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Additionally, a vast amount of food is served fast (less than 30 minutes). This leads to food confusion — where elderly or frail individuals do not fully understand the nutrition of their food and how it compares to that of their peers.
Seniors often struggle in other ways, too. They may have trouble finding parking, navigating health care facilities or booking transportation. But let us assume that with all these challenges, there isn’t a better option. That’s OK, we’re going to go to a restaurant. Even though many restaurants do offer menus or availability of Vitamin D supplements, it’s still going to be a tough sell for older adults who don’t care for staying up late into the night.
Here are some tips to help you alleviate the challenges of cooking at home.
If at all possible, seniors should limit what they eat at home if they want to stay healthy. The tricky part of this is that even the most healthy options are not always palatable. These can range anywhere from high sodium with fatty meats and cheeses to high sugar and vegetable laden.
Even if clients are willing to eat these foods to help their seniors to stay healthy, it doesn’t mean that you want to as well. Some dishes are plain or very salty. One could also argue that it’s important to avoid binge eating. Finally, some food is high in salt and fats, which have a negative impact on health.
Here are some suggestions for making food healthier:
Minimize added sugar in your diet. Most often this is labeled as added salt, but it can also include things like high fructose corn syrup. Look for more complex sugars that don’t have a high glycemic index.
Use real fruit instead of fruit juice, pure maple syrup, and fruit flavored syrups. Most fruits are healthier than pure fruit juice. And by adding real fruit, you remove the issue of food color and artificial sweeteners.
Avoid fast food. These usually come with high salt and fat and lack whole grain or nutrient dense dishes.
Several studies have reported a protective effect of whole grains, with elderly individuals consuming more whole grain foods. Cut back on soft drinks and other high calorie, convenient foods such as energy bars.
Offer whole grain toast and pasta in lieu of heavily salted snacks or need in home health care St. Louis.
Instead of a tricolor menu, offer options such as fruit salad or grilled options on a whole wheat bread or flatbread. Mix leftovers from the previous day in with other meals or may need assistance such as an adult daycare program.

Food allergies and intolerances can make it challenging for seniors to safely eat out.
You don’t have to drive an hour to get your meal on the table in San Francisco. Many chefs directly serve meals to seniors in their pajamas. This is no small task when the kitchen area is a one room shack with limited space. J.C. Smith of Half Moon Bay’s The Outer Sunset restaurant has volunteered to cook meals to elderly patrons since his 60’s. He says, “They may want their old-school friendly diner food, but they’re looking for something they can feel good about and that doesn’t require going to the mall. Somehow having some goddamn wine has become vital to their well-being. They don’t know how to cook so I process their requests and put together a meal that looks like it could be sitting out on their dining room table.”
Not every restaurant can make it possible for seniors to cook at home. For example, no senior can eat at Jack in the Box since 18% of U.S. seniors are obese. But the AARP recently launched Cooking for Change, a campaign that can help restaurants navigate serving older customers by providing educational materials, newsletters, and cooking information.
Some restaurants have committed to serve seniors meals made from scratch in underserved areas that make it challenging for them to cook outside. Restaurant owners in the Rhode Island area were concerned about serving chili in the wintertime when it’s traditionally eaten at warmer temperatures. Lincoln, Rhode Island’s Uncle Mike’s Pizza has committed to make a meal every day for a senior in their community. They’ve received positive feedback from customers and restaurant patrons alike about how this meal has uplifted their sense of well being and need eldercare service providers in St. Louis.
Location is not always crucial to seniors engaging in cooking at home. AARP has seen that when seniors live in communities where there are bars, sports venues, and grocery stores, they are more likely to cook. They can shop for groceries from the store and cook as they would at home. “We see a lot of fun things like Grandma cooking with rubs and spices in Georgia, dipped chicken on a stick in Massachusetts, and Florida rolls wrapped around a Florida orange cheesecake,” said Leigh. “We’ve been blessed to foster conversations around food around home.

These issues put seniors in a tough spot when they want to relax with a meal. In this article, I want to discuss three of the issues seniors face when they cook at home. By the end of this article, you will learn how to deal with this common challenge in senior living.
Protein, especially from meat, is a known heart disease risk factor. What we find with more and more seniors is a noticeable increase in their cholesterol levels. Now if we go to a restaurant: For a regular priced meal, our meal will cost approximately $3 per gram of protein. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says a high-protein diet is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. This is important to point out because they say this because they do not have the precise mechanism of how this food is associated with heart disease. But other than that, the food is often high in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. We are now paying an additional $3 per gram of protein for a high-salt, basic calorie meal, right?
One of the biggest problems seniors face when they cook at home is lack of variety. The large variety of meals at restaurants is often what most seniors enjoy. It also allows them to cook almost every meal themselves, without having to buy every type of ingredient. In the kitchen, though, this often becomes difficult because you only usually have one set of tools to do it with, and those tools are not made for two people. Even worse, times are busy, and busy times mean orders are not taken the same day. You might be waiting in a line for 30 minutes or more just to place an order. Trying to buy cheese wheels, pasta, or seared salmon while waiting in line is not pleasant. You could end up throwing the items away.
If senior citizens are putting loved ones first when cooking, that could also be impacting their health. Some research has shown that cooking with family can help reduce stress in the household, and this would go a long way to how senior citizens feel better about eating. Even if some of the meals come out great, it is not a responsible way to eat when you live in a small space and lack the time and space for making fresh food at home. So what can senior citizens do to make their at home cooking enjoyable?
The options are a variety of. Newer and higher quality options are available.

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