Best Meals for Older Persons
Food for the elderly involves a surprising number of issues and problems. Right food choices, and obtaining, preparing and storing food can be the first frontier of seniors needing help and having too much pride to ask.
- Food requirements change as bodies age
- Food can affect energy
- Shopping for food can be difficult
- Cooking for one or two elderly calls for new recipes
- Food needs to be stored differently (or by different persons)
Food Requirements As Our Bodies Age
Food requirements change as we get older. Experts have divided the ageing process into two categories. These are the "young old" or the "young elderly" and the "old old" or the "older elderly." Following is a more detailed description:
"The young elderly may have 20 or so active years ahead of them, so health promotion and fitness are the primary aims when it comes to nutrition.
"The older elderly are likely to develop chronic illnesses, which will probably be coupled with the need for more support. This age group is the fastest growing...and has specific nutritional needs."
For the BBC More
Food Can Affect Energy
Not only can some foods affect energy, but recently special food and drink products have come on the market which provide an energy boost.
Shopping For Food
More than any other group, the elderly face changes when shopping for food.
Seniors can find themselves single due to the illness or death of a spouse or a spouse moving into assisted care. Learning to shop (and cook) for one can be a challenge. Often senior men are inexperienced at these activities.
As we age and become more frail, shopping can become very hard to do. Walking and standing in the grocery store can be taxing and reaching for foods on high or low shelves can be painful. There is usually someone available to help pack groceries into a car, but unpacking alone at home can take time and energy.
Difficulty with driving can limit trips to the grocery store too.
The result of these problems is that seniors often do not have the right foods in their pantries.
A relatively new solution is to purchase groceries on line. Most grocery store chains offer this service complete with delivery. Best way to find out is to Google your favorite grocery store name and add "on line" to it.
Food safety is an important part of storing food. Leftovers and food that is divided into smaller portions must be stored properly for safety. All food must be wrapped or covered tightly for storage. The USDA has a free chart that is a real helper when making food storage decisions. >>More
Good choices for saving food are plastic wrap, zip-lock type plastic bags, or plastic containers with a tightly fitting lid. >>More