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Senior Wellness: Meal Planning for One

Senior Wellness: Meal Planning for One

Menu planning and meal preparation for one is often viewed as too much work, especially among seniors. It is easier, and often less expensive, to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave or make a quick trip to a fast food restaurant.

Unfortunately, these options tend to be less than healthy. Even those that are labeled as “lean” or “reduced sodium” still tend to exceed the recommendations for fat and sodium content that most experts suggest.

If you are a single, older adult trying to eat a well-balanced diet, we have a few ideas you might find helpful.

5 Tips for Eating Well When You Are a Single Senior

Here are tips for planning and preparing healthy meals for one:

1. Planning

Create menus that you can rotate through every week or month. Make a separate list for the grocery items you need for each meal. This makes it easier to check the freezer and pantry and identify what items you have and what you will need to purchase. Sites like Plan to Eat and Mealime make meal planning easier.

2. Meal prep

Consider preparing your ingredients and your meals ahead of time. Cooking in batches and freezing entrees is something you can do once or twice a month. Be sure to keep a list of what meals you have in the freezer and update it each time you add or use something. Designating a few hours to prep the fresh foods you will consume during the week is another idea. Slice fresh veggies and fruit, and prepare a salad. Make a batch of smoothies to freeze. This approach can make mealtime healthy and fast.

3. Meal services

Another idea to consider is a home delivery meal service. Some companies send ingredients, already chopped and ready to cook, right to your door. Others send precooked, healthy meals you only need to reheat before serving. Several of these services can even accommodate special diets. A few to explore include Silver Cuisine and Sun Basket.

4. Home delivered groceries

For some seniors, a major drawback to cooking is finding transportation to and from the grocery store. Fortunately, there are more grocery delivery options than ever before. National chains like Kroger, Target, Safeway, and ALDI deliver in many communities. Many local grocery stores are starting to offer these services for a minimal fee. If yours isn’t one, alternatives to explore include Instacart and Shipt.

5. Other options

Take time to explore other possibilities in your local community. Many senior centers serve a well-balanced lunch for members each day, usually at a nominal fee. Most cities or counties have Meals on Wheels programs. These are typically designed under the direction of a nutritionist. Fees are charged on a sliding scale based on income.

If you are just plain tired of grocery shopping, cooking, and maintaining a home, you might want to consider moving to an independent living community. These maintenance-free lifestyle communities give you more time to enjoy your retirement. Contact us to schedule a tour of a Five Star independent living community near you!

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