Meal Prep for Seniors
Everyday tasks become more challenging for seniors who live alone. Food preparation is an example of that. It’s a lot of work to buy food and cook nutritious meals. Some foods are harder to eat than others, which is important to consider when cooking for seniors. Medications and health conditions sometimes limit the foods seniors can eat. Here are some ways you can help seniors maintain their independence with meal prep.
Meal delivery services
Take advantage of online grocery options. Many grocery stores are starting to offer online ordering so you can grocery shop from the comforts of home. With this tool you can either have the groceries delivered to your home or have them ready for pick up at the store. Meals on Wheels and other food delivery services are another way to ensure seniors have access to good nutrition.
Food for thought
If you’re helping a senior manage his or her meal plan, make sure to label everything clearly. It’s easy to forget what exactly is in the container and when the food inside goes bad. Leave instructions about how long to cook the food and at what temperature. Weekly calendars are a great way to schedule meals for each day.
Meal preparation needs will depend on each individual’s ability to open jars, cut vegetables and safely cook on the stove. Make sure seniors are using timers when they use the oven. It’s such an easy appliance to accidentally leave on, which can have disastrous consequences. If an elderly person cannot adequately prepare his or her own meals, it might be time to consider alternate living arrangements. For the people working in personal home care, here are some ideas for easy meals that you can help prepare once or twice a week.
It’s important to start your day with a balanced breakfast. Fortunately, breakfast foods are notoriously easy to prepare. Oatmeal is easy to cook and easy to eat. Individual microwavable packets are ready in minutes. When paired with fresh fruit, this makes a healthy morning meal. Eggs are east to chew and filled with important protein. It’s easy to keep this breakfast food interesting by mixing up how you prepare them. Whether your eggs are hard boiled, scrambled or over easy, eggs are simple to make. Yogurt, toast, and cereal are also good. These foods are easy to switch up by adding granola or fresh fruit.
Lunch and dinner
Salads are packed with nutrition and flavor. Once or twice a week you can throw your favorite vegetables into Tupperware containers and place them in the fridge. When it’s time to eat your salad, add some meat and a little salad dressing for a complete meal. Don’t add these toppings too early because your salad might turn soggy. Heat and eat meals, like cans of soup and frozen food, are good items to stock up on for an easy lunch or dinner.
Crockpot meals require minimal time and effort to throw together and they usually make enough for leftovers. Anything can be a crockpot meal. There are numerous recipes for slow cooker soups, lasagnas, breakfast casseroles, main dishes and desserts around the internet. Seniors can enjoy a hot meal and then save the leftovers to eat throughout the week. Delivery services are another option. Post the contact information for nearby restaurants that deliver to the home. While this is not a solution for every day, it can be a fun treat every now and then.
Having difficulty completing daily tasks, like preparing meals, is part of getting older. It’s a challenge for many seniors to access balanced, nutritious meals but there are many ways for you to help out.