Preparing meals ahead of time for senior citizens is a convenient way to make sure they have nutritious meals at any time, but during a quarantine, such as the COVID-19 stay at home requirement, it’s especially convenient. For those who need in-home elderly care with the least amount of contact during a health emergency, creating make-ahead meals to leave outside their door for them is a smart way to care for seniors.
Consider these meal prep ideas for senior citizens on quarantine.
Gather Meal Prep Containers that Senior Citizens Won’t Need to Return
Since many seniors may not have the usual help they have during a quarantine, disposable containers are a good option for make-ahead meals for the elderly. The containers can be one-time-use containers that you have purchased, zippered food bags, or repurposed containers that you’ve saved and sanitized that grocery items came in.
Make sure that foods that will go straight into the microwave are in an appropriate container to do so.
Find Easy-to-Serve or Reheat, Nutritious Meal Ideas for the Elderly Online
Perhaps you already know the senior citizen you’re preparing meals for and know what they like. But, if you don’t, the internet has many ideas for preparing nutritious meals ahead of time, and many of them are appropriate for the elderly.
Search for terms such as “make-ahead single serve freezer meals” or “nutritious make-ahead meals.” A general guideline for choosing recipes for seniors is to choose ones that are low in salt, fat, and sugar, but make sure you know if the particular senior you’re preparing meals for has additional dietary requirements or restrictions.
Label and Include Reheating Instructions on Every Senior Citizen’s Individual Meal
Since the containers you’re using for meal prep for seniors are meant to be one-time-use, you can use a permanent marker to label and include any reheating or other instructions right on the container. Labeling should include not only the name of the food but the ingredients used in it.
Or, tape a note onto the container with the same information. Do not use a sticky note since it might come off before the senior citizen gets to eat their breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Leave the Food at the Senior’s Door in Easy to Carry In Bags
If you’re providing several days worth of prepared-ahead meals for the elderly, leaving them all in one big box or heavy bag might be difficult for them to manage to carry into the house.
Instead, leave them in several smaller bags with handles that will be easy for them to carry into the house and into their kitchen.
If you’ve followed these guidelines for easy meal prep for seniors during an unusual situation like a quarantine, you’ll not only provide them with nutritious meals, you’ll have made it as easy as possible for them to manage to eat those meals on their own.
About the Author
Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others.
She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.