Meal Planning Tips for Older Adults – Where to start
What’s for dinner? the search for “quick and easy dinner,” “weeknight dinner ideas,” “30-minute meals” and 30 Pinterest ideas later… dinner is still not ready. We get it, meal planning can be challenging, especially when it is not for yourself. While it may seem overwhelming, meal planning is extremely beneficial in reducing stress and making the weekdays easier at any age. Whether you are making plans for yourself or for a loved one, below are a few tips to make meal planning simple.
Make a List. Keep it Simple. For some, meal planning can mean preparing every single meal and snack for 7-days. Be realistic and give yourself some leeway. Planning 4 to 5 meals may be more realistic for your situation. Make room for eating leftovers or going to a restaurant without having to feel guilty for not eating all the food in your kitchen. Choose 4 to 5 meals that are compliant with your individual health needs and start there.
Still not sure what meals to choose? Consider a meal delivery service such as Mom's Meals , Dinnerly, Daily Harvest or more. If you struggle with ideas, portion sizes (making too much or not enough food), and are looking to try something new, these services are a great start. Each service offers customizable plans to fit your exact needs.
Get your groceries. For many older adults, getting to and from the grocery store can be a challenging task. Many grocery stores offer curbside pick-up and load your groceries into your car for you. There are also grocery delivery services such as Amazon Fresh and Instacart, where you can receive fresh food without leaving your house. At Senior Helpers, our companion care services can be the helping hand you need while shopping. From creating the list, grocery shopping, putting them away, to meal prepping, we are here for you every step of the way. Choose which service works best for you and do not look back.
Cook. The whole purpose of meal planning is to make it easier for you when you decide to cook. Some people like to cook all their meals for the week in three hours on a Sunday, while others batch cook and choose to cook only 3 to 4 times a week. Whichever you decide, make sure that it is what’s best for you and your lifestyle.
Key Take Aways:
- Choose meals that you know are easy to reheat and keep their flavor (ex: soups, stews, stir-fry)
- Store leftovers in individual sized portions. If you have two servings leftover, choose two different containers so that they are easily accessible if you are on-the-go.
- Plan one fail proof meal. Whether it is a pre-packaged salad with rotisserie chicken or a one-step crockpot dinner, give yourself a meal that is too easy to quit.
- Do not forget your comfort food! Eating healthy is important, especially as you age, but it is still possible to have a well-balanced diet while incorporating some of your favorite comfort foods.
Deciding what you should eat for the week should not be a stressful task. Keep it fun and light. Whether it is asking someone for their favorite recipes, trying a new recipe online, or using a meal service, choose an outlet that works best for you.
At Senior Helpers, our Caregivers can assist with general housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation and more with our Companion Care Services. We aim to bring you and your loved ones affordable, dependable senior care at home that could be exactly what your family has been looking for. Whether you need Senior Helpers' assistance 24/7 or just a few hours a day, our offices are here to help. Find your local Senior Helpers today.