If you live by yourself and are cooking for one, it can be difficult to avoid becoming overwhelmed with leftovers. Even if you live with a spouse or friend, you’ll tend to eat smaller portions as a senior. That means you can have lots of leftovers too. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be simple for you.
Divide food into individual portions
If you’re cooking for yourself, buying food for one at the grocery store can be challenging. Most prepackaged poultry and pork comes with two pieces. It may be a good idea to purchase a small vacuum sealer. That way you can divide your packages into individual pieces in each package. If you are on a tight budget, you can simply purchase gallon size Baggies, place your portion in the bag and squeeze all the air out before sealing it. Place them in the freezer for future use. In addition, you can place freezable leftovers in an airtight Baggie for a future meal.
If you are cooking for two people, you can either purchase prepackaged meats that come with two pieces or you can purchase larger packages and divide them up into smaller packages containing two pieces each.
Another good way to purchase meats in the amounts that you need is to purchase from the butcher at your local grocery store. You can purchase seafood, poultry, steaks, pork chops, ground beef in small or large quantities.
For vegetables, purchasing fresh vegetables from the grocery store or a farmer’s market will give you greater control over how much you purchase. Purchasing canned vegetables may be quicker or easier, however, you give up the control.
Many recipes are designed for 4 or more people. When you find a recipe that is meant to feed 4 people, decrease the ingredients by half so that the meal is for 2 people. You can freeze the second portion in an airtight package for a future meal. If you don’t want to freeze a second portion, decrease ingredient by ¾ so that the meal is made for one serving.
Eat with a friend
Sometimes it may be cost-effective to cook meals with a friend. Take turns with ingredients. One time you can supply the meat or protein for 2 people and your friend can provide the ingredients for the side dish, and the next time switch it up. This is a great way to stay connected and to strengthen friendships. You can use a cell phone for seniors to stay connected with friends.
You could also start a group cooking night with friends. If you find a recipe that is designed for 4 people, everyone can bring some ingredients so that you don’t have to alter the recipe.
Try a Meal Delivery Program
This is a simple way to get nutritious meals. There are different types of meal programs. Some offer meals for one or two people. They are delivered to your door frozen, and you only need to heat them. Other programs deliver the ingredients to make the meals. These meals need to be put together and cooked according to directions.
With the meal delivery programs, you are able to choose how many meals per week that you receive. You can skip weeks if you need to, and you may also have the option to choose certain types of meals that you like. It would be a good way for you to try new meals.
There are several meal delivery plans designed with seniors in mind. This is a good option for caregivers who don’t always have time to go grocery shopping. It’s also good for seniors who can’t always get to the grocery store. Sometimes seniors have a difficult time with meal planning for a variety of reasons. With a meal delivery program, meal planning is taken care of for you. It can even be fun to look forward to receiving your food delivery. You can do a quick internet search for meal delivery plans for seniors.
Meal Prep for the week
Take a Sunday to meal prep for the week. Soups are a great item to cook and freeze in small portions. Baked pastas also are a good meal prep option. You can cut and freeze them in individual packages. This works well because you may want 3-4 roasted vegetables one night and one broiled vegetable on another night. You can also freeze individual portions of grains if you freeze and thaw them properly. You can search the internet for instructions. You can even freeze cookie dough in proportioned scoops so you can enjoy one or two every now and again.
You can even make meal prepping a fun get-together for you and your friends. This is a good way to stay motivated to prep for the week, and it is also a fun way to spend time with friends. You can all exchange ideas and meal plans. It can be empowering to have so much control and input into meal prepping, particularly if you have the social engagement with friends that participate as well. You can call them with a cell phone for seniors because it is an easy, fun way to stay connected with others.
Nutrition is really important for seniors. As you get older, your appetite tends to decrease. Many times people will eat several small snacks or light foods with little nutritional value. Your doctor can provide you with some ideas to ensure that you are getting proper nutrition. This may include supplements or specific food items.
Because nutrition is important, eating with friends can be a good way to ensure that you’re getting proper nutrition. This can be especially true if you and your friends are preparing meals together. As you all are enjoying conversation over dinner, you are likely to eat more food.
One way to increase your appetite is to stay active. Moving around helps metabolism. Everything you do burns energy, so it is important to take in enough food to support activities without weight loss.