As your parents and older family members age, they can’t eat as independently as they once did. Their hands may be a little less steady, making simple tasks such as holding a fork or spoon difficult.
Despite several food alternatives for seniors with limited mobility, did you know that there are nutritious, easy-to-make food options allowing your parents to eat without utensils? Today’s article will show you six quick and easy finger food ideas for your older family members.
Eating Without Utensils: Quick & Easy Finger Food Ideas For Your Parents
Chicken tenders are easy to make and likely take little time for preparation, especially if you are in a rush but still want to offer healthy meals for your parents.
Crispy chicken tenders can be served with various dipping sauces, such as ranch, ketchup, mustard, or BBQ sauce. As opposed to deep frying, air-frying, grilling, or baking tenders are all good ways to limit bad cholesterol consumption in your older family members.
Hummus & Veggies
The creamy, flavorful chickpea-based dip has soared in popularity in recent years. There are endless ways to use hummus. You can spread it on a sandwich, pizza, burger, or tortillas or toss it in pasta sauce or salad, but serving the dip with sliced vegetables is probably the fastest way to enjoy the freshness, crunchiness, and yumminess all at the same time. Many vegetable options go perfectly with hummus, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery.
The nutrient, fiber-packed chickpeas have more benefits than you thought, such as regulating blood sugar, supporting digestion, lowering cancer risks, and strengthening bones.
Roasting chickpeas are easy-peasy! It starts with canned or fresh chickpeas, olive oil, and salt. After rinsing and gently patting them dry with a paper towel:
- Spread them evenly on the baking sheet and coat them with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Transfer the baking tray to the preheated oven and roast until they are golden brown.
- Remove them from the oven and sprinkle the chickpeas with your favorite spices, such as salt, pepper, or hot pepper flakes for extra flavor.
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Fruit Salsa with Baked Tortilla Chips
Are you looking for a twist to combine salty and sweet in one dish for your parents? Try fruit salsa with baked tortilla chips.
Start chopping your parents’ favorite fruits into small chunks and mixing them in a large bowl. Next, cut tortilla wraps into small triangles and bake for 8-10 minutes to crisp them up. Finally, stir the fruit salsa to ensure the fruit mixes with the juices before serving.
Asian Fresh Spring Rolls
A tasty classic in many Asian countries, fresh spring rolls are a great idea if you want to make a refreshing and healthy change to your beloved family members’ palate. Even better, it will only take you 30 minutes to tackle this recipe.
The fillings can vary, such as noodles, thin-sliced vegetables, shredded chicken or beef, shrimp, and so on—according to your parents’ likings. First, lightly soak rice paper, lay it flat, and spread your favorite ingredients evenly. Next, fold two sides inward and tightly roll the rice paper. Spring rolls can be dipped in hoisin sauce or sweet and sour fish sauce. Check out the detailed instructions here.
Another easy-to-make finger food ideas are bite-sized sandwiches or burgers. You can make typical sandwiches for this recipe and cut them into smaller pieces.
Like Asian spring rolls, you can tuck almost everything into the sandwiches but remember to source beneficial, healthy foods for your parents. For the bread part, opt for multigrain bread, and don’t forget to add lettuce for extra fiber.
Topped-everything English Muffins
English muffins are relatively low in sugar, carbohydrates, and fat, making them a healthy snacking option and the perfect finger food to munch on for seniors. Another perk of English muffins is that, much like toast, your parents can get creative with anything in the fridge to pair with English muffins, from butter and jam to sausage, ham, or eggs.
Remind your parents to opt for whole wheat English muffins to ensure the best health benefits since they are richer in fiber than regular ones.
Although the topping options are abundant, you should encourage your parents to eat as healthy as possible. After dry-frying or toasting until crispy outside and soft inside, offer your parents the following nutritious toppings:
- Hard-boiled or scrambled eggs
- Mashed avocados
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt with fresh fruits
- Nut butter
Ravioli is another exciting dish to expand your parents’ food palate when they have trouble using utensils. Much like its shape, this Italian cuisine is a pocketful of nutrients, whether served plain or with a dip.
Although ravioli is so versatile that you can stuff anything inside this pillowy pasta, avoid parmesan cheese, red meat, or bacon. Instead, opt for fillings from lean-protein sources and high-fiber vegetables to ensure the best health benefits for your parents.
Your parents will love this Chinese-inspired finger food that makes a quick, easy-to-make snack. All they have to do is to buy a pack of wontons with their favorite fillings, defrost, toss them into the air fryer, wait for around 10-15 minutes, and serve with honey soy sauce.
Mini Pizzas or Pizzettes
When it comes to mini pizzas, most will think of them as the ultimate party food. But did you know these cute bites are also a great finger food for your parents if they have trouble eating due to frailer hands?
Another perk of pizzettes is that you can prepare and make them in batches and store them in the freezer for up to a month. This makes them a convenient meal option that your parents can defrost and bake whenever they are in the mood for pizza. With less than an hour of preparation time, these pizzas are ready to enjoy after sitting in the oven for only 15 or 20 minutes.
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
A BBQ party at home? Why not! Skewers are a quick and fun way to incorporate essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamins into your parents’ meals — all on a stick.
These flavorful teriyaki chicken skewers take a twist away from traditional food serving and are easy to make. To make Teriyaki chicken skewers, follow these simple steps:
- Marinate chicken thighs in teriyaki sauce for 1 hour or overnight for extra flavor.
- Cut chicken thighs and vegetables of choice (onions, bell peppers) into cubes or bite-sized pieces.
- Brush the skewers with teriyaki sauce and other seasonings (garlic powder or sesame oil).
- Grill on medium-high heat or air-fry for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through or golden brown.
Diversify Your Seniors’ Food Palate At 12 Oaks Communities
Our top priority in 12 Oaks-managed senior living communities is to satisfy every resident with appetizing and well-curated meals prepared and served by our skillful, dedicated kitchen staff. Our delicious and nutritious meals allow your seniors and older family members to independently enjoy good foods in the same way everyone else does.
If you have questions about finger food ideas or any conditions discussed here, connect with us to learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. There’s no better place to enjoy the encore season of life than at the 12 Oaks community.
For questions or to schedule a visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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