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Healthy Foods to Replace Meat and Dairy in a Senior’s Diet

Meat and dairy products contain many of the vitamins and minerals your senior loved one needs to stay healthy when senior home care Westfield becomes necessary. Calcium and protein, for instance, are essential in promoting bone health amongst other benefits. However, if your loved one doesn’t eat meat or dairy for personal reasons or is unable to due to health restrictions, try these substitutes to ensure he or she is getting the right nutrition.


Protein is essential in maintaining muscle and bone strength. Seniors need 50 to 60 grams per day or approximately 7 grams for every 20 pounds they weigh. Quinoa is a whole grain that has 13 grams of protein per serving. In addition to replacing the protein in meat, quinoa can also be served to your loved one as a replacement for rice or mashed potatoes.

Green Peas

Green peas contain almost 8 grams of protein per cup, which is more than the amount 1 cup of milk provides. They can be served steamed as a side dish, mashed with a little salt and spread onto toast, or blended into pesto and served with pasta.


Pasta is made from durum wheat, which makes it a good source of protein. Pasta has 6 grams of protein per 1-cup serving. Your loved one may enjoy pasta on its own or with soft vegetables and broth in a warm soup.

Chia Seeds

Seniors need approximately 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium every day, which can help them keep their cardiovascular systems and bones healthy. Chia seeds are a great source of calcium with 300 mg per serving. They can be mixed into your loved one’s oatmeal, baked into bread, and sprinkled on cereal.

Collard Greens

Collard greens have more calcium than milk, with 367 mg per serving. Additionally, they are a great source of vitamin K, which can also help keep your loved one’s bones strong. They can be lightly cooked in olive oil and served as a side at dinner.

Firm Tofu

Tofu is a great source of both protein and calcium, with 11 grams of protein and 227 mg of calcium per serving. It takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, making it great addition to stir-fries, smoothies, and more.

Eating well doesn’t have to be a difficult process, but a little planning and preparation regarding your loved one’s diet can lead to various health benefits. If your schedule doesn’t allow much time to give attention to your loved one’s diet, a Westfield hourly caregiver can help. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can prepare nutritious meals for your loved one, go grocery shopping, and also assist with a wide variety of other daily tasks. For more information, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a complimentary consultation.