Preparing Food For Seniors
Little information is written about
cooking for seniors. In most cases, what people choose to eat
as they age changes slowly and therefore, unnoticed. However, many
seniors either fall into nutritional categories of malnourished or
obese for the first time in their lives.
We intend to explore and detail
some of the normal senior physical changes in eating habits and
desires. In doing so, we hope that people will continue to enjoy the
foods that they always have as they age and find more nutrition in
the food that they do eat.
Not everything here is meant for
everybody. Drastic changes in diet should always be reviewed
with a family doctor before implementation. If there are any
medical issues such as diabetes, digestive problems, or medications
are involved, changes in diet and physical conditions should be
medically monitored. In general however, changing to a more
healthy diet is in every person's short and long term best
There are several challenges that
have to be met when cooking for seniors. While there are no
two people alike, many if not all of the same concerns need to be
The older that we get, the less
we tend to be able to taste our food. This is not always
just a matter of the taste buds. Humans tend to pick up some
flavors with our noses, more than with our mouths.
such as salt are almost exclusive to the mouth, but cinnamon is a
nose flavor. Unfortunately, age affects our ability to smell
as well as to taste with our mouths.
Though it does vary, seniors need
food to have much more flavor than younger adults. In
cooking for seniors, you will need 2-12 more flavor for the
Getting the flavor
It is widely suspected that one
reason that seniors prefer to eat less is that they don't taste
and therefore, enjoy the food. Imagine eating a rice cake
every day. Even with a bit of condiment, this gets old,
The problem is that the two ingredients that we use
most often to flavor food are salt and fat. While most
people can have a moderate amount of each, many seniors are on
salt restricted diets or have problems with high blood
Fats are necessary ingredients in
foods, but people who are sedentary or dealing with weight issues
need to be careful. If you are trying to reduce cholesterol
levels, you have more of an issue because you have to watch the
kinds of fats that you eat.
Salt and fat are cheap flavor
enhancers and are therefore, included in many processed
foods. Some restaurants also add quite a bit to their dishes
to enhance the flavor.
Packaged, prepared dinners are
certainly fast and easy to cook, but perhaps one of the biggest
reasons that seniors choose these foods are that they can taste
them. They are full of salt!
The price that many seniors pay
however, is that high salt and bad fat foods take a toll on their
health. Problems with high blood pressure and water
retention are associated with salt. Fats often add contribute
to vascular diseases and clog biological processes.