For many seniors, baking is a soothing talent, a skill to take pride in, and a great way to give to family and friends. But as people get older, the kitchen becomes difficult. It can be harder to read and follow directions for recipes, standing and moving around the kitchen can be exhausting and painful, and the grocery shopping alone can make a fun baking session feel like a truckload of work. But that shouldn't deter you; read our six-step guide to easy baking below.
While baking can be an overwhelming task for older adults, there are several reasons for taking the time in the kitchen. The biggest reason being diet and nutrition. Store-bought snacks and boxed/frozen food may not have the nutrients that the body needs. Luckily, baking easy, healthy foods doesn’t have to take a lot of time and energy. Plus, it's a great way to stay busy during the lonely times of COVID-19 isolation or in between books or Netflix shows.
Follow these few tips to get back in the kitchen and create some simple, nutritious foods that are both great for aging bodies and delicious.
- New Recipes – One of the reasons baking seems like such a chore is because we may not be familiar with simple recipes that are healthy and easy. Websites like pinterest.com can or fruitsandveggies.org have tons of recipes that contain few, healthy ingredients that don’t take a lot of work to make banana-spinach pancakes and quick protein shakes.
- Plan Meals for Easy Shopping – After some new recipes are chosen, put together a list of ingredients that are easy to stock up on. Frozen fruits and vegetables are great for breakfast shakes along with different types of nuts. These are great foods to add to meals that won’t go bad easily or quickly so are easy to keep in supply.
- Shop Online – If it’s tough to get to the grocery store or get through the aisles and check-out lines, try ordering online for pick-up at the store. Skip all of the lines and searching for ingredients and do it all from home.
- Try Non-Cook Recipes – There are several healthy snacks and treats that don’t require actual cooking. Bypass the wait time and forgetting about food in the oven; there are great recipes packed full of nutrients and only need time to set in the fridge or freezer.
- Substitute Ingredients for Healthier Alternatives – Recipes don’t ALWAYS REQUIRE specific ingredients. You can swap out sugar with unsweetened applesauce, butter with avocado puree, and whole milk with almond milk.
- Hire Some Help – There are alternative solutions to getting around the kitchen when it becomes difficult. In-home caregivers are a great support to seniors who want to prepare healthy foods but struggle through the process. With the help of in-home support, seniors can have assistance in the kitchen, with grocery shopping and shopping lists, finding and gathering new recipes, and even understanding diets and diet restrictions from a doctor. Plus, having a caregiver around means you have companionship, too!
Baking doesn’t have to be challenging and frustrating. Seniors can find fulfillment in preparing nutritious foods, managing diets, and eating yummy meals in a safe and convenient way. Taking a few extra steps in the preparation can make baking fun again.
Plus, baking is a wonderful way to spend a few productive hours as you continue social distancing as a party of one. Who knows, maybe you can bake a few plates of cookies or a new quiche, put them on your front porch and tell your kids or friends to stop by and grab their plate of homemade deliciousness!
Finding creative ways to feel connected with your friends and loved ones can be fun, and baking tasty cookies with masks on them is one terrific way to do it! Baking may become your favorite pastime!