Super Cereal for the Elderly [Free Recipe Included]

Super Cereal for the Elderly [Free Recipe Included]

“Super Cereal for the Elderly” was written by Mitzi de MaaEdited/reviewed by Aly Bouzek, MS, RDN. Mitzi is a dietetic intern based out of Florida.

Have you heard of super cereal? If you haven’t, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this article you will learn:

Let’s dive in!

What is Super Cereal?

Super cereal is a recipe that combines different ingredients and nutrients that when combined, makes a high-calorie, nutritious, and fortified cereal.

When a food has been fortified it means that there are nutrients that have been added to it that are not normally there.

Fun fact: The goal of fortification is to increase the nutritional value of food! Isn’t that awesome?

Understanding fortification is important in the context of this article because the purpose of fortifying super cereal, by means of adding different ingredients, is to help older adults and those who:

  • Want to prevent unintended weight loss
  • Have low appetite
  • Need to get their daily nutrition in fewer meals
  • Are going through sickness
  • Have a desire to gain weight 
Super Cereal with Bananas

What is Super Cereal Made of?

As previously mentioned, super cereal is a recipe that combines different ingredients that are higher in calories and nutrients. The goal for the recipe is to pack in as many calories as possible!

So, we can accomplish this by combining different ingredients like the ones listed below. 

The following list includes some of the ingredients that can be added to a super cereal recipe and what macronutrient group they belong to.

IngredientMacronutrient
OatmealCarbohydrate + Fiber
Half and halfFat
Brown SugarCarbohydrate
Dried fruitCarbohydrate + Fiber
Whole MilkFat + Carbohydrate + Protein
Dry Milk (whole)Fat + Carbohydrate + Protein
ButterFat
MargarineFat
Evaporated MilkFat
Condensed MilkFat
Peanut ButterFat
Super Cereal Ingredients

After reading this list you may ask yourself, why does a super cereal recipe include those ingredients?

The reason why some of these ingredients are used is because they are higher in calories, and include the important macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) that our bodies need to work properly.

By combining some of these ingredients in one recipe, an older adult can receive enough calories and nutrition in one meal. This is really helpful considering that many older adults struggle with a loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, and are at risk for malnutrition. 

It’s important to mention that the ingredients above may not work for everyone, especially for those on specific diets. Therefore, it is recommended to work with a dietitian or geriatric dietitian to get a personalized plan for your specific dietary needs. 

Why Super Cereal?

Why eat it?

Stopping Unintended Weight Loss

Unintended weight loss can affect many people, especially older adults. For instance, older adults can experience difficulty eating, lack of appetite due to medications, challenging social environments, emotional hardships, gastrointestinal issues, and poor oral health.

Super cereal can be a suitable meal for those trying to stop unintended weight loss since it is packed with calories and nutrients! Remember, it’s important to check that the ingredients don’t interfere with health conditions.  

Preventing Malnutrition

Did you know that malnutrition in older adults is common? Malnutrition is actually a big health concern in the older adult population that can affect their daily living activities and quality of life (1). 

The reason why malnutrition affects the elderly can be related to multiple factors. A few common factors include:

  • Lifestyle
  • Disease
  • Aging process

Eating enough food and enough protein is very important when it comes to preventing malnutrition in older adults (1). Therefore, including an energy-dense meal, such as super cereal, can be an excellent way to prevent malnutrition in older adults.

Gaining Weight

Additionally, since super cereal is jam-packed with calories, it makes it a great meal for anyone seeking to gain weight. A recipe can range from 200 to 400 calories per serving.

Keep scrolling for your FREE super cereal recipe!

Appetite

Did you know that appetite decreases as we age? Loss of appetite in older adults can happen as a result of:

  • Use of medication
  • Underlying disease
  • Medical treatments
  • Emotional distress
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing
  • Inability to eat independently

Loss of appetite can also impact the amount and quality of food an older adult eats throughout the day. This can cause unintended weight loss and malnutrition.

Older adults struggling with loss of appetite can benefit from eating high-calorie meals like super cereal (allowing them to get as many calories as possible into one meal). 

Boost Consumption of Macronutrients and Micronutrients 

As we learned above, the ingredients in a super cereal recipe are made up of the three macronutrients (and lots of vitamins and minerals) that are essential to remain healthy and help our bodies function correctly. The three macronutrients are:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
Macronutritents and Micronutrients

Benefits of Super Cereal for Older Adults

As we have been learning throughout this article, aging can inevitably bring a low appetite, the risk for malnutrition, unintended weight loss, illnesses, and more.

Super cereal can provide the energy (calories) and nutrition that is necessary during this vulnerable stage of life.

Bowl of Super Cereal

Delicious Super Cereal Recipe

Here is the promised recipe! Download and save it (see below)!

Serving Size: 1 serving (1 bowl)

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet instant oatmeal (plain)
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 Tablespoon margarine
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dried fruit (choose your favorites!)

Directions:

  1. Measure half-and-half, evaporated milk, water, and margarine into a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add oatmeal packet and cook until thick.
  4. Top with brown sugar and dried fruit.
  5. Allow to cool to desired temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 494 kcals

Carbohydrate: 73g

Fat: 19g

Protein: 10g

Sodium: 307g

Sugar: 48g  

If you want to add more calories, you can add a nut butter (such as peanut butter), or some seeds (such as flaxseeds). 

Super Cereal with Raisins

CLICK HERE to download the free Super Cereal Recipe!

Super Cereal Recipe

Conclusion

What did you think about super cereal and its benefits for older adults? It’s an easy way to eat a nutritious and calorie-dense meal! Since it’s filled with calories, it helps older adults eat more regularly throughout the day without adding more meals to their day.

Comment below if you’ll be making this recipe! 

Reference:

  1. Norman K, Haß U, Pirlich M. Malnutrition in Older Adults-Recent Advances and Remaining Challenges. Nutrients. 2021;13(8):2764. Published 2021 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu13082764

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