Read about different warming, simple meals to eat in the winter to ensure you stay warm and comfortable during this time of the year.
The elderly struggle with the cold more than they would have in their younger years so it is especially important that they are eating healthily. This is for lots of reasons, including the following:
- When you are older your ability to regulate your temperature reduces
- Conditions like dementia mean you might not recognise you are too cold
- Chronic illness or medication make you more vulnerable to the cold
- Poor nutrition can make you weaker
- Dehydration can be an issue
- Heating the home may be a problem because of costs
- Mobility issues may mean moving to stay warm isn’t an option
Malnutrition is another big issue for the elderly and 1 million elderly people are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment in the UK. Although the Live-in Care Hub Better At Home report showed that those with live-in care or using home care services are much more likely to enjoy the food and drink they want compared to somebody in a care home, not everybody has live-in care and so, in a care home or at home they may not have their nutritional needs properly met.
In order to fully address the issue of warmth and nutrition it is important to seek the help and advice of your GP, your friends and family and any additional support you have. In the meantime we can help warm up your tummy, and your appetite with these 7 simple meals to keep you warm in winter:
Porridge is easy to make in the microwave or on the hob, it is cheap and you can top it with fruit, seeds, nuts, nut butters, dark chocolate and even superfood powders.
Soup is easy to make in big batches and freeze, and packs in a lot of nutrients. You can top it with cheese, low fat creme fraiche, yogurt, seeds, toasted nuts, steamed veggies or croutons and you can pair with your favourite wholegrain bread or cracker.
3. Stir Fry
You can buy a stir fry pack ready to go along with the sauce in the supermarket. It is a cheap and effective way to enjoy a nutrient dense hot meal that is colourful and satisfying.
Ramen is a delicious japanese dish that you can easily make with little more than miso paste and some dried noodles. Just add stir fried or steamed veggies and some protein like tofu or chicken and you’re left with a warming bowl of deliciousness to satisfy your tummy on a cold day.
5. Jacket Potato
Potatoes get a bad rap for being a ‘bad food’ but they are very nutritious when they aren’t prepared with oil! Cook your jacket in the microwave then crisp it up in the oven using 1 calorie spray oil. Add tuna, cheese, salad, mayo-free coleslaw, beans, or whatever filling you want for a hot meal that will keep you full for hours.
6. Instant Noodles
Instant noodles are so cheap and so easy to make, they can be a perfect hot meal if you are struggling to cook on a certain day. They are high calorie though and aren’t too high on the nutrients, so do only use instant noodles as an occasional hot meal to have on days you need an easy hot meal.
Chilli is a warming meal because of its temperature and the spice you put in it. It goes well with a jacket potato or with brown rice and you can serve nutritious salad on the side, and maybe even some low fat creme fraiche on top.
Hopefully these 7 simple meals help to inspire you with food to keep you warm this winter. Just remember to reach out for help if you need it, as somebody will always be there to help ensure your wellbeing in any season.