Millions of aging in place elderly Americans don’t get the daily nutrition they need. Although people over the age of 65 don’t require the same amount of energy they used to, their bodies still need essential nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates to keep them active and independent.

If you’re currently looking to provide some nutritious meals for seniors, or maybe just for that one special loved one, what follows are several nutritional meal preparation ideas to help keep them healthier and happier.

Why Seniors Don’t Eat Right

The diets of many seniors lack the proper daily nutrients they need for reasons like:

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic disease, like heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, poor nutrition can further place their health and wellbeing at risk.

Benefits of Good Nutrition

On the other hand, when an older person eats a healthy diet containing the essential nutrients their body needs, it benefits them in these ways:

  • Faster healing times
  • Stronger immunity
  • Increased energy levels
  • Sharpens mental acuity
  • Helps prevent vision loss
  • Promotes a better night’s sleep

Now that you’ve seen the importance of your senior eating healthier, it’s time to explore some time-saving ways to prepare nutritious meals for seniors that’ll make it happen.

Stock Up

If you typically cook meals in their home, the first step is stocking up on nutritious foods so you can prepare the ingredients in advance. Go grocery shopping and stockpile their pantry and fridge with healthy foods like cereals, soups, fresh or frozen veggies and fruits, whole-grain rice and breads, pastas, yogurt, canned beans and jarred pasta sauces. If your loved one has a chronic disease, low sodium and high fiber foods are going to be a safe choice.

Meal Planning and Preparation

Preparing nutritious meals for seniors everyday can be exhausting, especially when you have your own household to manage. Organize all pots, pans, cooking equipment and utensils in easily accessible spots ahead of time. And, make sure that you have a crockpot available. Maintain a safe cooking environment when you’re not around, especially if your senior deals with cognitive impairment.

Next, plan out the meals for the upcoming week with their specific nutritional needs in mind. For example:

Breakfast Ideas:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Crockpot oatmeal
  • Whole grain pancakes or waffles
  • Toast and peanut butter
  • Yogurt parfaits

Lunch Ideas:

  • Veggie and cheese omelets
  • Fish dishes
  • Stir-fry dishes
  • Fresh salads with lots of veggies

Dinner Ideas:

  • Liver and veggies (crockpot or stovetop)
  • Whole-grain rice and beans (crockpot or stovetop)
  • Pasta with shrimp or chicken (crockpot or stovetop)
  • Salads with chicken and veggies

Using your menu, prepare some ingredients in ad