Originally, the gluten-free diet was designed for those living with Celiac disease, however today it is becoming a popular diet to help minimize the impact of other common senior issues such as joint problems and autoimmune disease. While about one percent of the population suffers from celiac disease, about ten percent suffer from gluten sensitivities that can cause more serious digestive conditions and discomfort.
Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye, and many people do not realize just how often the average American consumes wheat products until they are asked to restrict them. If you provide home care in Denton County for an aging loved one who has some level of gluten sensitivity, you may have some trouble identifying meals that are satisfying, delicious and nutritious. If this is the case, check out our easy guidelines for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serve-up the gluten free meal your loved one needs.
- Center the breakfast on low-fat bacon or sausage, eggs, hashbrowns or grits to provide your loved one with protein that will surely start the day off right.
- Oatmeal is gluten free and provides heart-healthy fiber that can also help to regulate digestion. Zest it up by adding dried fruits, nuts or spices.
- If your loved one craves traditional treats like pancakes, waffles or muffins, head to your local store and look for pre-made gluten free mixes that can be mixed, served and enjoyed in about 20 minutes.
- Cottage cheese is packed with protein and can help keep your loved one fuller, for longer. Add fruit to the mix and make a gluten free breakfast (or snack) that is perfect for the summer and warmer temperatures.
- Staples like gluten free bread are great for many meals, however are perfect for sandwiches. Serve up sandwiches just as you normally would and consider fruit salad, potato salad or coleslaw as an excellent side dish.
- Incorporate a variety of vegetables into a homemade soup and thicken the base using corn starch instead of flour for a flavorful lunch.
- Dishes whose base stem from beans and rice are high in fiber and avoid gluten. Add vegetables and lean proteins such as chicken and fish for a complete and filling meal.
- For a lighter lunch, opt for a salad which is an easy to prepare gluten free meal so long as toppings like croutons are avoided.
- Gluten free pastas based on rice or corn are available if your loved one craves Italian food and can be enhanced using heart-healthy tomato sauces.
- Be careful not to serve breaded dishes like fried chicken or fish unless you the batter is gluten free. Baked, boiled or sautéed dishes might be better.
- If your loved one insists on items like dinner rolls, these are available in gluten free versions, too.
Keep in mind these are only basic suggestions, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to this issue. As you experiment and get more comfortable with gluten free cooking, you will find what does (and doesn’t!) work for you and your loved one and will eventually develop a menu which your loved one can enjoy without worry.
If you need assistance or a break from your care responsibilities, don’t forget that help is available. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of in-home care, offering reliable caregivers who can assist with activities ranging from meal preparation and light housekeeping to medication reminders and transportation. Call 972-468-6010 to request free information about hourly and live-in care in Denton County. Our Care Managers are available to answer questions 24/7.