The older you get, the slower your metabolism becomes. This means that, as you grow older, you need to start eating softer foods that can easily be digested by your stomach. If you live with an elderly person in house, this means you also need to start making softer dishes for them so that they can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Below we look at the various soft dishes you can give to the elderly but, we focus mainly on Chinese foods. So this article is for those who love and adore Chinese cuisines.
Soft Chinese Food For Elderly
Congee is a soft Chinese dish suitable for elderly people. This dish is similar to rice pudding however, it is a bit more versatile and can be paired with various sweet and savory ingredients. Some of the ingredients you can add to congee are red beans, raisins, dried peanuts, dates, pine buts, lotus seeds, shredded chicken and fish. When making congee it is very important that you get the rice to water ratio correct. This is because adding too much water can causes the dish to become rice soup whilst adding little water will cause the dish to become too dry and starchy.
Longevity noodles are also a Chinese food suitable for elderly people. This is because they are soft in nature and they can be served with a hearty soup. When making these noodles for elderly people make sure that you cook them for a bit longer so that they can become softer. Elderly people enjoy eating food that is easy to chew and swallow.
Tofu originated in China and it is a soft food that elderly people can eat. Tofu is commonly used as a substitute of meat in vegetarian cuisines. It is very soft and can be used in a number of ways. If you have access to tofu, you can always cook it for the elderly people in your house. It is filled with so many vitamins and nutrients that will help to boost their immune system.
This is a popular Chinese cabbage that can be used in a number of ways. It is suitable for elderly people because it is very soft when cooked and it has so many nutritional benefits. Bok Choy can be added to soups and it can also be used in a stir fry.
Dumplings are a soft Chinese food suitable for the elderly. This is mainly because they are made using soft ingredients. Steamed pork dumplings are the best variety to offer elderly people. This is mainly because, pork is softer than other types of meat. You can also serve the dumplings in a broth made of various vegetables. Making dumplings for older people is a good way of boosting their nutrition.
There are so many Chinese dishes that are made using fish and it is a soft food that is suitable for the elderly. Fish is a good source of protein and other vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, it is so soft such that it’s very rare to find elderly people choking on it. Fish can be steamed, fried or roasted for the elderly and it will still remain soft.
Rice cakes are also another type of soft Chinese food suitable for the elderly. They are made using sticky rice or glutinous rice. They can either be prepared by steaming or baking however, whichever method you use to cook them, please make sure that they are soft and easy for the elderly to swallow. Rice cakes are high in calories so make sure you limit your loved ones intake of this food.
Steamed chicken is also another soft Chinese food that elderly people can take. When cooking steamed chicken, make sure you remove the skin and fat before cooking it. You should also cut the chicken into small pieces and remove the bones so that the elderly do not choke. Steamed chicken is very healthy because it is oil free and in most cases it doesn’t contain any harmful food additives.
Kung Pao Chicken
This is also another popular Chinese food that is soft and ideal for the elderly. Kung Pao chicken is a spicy stir fried Chinese dish that is made using chicken, vegetables, peanuts and chili peppers. This dish is filled with so many vitamins and minerals which can improve the health of your loved ones.
There are so many soups in China but the vegetable soup is more ideal for the elderly. This is because vegetables contain a lot of vitamins and they can easily be digested by the body. Some of the vegetables you can use to make the soup include, celery, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and peas.
Double Boiled Soups
Double boiled soups are a common Chinese dish that is suitable for the elderly. These soups are made by submerging a ceramic pot in water for slow even cooking at a gentle boil that helps to extract the maximum flavors in the soup. Double boiled soups are highly nutritious. They can be made using various herbs and vegetables like ginseng, ginger and cabbage.
Red dates are also referred to as jujubes are a popular Chinese food that can be given to the elderly. They are packed with vitamin C, fiber, protein and potassium. When purchasing red dates for the elderly, make sure that you choose the unseeded ones, so that your loved ones do not choke on the seeds whilst trying to swallow. Apart from being eaten raw, red dates can also be added into a number of cuisines.
Importance Of Giving Soft Chinese Food To The Elderly
As previously noted at the beginning of this article, elderly people have a slow metabolism and as a result they need soft foods which are easier to digest. However, this is not the only reasons why elderly people eat soft foods. Here are some of the most popular reasons.
- Soft foods improve hydration. This is mainly because they have a higher water content as compared to other foods.
- They reduce malnutrition since they are usually packed with a lot of vitamins and nutrients.
- Prevent weight loss since elderly people are offered these foods on a regular basis and they are also easily digested by the stomach.
- Many elderly people suffer from dysphagia, a condition in which they cannot swallow hard foods. Therefore, softer foods are easier for them to swallow.
- Chinese soft food for elderly is usually low in calories, so they can still live healthy lifestyles.
Tips When Making Soft Chinese Food For Elderly
When making soft Chinese food for the elderly, it is very important that you take note of the tips below. This helps to ensure that you do not face any challenges whilst trying to convince your loved ones to consume the food you have made.
Check Their Dietary Restrictions
Whilst all the foods listed in this article are safe for the elderly, you need to know whether that person has certain dietary restrictions. For example if an elderly has dietary restrictions in regard to the amount of salt they take, that means you might need to reduce the salt in the dishes you are making. So being aware of your loved ones dietary restrictions can help you prepare food that is soft and healthy for them.
Use Different Flavors
Sometimes soft foods may taste a bit blunt, so you need to constantly use different flavors. This helps to increase the appetite of the elderly and it also makes the meals more interesting. If you use different flavors when cooking, elderly people will always look forward to your meals.
Use Different Ingredients
While using different flavors can help to boost the appetite of the elderly, it is also important to use different ingredients. This means if you mostly use rice to feed your loved ones, you need to start using a variety of starches like potatoes, noodles etc. This is because elderly people tend to be picky and they can easily get bored of eating the same thing. So make sure you use a variety of ingredients, they also help to boost their nutritional levels.
Take Note Of Their Preferences
When cooking soft Chinese food for the elderly, it is very important that you take note of their preferences. If they enjoy, a certain type of cooking style of food, that means you need to give them that type of food more often.
Foods That Elderly People Should Avoid
Since we have noted the various Chinese foods that elderly people should consume, it’s only fair that we discuss the various foods that the elderly should never be given.
Undercooked Eggs, Meat And Poultry
Elderly people are not supposed to eat undercooked eggs, meat and poultry. This is mainly because these ingredients may cause poisoning in older people and may trigger sepsis and septic shock. Therefore, if you want your loved one to remain healthy always make sure you give them meat and eggs that are well cooked.
Elderly people should avoid eating grapefruit. This is because it is very acidic and it may interfere with the drugs they consume. So if you want your loved ones to remain healthy you need to remove grapefruit from their diet.
High Sodium Foods
Elderly people should limit their intake of high sodium foods. This is mainly because too much salt can lead to hypertension. So if you are cooking food for elderly people always make sure you use a little bit of salt. If you feel like your food is lacking flavor after having added salt, you should use herbs and spices to enhance the flavors.
Caffeine should be avoided by elderly people. This is because, it can interfere with the medication that they take. Furthermore, it can cause them to develop insomnia and certain heart conditions. So never give caffeine or foods that have caffeine to the elderly.
Sodas And Sugary Drinks
Elderly people should never take sodas and sugary drinks. This is because they can raise their blood sugar levels which can cause them to develop diabetes. So as tempting as it may seem, never offer seniors any sugary drinks. You should instead off them fruit juices.
Alcoholic beverages should never be offered to elderly people. This is because they are very vulnerable and it may react with the medication that they take. This can then cause complications for them. So if you are taking care of the elderly, always ensure that the beverages that they consume do not contain any traces of alcohol.
Fried Food/ Fast Foods
Never offer fried or fast foods to elderly people. This is because they contain a lot of oil and they do not really contain any vitamins and minerals that might be useful to them. Fast foods can diminish the health of your loved ones which is why it’s very important that you avoid these foods.
What Do You Feed An Elderly Person With No Teeth?
If you are living with an elderly person that has no teeth, here are a few foods you can give them.
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled Eggs
- Well cooked vegetables
- Slow cooked meat
What Food Is Good For The Elderly?
Soft foods are good for the elderly. So if you have mashed potatoes, soft vegetables, soups, fish etc., you can always offer them to the elderly. Soft fruits like bananas can also be enjoyed by the elderly however, you need to give them in moderation.
How Do You Stimulate An Elderly Appetite?
If you want to stimulate the appetite of an elderly, you need to start by setting a regular eating schedule and meal plan for them. Furthermore, you should cook different types of soft foods for them and try to figure out what they enjoy the most.
Knowing what kind of Chinese food is soft for the elderly is an important thing especially if you stay with an elderly person that enjoys Chinese cuisines. We hope this article will guide you when trying to create a meal plan for your loved ones.