One-day menu for people with Parkinson’s featuring salmon baked potatoes

Recipes & Nutrition

Author: Kathrynne HoldenPublished: 30 November 2016

Parkinson's LifePrep: -Parkinson's LifeCook: -Parkinson's LifeServes: -

potato with cream of the cream cheese and salted salmon

Kathrynne Holden, ex-National Parkinson Foundation dietitian, looks at nutritious and varied meal plans for people with Parkinson’s with chewing and swallowing issues

When people with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty chewing, mealtimes can be difficult. In this article you’ll find a delicious recipe, which is great for your brain and goes down easily, and also a specialised one-day menu, with further nutrition advice and suggestions to ease chewing problems.

I love the following easy-to-chew recipe because it features salmon, a valuable source of heart-protective fats, as well as excellent protein. The vegetables make it almost a one-pot meal, while the creamy sauce mixed with the baked potato makes each bite much easier to swallow.

Salmon and vegetable potato topper
Serves 2


350ml milk or milk alternative
230g thinly sliced carrots, cooked and drained
230g canned salmon, drained
90g grated Cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
4 tbsp minced onion
4 tbsp minced bell peppers
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
ground marjoram
pre-baked potatoes


1. In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté the onion and bell peppers in butter for five minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Combine the flour, garlic powder, thyme and marjoram. Stir into onion mixture. Heat and stir for one or two minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in the milk or milk alternative.
4. Return to heat and stir until the sauce becomes thickened and reaches the boil.
5. Stir in the cheese, cooked carrots and salmon and heat through.
6. Split the baked potatoes and fluff the insides with a fork. Discard the potato skins.
7. Spoon the salmon mixture over potatoes and stir lightly to blend with and moisten the potato.

One-day meal plan

When chewing takes a long time, small, frequent meals and snacks may be better than three large meals a day. It also helps to take small bites. As a soft-food diet is more limited, it may be advisable to use fortified foods and a multivitamin-mineral supplement.

Although chewing problems require adjustments in cooking and serving foods, it is important to have a varied, healthy, and nourishing daily meal plan. This will help to get the vital nutrients needed, and enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Here is an example of a carefully chosen one-day menu with all the flavour, vitamins, minerals, and fibre you need, featuring the salmon recipe above.

NOTE: If the portions are too small, increase as needed.

177ml calcium-fortified orange juice
220g cooked oatmeal
30g raisins
120ml 1% fat milk or calcium-fortified milk alternative
Coffee or tea

12ml apple sauce
1 scrambled egg

You may crush a multivitamin tablet and mix into the apple sauce.

235ml split pea soup
1 whole-grain rye crisp biscuit/cracker, crumbled and added to the soup to soften
30g cheese or vegan cheese, grated and added to the soup
220g bread pudding or rice pudding (made with milk alternative if needed, and whole- grain bread or brown rice)
175ml tomato juice

Salmon and vegetable potato topper
110g mashed turnips or cooked finely chopped spinach
240g milk or milk alternative, or coffee or tea as preferred
1 poached pear, chopped

How this is a balanced menu

The protein foods include salmon, egg, cheese and split peas. Fish has omega-3 fatty acids that nourish the brain and nervous system, and split peas are rich in fibre. Other proteins could include ground beef, lamb, or poultry.

Fruits include orange/grape/apple juice, well-cooked raisins, applesauce, poached pear. Melon chunks, which can be chopped small or puréed, also work well.

Vegetables include sweet pepper, onion, carrot, turnip, and potato. A cold vegetable soup, such as gazpacho, is another way to increase vegetable servings.

Rice pudding and bread pudding are easy-chew ways to get more fibre daily. Use whole-grain bread and brown rice, if possible. Also, a slice of bread can be chopped and soaked in honey- sweetened milk or milk alternative for a snack. Other fibre sources include oatmeal, applesauce, pea soup, soaked rye crisps, bread pudding or rice pudding, well-cooked onion, sweet pepper, turnips or spinach, and carrots.

Hot Baked stuffed Potato with cheese, bacon, parsley on wooden

Read part one of Kathrynne Holden’s easy-to-chew tips here

Read more: Recipes & Nutrition

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  • Frederick Clennett

    As my wife’s carer of 4 years’ I have found that all types of animal and fish protein also soya will reduce or stop the efficacy of medications replacing natural dopamine. Today, for example, we each had a custard tart with a drink at lunchtime whilst waiting for an MRI scan and her tremors did not reduce until after her next tablet three hours later. Quorn products are useful for a late dinner but even those use egg and milk products so cannot be used for daytime meals. Makes life as her cook very difficult and this recipe using salmon just would not work.

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