Preparing healthy meals day in and day out can often feel like a huge undertaking, especially for older adults. Shifts in appetite as well as the onset of health problems can make this more difficult still and lead to a need to increase your daily nutrient intake without adding additional calories to your diet. The good news is that cooking new recipes and trying new foods can be fun, even for the most stubborn of cooks. It’s all about finding ways to mix up your routine and get creative!
If you find that eating healthy becomes repetitive — or dare we say, boring — it may be time to refresh your menu. We’ve put together a few resources and meal suggestions that ensure you stay healthy throughout older age, without missing out on the foods you love the most.
If you’re hungry for new healthy recipes and are ready to expand your mobile app library beyond your usual solitaire or Angry Birds, recipe apps may be exactly what you’re looking for. SideChef is just one example of an app that caters to the health conscious and can be tons of fun. Each day, the app will offer you a brand new recipe of the day and take you through the full process of preparing it step-by-step.
If you’ve ever forgotten whether you really added that extra tablespoon of salt or wondered if you were taking way too long on a recipe, SideChef has you covered. Each recipe includes recommended cook time, a timer and the ability to check off ingredients while you go — ensuring that your skirt steak with roasted vegetables turns out delicious even without hours in the kitchen.
Food delivery services
Instead of ordering take-out food, why not try ordering make-in food? Food prep delivery services have gained traction in recent years with companies catering to people who simply don’t have time or the means to pick up ingredients. HelloFresh is one food subscription service that delivers full recipes and the ingredients needed to create them directly to your doorstep, and Blue Apron is another popular option.
These services also give you the freedom to try out healthy recipes you’ve never made before like orange-glazed meatballs and three spice Asian noodle soup, which could very well include ingredients you would never use otherwise, expanding your tastebuds and exposing you to new culinary delights. What’s not to love?
Your favorite cookbook (with a twist)
You already know exactly what foods you enjoy. Why not put a healthy spin on it? Certain recipes call for ingredients high in saturated fats, refined carbs and added sugars, which can increase your risk for heart problems and impact your long-term mobility. Instead of giving up baked goods and other feel-good recipes, try modifying your ingredients with ideas from sites like the Mayo Clinic. For example, in certain recipes that call for large amounts of oil or melted butter, unsweetened applesauce can act as a substitute, as well as provide you with the added benefits of your daily dose of fiber, which can help reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Adding essential proteins and nutrients like Vitamin B and D to your diet can also give new life to your favorite meals. This is great news for seafood connoisseurs as many types of seafood contain these essential vitamins, allowing your digestive system to process foods better and prevent your risk of developing skin conditions throughout older age. Next time you reach for the pasta, don’t hesitate to add some mussels or shrimp, or prepare a side dish of salmon while you’re at it.
Cooking shows can often get a poor reputation for their butter-based meals, but there’s something undoubtedly satisfying watching a top chef chop and dice ingredients. Many chefs have turned to healthy cooking in recent years, catering to many who wish to improve their diet, and pursuing their own personal missions to serve nutritious meals to the masses.
Try tuning into shows like Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger for healthy recipes like zucchini parmesan crisps and blueberry compote that won’t skimp on the taste or add inches to you waistline. Many chefs, like Ellie, are registered dietitians who understand the challenges of eating healthy, and make a point of providing you with classic staples without unnecessary fats or sugars.
At Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services, we’re always looking for fresh new tips on healthy cooking. If you have ideas or suggestions for a new meal, feel free to get in touch.