It’s one of the healthiest things you can eat

Ah, oatmeal! It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s filling, and . . . it’s quite healthy! January is National Oatmeal month, which is great for the oatmeal lovers in our lives.

Nutritional benefits of oatmeal
Oatmeal is high in several amino acids (protein), including histidine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and phenylalanine. While it is not a complete protein, it combines with other foods, like beans and soy, to become a complete protein when eaten on the same day. If combined with peanut butter, it becomes a complete protein in one sitting.

In addition to protein, oatmeal is also high in fiber, higher than other whole grains and much higher than white bread, white rice and unenriched pasta. Oatmeal also has good amounts of phosphorus, thiamine, zinc, and magnesium, all nutrients we need every day to stay healthy.

What kind of oats should your senior be eating?
Oats have a lower glycemic index which means they are a safer breakfast for diabetics than sugary, processed cereals. Steel cut and slow cooking oats are the best kind for diabetes, and the portion should be limited to one cup.

For seniors who have arthritis in their hands or other mobility issues, there are super easy-to-prepare instant oatmeals. Literally, all you have to do with these is microwave some water, open the packet, dump the oatmeal into the water, and stir. The nutrient quality of this food is still good, and most instant oatmeal comes with apples or some other flavor enhancer to make it more palatable.

For seniors who suffer from constipation, the less processed oatmeal that one makes from scratch will be the better kind. Add raisins, dates, or chopped prunes to the dish for extra flavor and added fiber that keeps the colon in good working order.

Oatmeal is also a great meal for seniors who are underweight or have nutrition deficiencies. A wonderful way to prepare oatmeal is to add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and some honey. This is a tasty dish with excellent nutrition and high calorie content. It’s great for people who need to build strength back up, for instance after an injury or hospital stay.

Other ways to use oatmeal
Of course, not everyone loves oatmeal for breakfast. And there’s no point in pushing your senior to eat it in a bowl if he or she dislikes it. However, some people who don’t love oatmeal, per se, will eat oatmeal cookies with great relish. You can also sneak oatmeal into candy and other baked goods like cupcakes, muffins, and banana bread.

Home care can get your senior engaged
Seniors who live alone can get disengaged from friends and family. And that is dangerous to their mental and physical health. One great thing about the national food days and months is that they give occasion to play with different foods.

Your home care aide can get your senior in the kitchen, trying out different oatmeal recipes to see which he or she likes best. This kind of interaction is vital to our mothers and fathers as they cross into their seventies and beyond.

In conclusion, if mom or dad likes oatmeal, there’s cause for celebration this month. Oatmeal is not only delicious, it’s amazingly good for a body. See if your mother or father wants to try this great old dish in a brand new way.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care services in South River, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.