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5 Nutritious Recipes Caregivers Can Make During the Cold Weather Months

Preparing nutritious recipes can help keep seniors healthy during the winter. Maintaining good nutrition can boost immunity and help ward off ailments.

Maintaining good nutrition during the winter can boost immunity and help provide seniors with much-needed nutrients to ward off ailments that often come with this season. A healthy immune system can help fight the germs that cause colds and the flu and even help prevent infection.

Preparing healthy recipes that are easy for seniors to eat can help keep seniors healthy during the winter. Here are three recipes to prepare and enjoy.



Banana Split Oatmeal

This fun spin on a classic takes oats and makes them a little more enjoyable with the addition of sliced bananas and frozen yogurt. It’s easy to prepare as a meal or a snack. Makes one serving.


  • ¹⁄₃ cup oatmeal (dry, quick-cooking)
  • ¹⁄₈ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ sliced banana
  • ½cup non-fat frozen yogurt


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together oatmeal and salt. Stir in water.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on high for another minute. Stir again.
  3. Microwave an additional 30-60 seconds on high until the cereal reaches the desired thickness. Stir again.
  4. Top with banana slices and frozen yogurt.


  • Add sliced nuts and/or dried fruit.
  • Instead of banana, use sliced apples and cinnamon.

Pork, White Bean and Kale Soup

This hearty soup is so satisfying in the colder weather. It is packed with nutrients that seniors will enjoy. This will make six servings.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped (about 8 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring, until no pink is on the outside. Move pork to a plate and keep juices in the pot.
  2. Add chopped onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, until onion begins to brown. Add garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add wine and tomatoes. Increase heat to high and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add kale and stir just until it wilts. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in beans, and pork; simmer until the beans and pork are heated through, about 2 minutes.


  • Use chicken or turkey breast instead of pork.
  • Add additional vegetables such as carrots, celery and green beans.
  • Serve with a side salad.

Slow-Cooker Soy-Glazed Chicken With Vegetables

Using the slow cooker makes preparing meals a breeze. Caregivers can start them in the morning and serve them later that evening, or have seniors serve themselves. Makes four servings.


  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¾ pound snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • black pepper


  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  2. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  4. Transfer chicken to a plate. Pour the cooking liquid into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add snow peas, bok choy, bell pepper, scallions, and garlic and cook, tossing frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  6. Serve with the chicken and rice; drizzle with the cooking liquid.


  • Add or substitute vegetables to your desire. Additional ideas include carrots, celery, zucchini and edamame.
  • Use beef or pork instead of chicken

Home Care Tip:

Keep the recipes at the serving size they are, or double them, even if only cooking for one individual. You can freeze leftovers and have meals prepped for several nights with the same amount of prep work.

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.