A 7-Day Meal Plan for the Elderly
Are you looking for a 7-day meal plan that is both nutritious and delicious? Look no further! In this blog post, we will provide you with a week’s worth of recipes that are perfect for seniors. These meals are packed with nutrients and flavor, and they are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking!
Why Is Meal Planning for Seniors a Good Idea?
Meal planning is advantageous for seniors in a myriad of ways. Not only can it help them save money by lessening unnecessary trips to the grocery store, but it also allows them to plan ahead and maintain a consistent, balanced diet. With meal planning, they can ensure their meals include all the essential vitamins and minerals their body needs to stay healthy. Furthermore, meal planning provides seniors with structure and consistency in their daily routines. By having a plan already figured out, they are able to stick to their diet while avoiding wasting time or energy making decisions about their meals each day. When you factor in how convenient it is to have groceries delivered right to your door – a huge benefit when mobility is not what it used to be – meal planning can make all the difference for a senior’s comfort and well-being.
Tastebuds Change as We Age
If you’ve noticed that your tastes have changed over the years, it’s not your imagination. Did you know that humans have fewer tastebuds as they grow older? The process of losing tastebuds typically begins in your 40s or 50s. While the process isn’t harmful, it does make finding tasty food a bit more difficult as we age.
How Many Calories Do Seniors Need?
The number of calories you need depends on your activity levels and overall health needs. A good rule of thumb recommended for people 50+ is 1,600 to 2,200 calories for women. For men, the number is higher, from 2,000 to 2,800 calories each day. While some seniors may struggle to get enough calories, others could benefit from consuming fewer calories daily.
A Sample 7-Day Meal Plan for the Elderly
The meal plan below is just an example of the types of meals many seniors will find healthy and tasty. Many of these meals are suitable for elderly vegetarians, but a few include meat.
Always consult your physician before making any modifications to your diet. Seniors with special diets (including diabetic, renal, low-sodium, and other diets), can get meal planning assistance from their doctors.
Supplement your meals with snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated and satiated throughout the day.
Tuna on whole wheat bread
Roasted potatoes and carrots
Whole wheat crackers
Roasted chicken breast
Air fried bacon
Pita sandwich with chicken and avocado
Shepherd’s pie with ground turkey, carrots, peas, onions
Spinach and mushroom omelet
Vegetable pasta with zucchini, carrots, bell peppers
Multi-grain bagel with peanut butter and honey
Shrimp scampi with whole wheat pasta
Quiche with sweet potato crust
Fruit salad (strawberries, grapes, blackberries, oranges)
Yogurt with granola
Air fried sweet potato fries
Tofu stir fry with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, shredded carrots,
Chickpea salad, feta cheese, tomato salad
Creamy chicken and rice soup
7-Day Meal Plan for an Elderly Vegetarian
People are vegetarians for a variety of reasons. Whether a meatless diet is prescribed for your health or if you follow a vegetarian diet for religious or ethical reasons, it’s important that you still get enough protein and other nutrients from your meals. Fortunately, there are many more vegetarian options on the market than there used to be. Most supermarkets offer vegetarian (or vegan) options that mimic the look and taste of chicken, pork, and beef.
While many of the meals listed in the meal plan above are vegetarian, there are some meals that include fish or chicken. Some great vegetarian substitutions for these foods include:
- Grilled or baked tofu
- Veggie burgers (often found in the frozen food section)
- Chickpea or black bean burgers
- Veggie bacon (brands like Morningstar Farms and Lightlife offer soy-based options)
If You’re a Senior Who Doesn’t Cook
Navigating the world of senior living doesn’t have to be a chore—not even when it comes to cooking! Whether you’re looking for a temporary place while you travel the country, or want to settle down in one home for the rest of your years, there are plenty of places that don’t expect seniors to do their own cooking. From having all meals provided at assisted living facilities with communal dining spaces, to congregate meal sites in your neighborhood with delicious and nutritious lunchtime dishes, there’s no need to worry about cooking when you’re a senior if you don’t want to. With so many options out there, you can choose a lifestyle that works best for you—one where the kitchen remains unused if that’s your preference!
A family member or caregiver may be able to prepare meals for you if you don’t want to, or if you find yourself unable to do so. Programs like Meals on Wheels are found throughout the nation and provide hot meals straight to your door. Senior centers and worship centers often provide meals to the elderly as well. Meal delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron have gained popularity in recent years. While not yet cooked, these meals are already portioned out and prepped for you, saving you extra time and hassle.
Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for good health. Seniors have more options than ever when it comes to finding fresh, healthy foods that are simple to prepare.
Older Adulthood: The Golden Years, University of Hawaiʻi OER, https://pressbooks.oer.hawaii.edu/humannutrition/chapter/older-adulthood-the-golden-years/
Do Your Taste Buds Change as You Get Older, Cleveland Clinic, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/taste-buds-change-get-older/
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