Cooking for Seniors is something that we don’t give much thought to. But everyday we age. Another thing about aging is that you may have noticed that what you didn’t like when you were younger you now find delicious. As we age, our sense of taste and smell diminishes. Seniors may not be eating as much as they should because of this. There are many things to consider in preparing food for seniors, whether it is cooked by themselves or by a caregiver.
First you have to follow the guidelines and calorie intake specified by their family physician because the wrong foods and preparation can cause a risk of obesity or malnourishment, changes in their physical health such as, blood pressure, diabetes, digestion problems, and certain medications need to be taken before eating, with food, or after eating.
There are several ways to give more flavor to foods and adds nourishment. Seniors, or the caregiver, should consider cooking fresh vegetables instead of buying processed, frozen dinner trays. Try cooking vegetables, potatoes or rice in chicken broth that is low-sodium or using broth in mashed potatoes instead of milk or cream. Use meat that is more tender, lean cuts. This will lessen the fat and the more tender cuts have more flavor. Cook skinless chicken breasts or thighs, these can be baked, broiled or grilled. Fresh herbs can be added to salads, sauces, meats and vegetables for added flavor. When buying ground beef, use ground sirloin for less fat content and more flavor.
Breakfast cereal is more tasteful and nutritious if cooked cereal is used. Fruit can be added for more taste, and healthier eating. If sugar can be added, try mixing sugar with cinnamon and adding to oatmeal or serve yogurt with granola and fruit. If seniors can prepare or help prepare the food for their meal, they feel more useful or if they can just sit in the kitchen and handling the vegetables and fruits, it can help patients with the loss of memory by familiarizing them with things they used to do in the past for their family.
It doesn’t matter what a person’s age is, you never outgrow the need for family unity at mealtime. If you have a member of the family that is a senior, or are a caregiver of a senior, consider shopping for food that they are accustomed to eating and let them share in shopping with you. When preparing the food consider how much more enjoyable it is to prepare it with someone while sharing moments together. Food tastes better to all of us at any age, if it is shared with someone. They will enjoy their food more and look forward to mealtime if they have companionship and someone to share a conversation.
Article provided by Senior Daily Living. http://seniordailyliving.com