional takeout and GoGo Gourmet is that we emphasize healthy meals for seniors. Our GoGoGuardians communicate your dietary needs to the restaurant and monitor your order from start to finish, ensuring your food is hot, fresh, nutritious, and exactly what you ordered.
Many restaurants offer special holiday recipes for seniors, so it’s the perfect time of year to try out GoGo Gourmet and see what your local hot spots are promoting this season.
Our favorite holiday recipes for seniors
The holiday season is a time for joy, togetherness, and – of course – delicious food. When preparing holiday healthy meals for seniors, consider finding new recipes that substitute nutrient-dense food without compromising on flavor. From comforting soups to delectable desserts, you can have holiday recipes for seniors that are as tasty as they are nourishing.
And making these recipes doesn’t have to be a chore. With GoGo’s Grocery Delivery services, you can have access to the freshest ingredients right at your doorstep.
Register for GoGoGrandparent today to start getting grocery and meal delivery that will make your holiday meals a breeze.