Meal ideas for the elderly Page 1 / 2

julz29, Feb 9, 3:32am
I need some meal ideas for the elderly please starting a new job in March an have to write up some menus for elderly

lilyfield, Feb 9, 3:46am
as far as I know, elderlies eat the same food as young people, Now the very old- might be a different story.

light, easy, small portions, soft on the dentures-that sort of thing?
Look at menues for invalids

kob, Feb 9, 3:51am
I am a meals on wheels cook and I have to hand recipes into the hospital board each quarter to be approved for cooking,for my clients.
Here are a few meals with there costings that I have had approved for my clients from last year via the hosptial board.
I have to submit recipes, shopping lists and a budget including waste etc.
I hope this helps you out,

Please use these as a guide, if this is your profession also, please do not copy word for word for submissions.

Mains: Desserts:

I also have many more recipes etc and cost ideas on my blog, so check out the other pages also

esther-anne, Feb 9, 3:56am
Are these going to be sick elderly, or on special diets or something? How old? A bit more information like what kitchen facilities you have at your disposal and how many you need to prepare for would be really helpful

I hate to admit but we are 'elderly' and we love such things as Beef Vindaloo, Goanese beef curry, Thai green curry and/or stir fry, Vietnamese chicken curry. - anything hot and spicy and I do make them all - as well as the more traditional roast dinners, macaroni cheese, fried rice, Chinese chow mein, chicken and cashew nuts, lasagne, chilli stuffed peppers.

If infirm you could perhaps stay with the things like mac'n cheese, maybe meatballs, shepherds pie, and the good thick soups come winter.

I know little about catering for the aged but I did want to illustrate that maybe some would go nuts if served with a continuing diet of bland or mushy meals.

There are so many excellent cooks on this forum who will no doubt have great ideas for you. The very best wishes for your new job - always a bit scary I've found!

esther-anne, Feb 9, 3:57am
And even as I was typing some real advice came along - great!

kay141, Feb 9, 4:59am
I'd be interested in what age is considered elderly. I'm probably in that age group and many of my friends are older than me. Our food tastes vary as much as our tastes in anything else. I don't eat curries or many Asian dishes as I'm allergic to chillies but I love Mediterranean or Scandinavian cuisine. I don't eat a lot of desserts as I haven't much of a sweet tooth but a good blue cheese is a treat. For some of my friends, it would be the opposite. Pickled herrings would be a no-go but a trifle would be marvellous.
If your elderly are in good health, then it really is a matter of taste, just like any age group.

cgvl, Feb 9, 5:56am
Some elderly don't like garlic for example my father hates it and complains bitterly if I put it in his food but others like my mother don't mind at all.
Again my dad loved curry the hotter the better but as he has aged, curry now has to be much milder. He does like things like Butter Chicken and chinese style foods. If there is an option to have a choice of say 2 or 3 mains then I would say you would have most peoples tastes covered.
Like #6 I have to be careful with chilli, otherwise I don't mind most food. But don't really like coleslaw.

laspaz, Feb 9, 5:59am
Another consideration is texture for older folks. Softer foods are often easier to chew and swallow.

maximus44, Feb 9, 6:19am
The main thing I think is cook food well. The elderly don't like undercooked vegetables for instance. My mother is in a rest home and that is her main complaint

maximus44, Feb 9, 6:20am
Also hamburgers are not popular - they were not brought up with them.

esther-anne, Feb 9, 6:33am
Oh dear - I would really like to know how old, in the context OP was talking - are 'elderly'?

eurekarika, Feb 9, 6:48am
Try making some pesto (not sure what the budget is but adding parmesan cheese is a good idea). Toast bagels & top with the pesto and some chopped tomato. Really yummy. Bagels might not be great for those with digestive problems though as they are not as easy to digest as bread.

Also I think egg recipes of all kinds are good for the elderly. And I know a tofu recipe that people mistake for being scrambled eggs when I make it (they think it's egg whites only). It's soft tofu (not the hard tofu, that isn't suitable for this recipe) & then add tumeric, garam masala, cumin, some salt or soy sauce & coriander (optional). Cook the same as scrambled eggs. It's not too hot in terms of these kinds of spices for elderly people who can't handle hot food. There are lots of variations on this for scrambled tofu recipes online.

Also aubergine (egg plant) recipes are great as aubergine goes soft once cooked. There are tons of egg plant recipes & not just the mediterranean ones. They all seem to be healthy recipes too when it comes to eggplant. Even just baked eggplant with olive oil & garlic is yummy. And eggplant is cheap at the right time of year.

eurekarika, Feb 9, 6:54am
I was wondering that too. What defines "elderly"? Does it mean once you hit retirement age or once you are old enough to also be frail? I once worked for a guy for a few years (he owned the small business I worked at) & I always thought he was only in his 60's. I nearly died when I found out, close to when I was leaving, that in fact he was 83! He was completely computer literate & a real socialite, always dining out with friends & his wife, etc, they were out up to 4 nights per week.

Also check this out re Garth Barfoot, director of Barfoot & Thompson Real Estate. He's 77 & does triathlons. He used to come to my gym about 5 years ago & his body looked like that of a guy in his 40's! He is totally amazing, always cycling round the Shore in training for the next triathlon. I hope I'm even half way like him at that age!

kay141, Feb 9, 6:58am
That was my question, too but O/P hasn't been back to answer it. I know I think I'm middle-aged, my daughter thinks she is and the granddaughter thinks we are both old. All a matter of perception. I know old 50somethings and young 90somethings so "elderly" is as big a generalisation as "young".
And I really object to being lumped together as elderly because of being a certain age.

Oops my pet peeve, the amount of ageism in this country.

sampa, Feb 9, 7:51am
Why not, if possible, sit down and discuss with those that will be eating the food you propose first (or, if not them, people of the age group you'll be responsible for feeding)? You may be surprised, pleasantry so perhaps, there may be more room to move in choice of food than you think.

esther-anne, Feb 9, 8:16am
I so get this kay 141 - love the breakdown of the perceptions of our families as to how they see us. I have a great grandson who is 18 (I was a grandmother at 39 thanks to my dearest beloved daughter who gave birth at 17 - and now is heartbreakingly dead) - something I am still trying to handle 5 years on - and he thinks I am the 'coolest' great grandmother it's possible to have! But actually I'm old now in body, but hell of a young in spirit!.

OP the people you are going to be dealing with have so much history beyond what they eat and drink - get in touch with their core and cook for them with a little bit of feeling! If that's too emotional for some, I make no apology!

davidt4, Feb 9, 8:43am
I have read that the senses of taste and smell are the last to deteriorate with age. So good food is an important part of quality of life for old people as well as everyone else.

I have read about age care rest homes in England that make a point of serving very high quality food. I can only hope that there is a facility like that when I reach the stage of needing full time care ( and that I can afford it!)

esther-anne, Feb 9, 9:24am
Amen to that davidt4 - a little bit of what I was clumsily tryng to impart.

Being able to afford that level of care could be a different story.

My late sister-in-law had Alzheiners and her daughter and son finally had to put her into care. They sent me all the details and photos of where she was going and it was like a five star hotel - both wealthy and they could afford it a 500 pounds per week - and I think the government chipped in with a small subsidy somewhere along the line. The daughter and her husband - our niece were here in NZ visiting their son who llives here - their 10th visit and my SIL had been in this luxury place for 2 months - she had refused to eat or do anything really - but her meals were apparently gourmet healthy top of the range nutritious - she had a heart attack and died whilst her daughter was here in NZ. It just struck me that even with money to burn the most wonderful food possible is useless if the patient is so grief stricken they won't eat it. Just a thought coming from your excellent post.

lythande1, Feb 9, 6:47pm
And if this is yur job, shouldn't you do the work?

laspaz, Feb 9, 7:03pm
What's wrong with a little research? I doubt they expect original, cutting edge ideas on feeding the elderly.

twindizzy, Feb 9, 7:55pm
Not every oldie wants sloppy mince!

sarahb5, Feb 12, 7:52am
Or over-cooked vegetables - my mum loved burgers and was delighted when my kids came along as it gave her an excuse to go to Maccas. Her vegetables were always al dente to the point of barely even heated through in some cases!

whitehead., Feb 13, 8:59am
roast meat and gravy with chicken pork or beef and sausage and onion with gravy and mash roast veg broad beans with the skin off . good luck with your new job

karlymouse, Feb 13, 9:28am
Totally agree. I only hope that if I am unfortunate enough to end up in an institution for the elderly that my sense of tase has disappeared along with my mind . I am very fussy about what I like to eat . it has to be tasty and fresh.

willyow, Feb 13, 4:28pm
Meals should be something to look forward too a any age - so whatever you do, make sure they are great! I suspect life in a resthome wouldn't be much fun - but having great food could be a major event in otherwise pretty dull lives - so Make the Meals Great!

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