With the onset of the autumn season and the coming of chillier weather, many of us find ourselves experiencing a shift in the foods we are in the mood for. In contrast to the light flavours of summer, when the cold-weather hits we want to eat meals that make us feel warm and comfortable. Soup is an ideal meal all year round, but can be especially wonderful on chilly days. There are so many wonderful reasons why soup is great for the body, and seniors can benefit in multiple ways from making various soups a part of their regular diet.
Why Soup is Great
When structuring and planning meals for seniors, there are various factors to account for. Meals need to be convenient, nutritious, enjoyable, and something that seniors look forward to eating when meal times roll around. Soup is something that ticks all of these boxes and more.
The following are just some of the reasons that soup is a wonderful meal for seniors:
- Easy: Soup is an easy meal to prepare, which means it is something that many seniors can manage on their own at home even on days when they don’t have help from friends, loved-ones, or caregivers.
- Warming: Having a nice warm bowl of soup can help to warm up a cold body on those chilly days, and can also help to warm and soften the stomach before eating other foods, which can help to promote better digestion overall.
- Hydrating: The high amount of water in soup can help keep seniors hydrated in ways that keep the body and cells working efficiently throughout the day.
- Nutritious: The nature of the way soup is prepared and eaten makes it a great option for packing in tons of good macro and micro nutrients. Things like veggies, beans, grains, and other ingredients all together in one bowl can create a well-balanced meal. Cooking and consuming all the ingredients in the broth also means that none of the vitamins and minerals from the ingredients are lost in the cooking process, so all the goodness is still there in every spoonful.
- Adaptable: The variations of ingredients that can be included in a pot of soup are endless, making soup an adaptable meal that can be varied and enjoyed with a plethora of different ingredients and combinations. Adding different ingredients can also allow for tailoring for seniors’ individual needs. Whether they have a specific diet, need to have a lower or higher calorie content to lose or gain weight, or need to be getting in an abundance of certain vitamins and minerals.
- Satiating: Soup provides a feeling of fullness that can help keep seniors going throughout the day without growing super hungry.
- Storable: Soup makes great leftovers, so if a big pot is made there can be enough in the fridge for meals throughout the week. Soup can often also be frozen, which means it can be a convenient meal to make in big batches and store for seniors to have easily later.
- Shareable: Soup is a great meal for sharing, which means that seniors can get social and have visitors over to share a meal and catch up without having to worry about fussing around with something complicated.
- Lowers Waste: Soup is a great way to use of leftover ingredients from the fridge and pantry that don’t have another purpose. It can help to really reduce food waste to make a pot of soup every week with vegetables that are getting a little older in the fridge.
Soups are simple and comforting meals that have been staples for most of us throughout our lives. Whether it be tucking into a nostalgic bowl of soup reminiscent of our childhood dinners or cooking up something specifically intended to address nutritional and dietary needs, soup is a versatile and accessible meal that can be wonderful for seniors in many ways.