Meal Preparation for an Older Adult at Home

Preparing Nutritious Meals

Nourishment is essential to life. We turn to food for our basic dietary needs like protein, vitamins, minerals and more. But it’s also a source of pleasure and comfort. This can change during our older years when taste buds change, dental health is more challenging, and arthritis can make food prep painful.
Older adults still need the basic essential vitamins and minerals which can be obtained through preparing nutritious meals.

Soups and smoothies can easily combine several foods rich in fiber and easily digestible. Providing foods in liquid form can also help those with dental health problems that find it difficult to chew a meal.
It is recommended to stock up on high-protein foods that are accessible, easy to eat, and versatile. Some great recommendations would be; cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, nut butters, eggs, frozen meatballs, chopped chicken, tuna pouches (which come in many flavors) and baked tofu.
People 65 and older are at a high risk from foodborne illness. This increased risk is because organs and body systems change as the body ages:
Beginning around age 60, the immune system begins to decline. The immune system is vital for health because it defends the body against infectious organisms and other invaders. When a healthy immune system senses disease-causing organisms and other substances that invade the body, it responds to fight them off.

  • The digestive system holds food longer, allowing bacteria to grow while the stomach may not produce enough acid to limit the number of intestinal bacteria.
  • The liver and kidneys may not properly rid the body of foreign bacteria and toxins.
  • Since caregiver and family members want to avoid additional heath problems in the elders, try and avoid the following:
  • Processed foods
  • Baked goods made with refined flour
  • High-sodium foods
  • Soft drinks, juice and high-sugar foods

It is important for the elderly to enjoy and ingest well rounded nourishing meals to reduce risk of damaging the immune system.

Image: https://www.pexels.com/search/healthy%20food/
Other Helpful Resources: https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/what-is-myplate
Sources: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2018/healthy-meals.html

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