How to Make Sure Older People Have Adequate Nutrition
Cooking for older people is a complete opposite to when we cook for ourselves. We tend to use low fat low carb low this and that when we provide for ourselves, mainly because we tend to eat far more than we need. The idea being, if everything is low, we can eat more and not get fat! For older people the challenges are completely opposite.
As we get older, our ability to assimilate food diminishes. Our appetite changes as our taste buds become less sensitive, and it can be quite difficult trying to find food that really satisfies, as well as provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
For instance. Vegetables are vital to any well balanced diet, but they are quite difficult for older people to deal with in the quantities they need. A great way to incorporate extra vegetables is to give just a few whole one’s to add colour and interest, but then liquidise the bulk of them and add them to a sauce; so rather than thickening the sauce with flour, use the vegetable puree. You will be amazed at how many vegetables you can pack into a meal this way.
Another great method of incorporating fruit is to serve a coulis with ice cream. Fruit is also difficult for older people. Teeth are not as good as they used to be, and mastication can be really tiring. Rather than serve an apple or a pear, puree a whole bunch of fruit and serve it with ice cream; that slips down really easily and does them the world of good.
I am passionate about egg. Mother nature has provided the best and complete meal in a shell. Everything you need for healthy bones and muscles, and an active brain is incorporated within an egg, and I am always trying to find new ways to incorporate them in my clients meals. great way is by making a custard, but custards are notoriously difficult to make, and quite often end up resembling scrambled egg! If you are English you are probably familiar with Bread and Butter pudding; if you are not then this pudding may be new to you. It’s easy to make and is packed with all the nutrients an older person needs:
Half a pint of milk with a tablespoon of sugar dissolved in it
A couple of eggs
About 4 rounds of bread and butter, (the bread can actually be quite stale; old bread makes a much better pudding!)
A handful of raisins or a softer fruit
Put a layer of Bread and Butter in a bowl. Sprinkle with fruit. Then another layer of bread, then some more fruit. Keep going ’til its all used. Pour over the milk and eggs. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at around 170 degrees. That’s it! delicious and full of goodness, and incredibly easy for older people to eat.
There are many ways you can make food more palatable for your older relatives and friends. Over the next articles I will provide more tips and tricks to help maintain health and vitality.