Residents of nursing homes are predominantly people who cannot effectively care for themselves either due to old age or one form of illness or the other.
Some residents can’t even move freely on their own. For this reason and more, whatever they eat must be what will give them the needed nutrients and not contribute to their illness.
In nursing homes, apart from the main meals that they eat, they are also given snacks at different intervals to give them energy to go through the day. There are many options when it comes to healthy snacks that can be fed to residents in nursing homes.
Best Snacks for Nursing Home Residents
If you live close to a farm market or you have a fruit farm, one of the best and healthy snacks you should consider for nursing home residents is fruit cups. All you need to do is to create small fruit cups with fresh and seasonal fruits.
You may also want to consider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of honey. Trust me, most residents in nursing homes will go for fruit cups as against some of the snacks on this list.
Pretzel is a type of biscuit with a very distinct appearance. It is shaped in the form of a loose knot and the top is shiny; from having been glazed.
As regards the original recipe used in making pretzels, the pretzel is a salty cracker; but other variations have seen the biscuit soften – resulting from a tweaked recipe.
In other to make this snack more acceptable to residents of your nursing home, make sure you give them options. Soft pretzels or pretzel sticks with dipping sauces (cheese, mustard) can be a hit.
Cheese and Crackers
Although, some residents in a nursing home might not consider cheese and crackers healthy for obvious reasons, but you can make yours healthy.
All you need to do is that when shopping for crackers look for crackers made with whole grains or oats. Portion out crackers to equal ~15 grams of carbohydrates and serve with one ounce of cheese.
They provide more nutrients and fiber compared to refined grains. You may also want to consider creating your snack packs with different types of cheese, crackers, and maybe some grapes.
A smoothie is a blended, sometimes sweetened beverage primarily made from fresh fruit or vegetables combined with ice, frozen fruit, or other frozen ingredients.
Interestingly, smoothies offer significant health benefits for nursing home residents. They provide a convenient and nutritious way to meet the dietary needs of residents of nursing homes.
They enhance hydration, deliver essential vitamins, promote weight management, and are easily customizable to accommodate specific dietary restrictions, contributing to overall well-being and improved nutritional intake for residents of nursing homes.
Yogurt Parfait Recipe is a simple breakfast or snack that starts with a thick and creamy yogurt layered with homemade granola and fresh berries then topped with more fresh berries and a honey drizzle.
Yogurt parfaits are delicious breakfast ready in only a few minutes! You can make a batch for the week! It will hold for up to 7 days in an air-tight food storage container.
Bagels with Cream Cheese
For a healthier choice, look for whole wheat, whole grain, or rye bagels. To keep it simple, you should offer plain or flavored bagels with cream cheese. You should also consider adding toppings like sliced strawberries or smoked salmon.
Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa might not be considered healthy snacks, but trust me, they are some of the best snack options you should consider for nursing home residents.
This is so because salsa contains a variety of healthy ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers, which are known to promote heart health by reducing inflammation and bad cholesterol levels.
So also, salsa contains a good amount of dietary fiber which can help with digestion and regularity, and that is exactly what nursing home residents need.
Although the ingredients can vary, most varieties include granola, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Some types also contain popcorn, cereal, candy, or chocolate chips, along with spices and seasonings like sea salt, garlic powder, thyme, cinnamon, and paprika. In essence, in other to gain more customers, make a custom trail mix with a mix of nuts, dried fruits, and chocolates.
Rice Krispies Treats
Rice Krispies treats have recently gained popularity on social media for their use as a pre-workout snack. Because they primarily consist of simple carbs, they are a suitable choice for people performing moderate to high-intensity workouts.
Interestingly it is easy to make Rice Krispies Treats, just stir the marshmallows and Rice Krispies together until smooth.
The marshmallows will eventually deflate, allowing you more room in the pan. If the mixture looks too white and marshmallowy, stir in another 2-3 cups of cereal.
Fruit kebabs are pieces of fresh fruit threaded onto skewers. They can be served as a healthy snack or dessert. Interestingly, there are several fresh fruits you can thread into a skewer when preparing your fruit kabobs.
You may want to consider Strawberries, Pineapple chunks, Cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon balls, Seedless grapes, Kiwi slices, and Mango.
Note that you should consider serving fruit kabobs to residents of a nursing home if you have access to a fruit market or if you are living around a farm market.
Homemade cookies are simply cookies that you make from home by yourself. All that you need to do to make your homemade cookies enjoyable for residents of the nursing home is to make sure you bake a variety of cookies like chocolate chip, oatmeal, or sugar cookies.
This will give the residents options. Once you are done, you should make sure you pack the cookies in attractive and neat bags.
Brownies are perfect for residents who are not diabetics, and they make a great nutrient-packed snack. Brownies are free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy, and if the nuts are omitted, they are also nut-free.
In other to gain wide acceptance by residents of the nursing home, you can also try variations with nuts or caramel. This will appeal to nursing home residents who like their brownies this way.
A cupcake is a small cake that is baked in a small thin paper or aluminum cup and designed in different unique ways to serve just one person.
Aside from the fact that it is a small cake, it still contains icing, candy, or other decorations that can be found in traditional big cakes.
Note that cupcakes can also be called fairy cake or patty cake, especially in places like England and Australia. Offer different flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or red velvet, to your residents.
Popcorn is easy to make, and anyone including a rookie can make popcorn. All they need to do is watch a few YouTube videos, get the required popcorn machine, ingredients, and packaging materials and you are good to go.
You should plan to make and serve flavored popcorn, such as caramel, cheese, or kettle corn. Package them in small attractive and healthy bags or containers.
Granola bars are often considered a healthy snack, but despite these marketing claims, many are loaded with added sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients.
What you need to do to gain an edge and make your granola bars accepted by residents of your nursing home is to make sure you provide a healthier option with granola bars in various flavors like chocolate chip, peanut butter, or fruit.