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Top tips on cooking for older people

Lady cooking in the kitchen

As we get older, cooking may become something of a chore and an event that we often overlook as the evening rolls around. Mobility can be a contributing factor to how safe we feel when cooking and our ability to use our hands at full capacity.

However, with a few simple tips, gadgets and tricks, you can make cooking a hobby you continue to enjoy and look forward to, regardless of ability. Keep reading to find out how you can update your cooking routine to make it not only safe but also fun.

Top tips on cooking for older people:

  • Plan your meals in advance
  • Keep meals interesting and easily digestible
  • Consider taking a cooking class
  • Invest in gadgets to help

Plan your meals in advance

One of the best ways to make cooking more enjoyable is to plan your meals before going food shopping. If you do your food shopping weekly, sit down on a Sunday night and plan your meals for the week ahead. Planning your meals in advance makes everything easier. It’ll mean you know exactly what to pick up at the supermarket. This means you don’t need to worry about overbuying and having to dispose of ingredients past their best. And, if you’re tired in the evening, you won’t have to think about what you can make for dinner; you’ll already know what you have planned.

Keep meals interesting and easily digestible

As we age, our metabolisms slow and digesting food becomes more challenging for our bodies and can cause digestive problems. One of the best ways to combat this and make your meals easier to cook is to choose food and dishes that are easily digestible. Some foods take longer to travel through our body and reach our guts than others, like potato skins and greasy or fatty foods, so it is wise to try and avoid these in your diet if possible.

Easy-to-digest foods include white rice, sweet potato, chicken, salmon and porridge, to name a few. These foods can be easily added to your diet and aren’t just delicious but easy for your body to process.

Healthline speaks about the benefits of easy-to-digest food on their website, commenting: “Foods that are easy to digest tend to be low in fibre. This is because fibre — while a healthy part of the diet — is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that isn’t digested by your body. As a result, the fibre passes through your large intestine and may cause a number of issues, from gas to bloating to difficult-to-pass stool.

Eating foods that are low in fibre lessens the amount of undigested material and may ease your symptoms.

Consider taking a cooking class

Lady smiling in the kitchen

For those that cook every day, a cooking class might not be something that sounds appealing, but cooking classes can be a great place to learn how to cook new dishes and meals that you may not have known how to cook otherwise. Cooking classes are available across the UK and can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from baking to salads and home-cooked meals.

Certain groups will offer specific cooking courses for those with dietary requirements, including the likes of low-cholesterol meals, high-fibre meals, low-fat meals and many more. Local community centres and cooking schools are a great place to look for these sorts of courses.

Invest in gadgets to help

Gadgets can really help all chefs in the kitchen, and certain devices are specifically designed to help those with limited mobility cook safely. Investing in these can make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Smart speakers

Smart speakers have been around for a few years now and can be found in most homes, and one of their main benefits, especially for those a little older, is that they have many functions that can help in the kitchen. These devices respond to your voice and can set timers, answer questions about ingredients, change measurements from grams to cups, and so much more, meaning you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to find out the answer.

Automatic can opener

For those who are a little older or may use aids like home lifts to help them in their home, dexterity and strength might be an issue, so gadgets like automatic can, jar and bottle openers can be a lifesaver. These gadgets mean you don’t have to struggle twisting and pulling at jars and cans when in the kitchen, removing another barrier.

Kettle tipper

Kettle tippers are a safe and accessible way for everyone in the home to be able to boil water safely and without worry. Kettle tippers are a stand that makes pouring from a freshly boiled kettle easier and safer, taking the weight for you but allowing you to tip the water where you want it smoothly.

Non-slip chopping board

A non-slip chopping board is a sensible idea for those who may find it hard to keep steady and safe when chopping. A non-slip chopping board means you don’t have to worry about your board moving when chopping with a sharp knife.

If you’re looking to try and fall back in love with cooking, hopefully, this guide has given you a few tips to help you ensure you’re safe. For more guides like this, make sure you check out our blog