Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Senior Meal Programs & Food Safety Tips

Seniors must be conscious of their budgets as many are on fixed incomes. Seniors must be thoughtful of their nutritional needs and be aware of local community meal programs available to them. Being cautious to prevent consuming unsafe foods can also keep seniors healthy.

Meal Programs
Each local Area Agency on Aging, can provide information about meals (group or home delivered) available to seniors in the area. Three different types of meal programs available are:

1. Congregate Meals (low cost, hot, nutritious meals offered in a group setting)
2. Home-Delivered Meals (for those who are disabled or home-bound ages 60+, prepared meal delivered directly to one’s home)
3. Meals-on-Wheels (church or other local volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals)

Food Safety
If one has vision impairments, unsafe foods can also be a risk as one may not notice the food is contaminated or moldy. I once had an older relative who was unaware she needed glasses. She had a fridge full of mold and a pantry full of weevils, and was still eating these items.

Some tips to avoid eating food past expiration:
• Write expiration dates on food packages in the fridge with a permanent black marker.
• Clean out the fridge after each shopping trip (get rid of items past expiration.)
• If you cook a large meal and divide it into several meals, write the date cooked on the storage container. Then freeze extra portions within a few days of cooking.

Organic foods are wonderful to buy when one can afford them. They are healthier “some studies suggest that organic produce has more nutrients than its conventional counterparts, probably because the soil is left in better condition after repeated plantings; and healthier because you avoid ingesting any harmful pesticide residues left on conventional produce” (TheDailyGreen.com, 2009).

However, there is a list of safe non-organic foods for the budget conscious senior (as published by TheDailyGreen.com, 2009):
1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapples
5. Mangoes
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet Peas
8. Kiwis
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplants
11. Papayas
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomatoes
15. Sweet Potatoes

Reference:
The Clean 15: Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic. (2009). TheDailyGreen.com. Retrieved from: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/Save-on-Sustainable-Gallery-44032808#ixzz0LfDvct5M

All content © Village Memorial. 2009-2010.

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