Holiday Menus for Nursing Homes


Nursing Home Holiday MenusMenus for nursing homes should change with the seasons – and what better time to celebrate with traditional favorites than the winter holidays? Take a look at our ideas for adding festive cheer to the dinner table, without compromising on nutrition for elderly adults.

An in-Season Soup Starter

Root vegetables or winter squash make delicious soups that also pack a healthy punch. Carrots, for instance, are an excellent source of beta-carotene – an antioxidant that once converted to Vitamin A supports vision, bone growth and a healthy immune system. Winter squash offers the same benefits and may also offer anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties according to recent studies.

In-season vegetables make a flavorful side dish when steamed or boiled. Or offer your loved ones this healthy and delicious carrot-parsnip soup adapted from Cooking Light.

1 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cups coarsely chopped parsnip
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrot
2 14-ounce cans fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large cooking pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add parsnips, water, carrots, and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 50 minutes). Let cool for 5 minutes then puree in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast Turkey Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce

A rich source of protein and low in fat when skinless, turkey is a classic holiday dish with extra health benefits. A source of vitamin B6, niacin, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus it also contains tryptophan and selenium – important for strengthening the immune system.

Roasting a tenderloin takes just a fraction of the time it takes to cook an entire turkey and makes a low calorie, heart healthy entree. A side serving of cranberry sauce rounds out the meal while providing an anti-inflammatory boost thanks to antioxidant polyphenols.

Healthy No-Bake Christmas Pudding

Traditional Christmas puddings are baked with lard and sugar making them high calorie and high fat. With this healthy pudding recipe, seniors can indulge in a delicious dessert that takes just 5 minutes to prepare. Packed with dried fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, this gluten-free pudding has all the best flavors of the season, including almond meal for more protein.

10 – 15 pitted dates
1 – 2 tablespoons orange juice
orange zest (1 orange)
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 ½ cups almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger

Process dates, orange zest, apricots, vanilla, ground almonds and spices in a food processor until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Spoon mixture into a large bowl, add orange juice, then mix until it comes together in your hands.

Line six moulds with plastic wrap and press the pudding mixture into each firmly. Invert and remove the plastic wrap for each pudding. Garnish by drizzling melted white chocolate over the tops of each pudding. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe source: The Healthy Chef

At Grove Menus, we help seniors eat healthy every day with our nutritious meal planning solutions. To learn more about what we do and to see some sample menus for nursing homes, call us at (208) 528-0690.