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10 Soft Food Recipes For The Elderly

December 12th, 2022

There can be multiple reasons why a person may benefit from easy to swallow recipes, including degenerative conditions, chewing problems, and swallowing difficulties. If someone has recently suffered a stroke, been diagnosed with dementia, or has issues with their teeth, our soft food recipes for the elderly could provide you with the inspiration you need.

vegetable soup

Soft food recipes for the elderly don’t have to be sloppy and tasteless; read on for recipe ideas the whole family can eat, as well as tips on useful equipment for preparing simple recipes for elderly people.

Who Would Benefit From Soft Food Recipes For The Elderly?

People who would benefit from our collection of soft food recipes for the elderly include:

  • Those with dentures or who have just had dental work done would benefit from recipes for elderly with chewing problems
  • Individuals with dysphagia (the medical term for swallowing difficulties)
  • People struggling with swallowing difficulties following a stroke
  • Individuals with swallowing difficulties following a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • People with digestive issues – our soft food recipes for the elderly are intended to be easier to both swallow and digest

If you have any concerns about an elderly person’s chewing or swallowing abilities, speak to your GP, as they’ll be best able to advise on the most appropriate solution. In some cases, people may need to be fed using a special formula to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.

What Equipment Do I Need To Make Easy To Swallow Recipes For Elderly People?

Not all of the below equipment for making soft food recipes for the elderly is absolutely necessary, but investing in a few of these items will certainly help to make food preparation easier and mealtimes potentially less messy. 

mashed potato

We recommend:

  • A hand blender or food processor – ideal for getting that smooth texture
  • A slow cooker – great for cooking a big batch of a smooth soup or stew
  • Freezer bags for storing any batch cooking
  • A steamer for cooking vegetables quickly – steaming helps to keep in more nutrients than boiling
  • A potato masher
  • Plastic bowls, spoons, cups, and reusable straws – these can help elderly people with limited motor skills to stay independent for longer
  • You might like to invest in some adult bibs and wipeclean tablecloths to help limit mess at mealtimes as much as possible

Simple Recipes For Elderly People (And The Rest Of The Family)

It may feel like extra work to make specific soft food recipes for the elderly if the rest of the family is eating something else, but there are simple recipes for elderly people that you can make from the meal everyone else is tucking into. 

Bear in mind that people with dysphagia or other swallowing difficulties will need to avoid foods with a stringy texture or anything that’s especially fibrous and hard to digest. Stay clear of foods like melted cheese and celery, and be careful with meat; if you are serving meat or fish, it needs to be soft and served in tiny pieces to reduce the risk of choking. It may feel a little like you’re cooking for a baby who’s being weaned – it’s those same smooth textures that you’ll want, but you can be more creative with flavour and spice.

blended tomatoes

Meals that you can prepare for the whole family and easily adapt into soft food recipes for the elderly include: 

  • Soup is a good option to suit everyone – just be careful to leave out any pasta shapes or croutons for those who can’t chew or swallow them as easily. Something like a simple tomato or vegetable soup can be blended easily, and they’re packed with nutrition too
  • Stews, tagines, and casseroles lend themselves well to being blended into a smoother, softer texture. Serve with mashed potato, sweet potato mash, or even mashed swede for a hearty meal that’s soft and easier to swallow. If everyone else is having roast potatoes, it’s not too much extra work to make mash for one person
  • There are also lots of suitable Indian recipes for elderly with chewing problems, as curries can be easy to blend, while daal made from chickpeas or lentils can be soft in texture and relatively easy to eat
  • When it comes to puddings, soft, nursery food like bananas and custard (mash the bananas for an even softer texture), or even trifle with custard and jelly layers can be good, easy to swallow recipes for elderly people

10 Easy Recipes For Elderly People With Chewing Or Swallowing Difficulties

From breakfast porridge to hearty, filling main courses full of nutritious vegetables to sweet treat puddings, read on to discover ten of our favourite soft food recipes for the elderly – and anyone else who wants to tuck in!

1. Porridge

The first of our simple recipes for elderly people with chewing or swallowing difficulties is porridge – a filling breakfast that’s a good source of fibre. You can easily add different flavours to porridge to mix it up and keep it interesting, such as a spoonful of honey or seedless jam, or a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg to add a little something extra.

2. A Simple Omelette


Omelettes are quick and easy to prepare, soft in texture, and you can cut them up into small pieces for seniors who need a little extra assistance. The whole family can enjoy an omelette for breakfast or a light lunch, so you only need to prepare one meal. Leave out melted cheese, ham, and other potentially tricky ingredients for those with additional needs – you might like to try making one with soft vegetables like mushrooms or tomatoes with their skins and seeds removed instead.

3. Banana Protein Milkshake

If you’re worried about how much protein your loved one is getting if they’re primarily eating soft food recipes for the elderly, you might want to consider giving them a milkshake or smoothie made with protein powder – your GP may be able to advise on a suitable one for your loved one’s needs. 

Blend banana with milk and a scoop of protein powder for an easy to swallow breakfast drink that contains essential protein, calcium, and fibre.

4. Smoothie Bowl

Next on our list of simple recipes for elderly with chewing problems is a smoothie bowl, which is essentially a thick fruit smoothie that’s poured into a bowl and designed to be eaten with a spoon. 

If you’re making a smoothie for someone with swallowing difficulties, try to avoid using any fruit with skin and seeds or pips, and make sure you have a completely smooth texture before serving it. Use minimal water or milk in the smoothie to get that thick, spoonable consistency.

5. Easy Fish Cakes

If you’re looking for soft food recipes for the elderly that the whole family can enjoy, homemade fish cakes are a great option. By combining leftover mashed potato with canned tuna, beaten egg, and seasoning, you can make tasty patties to bake in the oven or fry to turn into soft fish cakes that are much easier to eat than shop-bought ones covered in breadcrumbs. 

6. Potato And Leek Soup

potato and leek soup

Potato and leek soup is a classic, and it’s a good option for a hearty, warming meal for someone who needs soft foods that are easy to chew. Try this recipe from BBC Good Food and blend it to make it even easier to eat.

7. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

If meat is difficult for your loved one to chew, try making a shepherd’s pie with lentils instead – an ideal option if you’re looking for soft food recipes for the elderly. Cooked lentils have a softer texture and take on flavours well – they’re also lower in fat and higher in fibre than beef or lamb mince.

Replace the mince in your usual recipe with lentils, and be careful about including ingredients such as carrots, celery, and onions if these are difficult for your loved one to chew. Top with mashed potatoes and you’ve got a tasty, hearty, soft food recipe.

8. Butternut Squash Soup

If you’re making roasting butternut squash for the rest of the family, use some to make soup for your elderly loved one too. Butternut squash is particularly tasty roasted then blended, and you could add other vegetables like carrot and sweet potato too to make a tasty, vegetable-packed soup with a smooth texture.

9. Stewed Apples

There are some desserts that fit into the category of soft food recipes for the elderly, and stewed apples is one of them. If your loved one can no longer manage the pastry of their favourite apple pie, you could still prepare sweet stewed apples for them to enjoy instead for an occasional treat.

10. Avocado And Chocolate Mousse

chocolate mousse

The last of our soft food recipes for the elderly is an avocado and chocolate mousse, like this one by Tesco. If soft desserts are the only sweet treat your loved one is allowed, this chocolatey pudding can feel like a real indulgence, but they’ll be getting a little extra nutrition in there thanks to the avocado, which is a source of healthy fats. The avocado makes the texture wonderfully creamy, so they won’t feel like they’re eating mush or slop.

Food At New Care Homes

At New Care homes, trained chefs work in our kitchens, preparing a variety of nutritious, balanced meals every day, with our residents’ different dietary needs in mind. Our fine dining facilities are stylish and modern in keeping with the rest of our care homes, making them the perfect surroundings for eating in each day.

Contact us to arrange a visit to see our dining areas – and the rest of our care home facilities – for yourself, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.