Meal Prep For Older Adults


As we age, eating healthily becomes more important than ever. There’s a wide variety of benefits to a balanced, nutritious diet, including cardiovascular health, reduced blood pressure, a healthy weight, more energy and much more.

And in some cases, like with the Mediterranean Diet, you can actually protect and improve cognitive function with the food choices you make.

However, the right diet for older adults has to be carefully crafted and well thought out. As we age, our dietary needs change, from reduced appetites to the vitamins and nutrients our bodies thrive on.

That planning can be particularly important as diminished mobility might make it more difficult to just pop over to the grocery store if you realize you need something.

With that in mind, here are some tips for older adults to put themselves in the best position to create a healthy diet:

Meal Planning 

It’s a good idea to sit down every week and plan your meals, and the groceries you need to make them.

Meal planning helps in buying healthy options from the grocery store and ensures you always have a healthy eating option available. It’s also more cost-effective and helps reduce waste.

Improvising too many meals can lead to unhealthy choices, or falling back on old favorites that may not be the best option. And taking the time to plan in advance and do some research might bring some new meal ideas you haven’t previously thought of.

What To Consider For Your Shopping List 

When putting together a shopping list, break down what you need for each meal and snacks throughout the week. Here are just a few suggestions for each:


  • Low-fat milk
  • High-fiber cereal
  • Oatmeal with fruit and honey
  • Berries
  • Eggs/omelets
  • Whole wheat toast
  • Whole grain waffles, French toast or pancakes
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit smoothies


  • Salads
  • Salmon filets
  • Sandwiches using whole wheat bread (chicken, tuna, etc.)
  • Caesar wraps with whole grain tortillas
  • Soups


  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Fish/shrimp
  • Lamb
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Beans

Snacks/General Items to have:

  • An assortment of fruit and vegetables
  • Honey
  • Granola bars
  • Ingredients for smoothies
  • Quinoa
  • Nuts/ trail mix
  • Jams & jellies
  • Cheese
  • Saltines
  • Baked chips
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter

Eat Your Fruit & Veggies! 

It’s the case at any age, but getting enough fruits and vegetables is especially vital as we age. They have minimal fat and calories and provide vitamins and minerals that help keep our bodies healthy and strong.

Having a couple of servings of both fruits and vegetables each day can help assure a healthy diet, and they also provide a great deal of versatility in meal planning.

Berries and bananas can be used as the basis for smoothies and an addition to oatmeal. Vegetables make a great side dish with a meal, or can be incorporated into salads and sandwiches.

Each day, consider eating the different colors of the rainbow through fruits and vegetables to maximize their impacts on your health.

Fat is… Good? 

When people consider fat in their diet, it can have a negative connotation. And donuts, as delicious as they may be, aren’t part of a healthy diet.

But there are good fats that older adults should be consuming as part of a healthy diet. These fats help provide energy, vitamins and are beneficial to overall health. You can find these good fats in snack items like avocadoes, cheese and nuts, and cooking additions like coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Prepare Meals in Advance 

Once you have the items you need, it can be a good idea to take an afternoon and make several days’ worth of meals at once, and then refrigerate or freeze them as necessary.

For many people, cooking every day can become tiresome, and lead to making an easier choice to order takeout or make something quick and easy that may be unhealthy.

Cooking a couple days’ worth of meals in advance allows you to just microwave or heat in the oven something that is ready to go, taking the stress away!

Crockpot meals are also a great idea, as you can often just set it and forget it until it’s ready.

Dining at Prestige 

At Prestige, our dining program tends to the unique dietary and health needs of older adults. Residents enjoy restaurant-quality meals prepared by talented culinary teams. Each community’s menu is tailored to incorporate local flavors, while preferred staples are always available.

Our chefs meet with new residents and their families to get a sense of their preferences and any allergies they might have, and regularly seek feedback from residents to ensure they’re enjoying the dining at the community.

To learn more about dining at Prestige, find the community nearest you to schedule a visit, and perhaps even sample a meal!