COST and motivation can be two big barriers when it comes to preparing meals for just one or two people.
That’s why one organisation is planning classes soon on just how to achieve that goal in an affordable, healthy and fun way.
Seniors are being encouraged to register, to learn how and why to prepare meals that will keep them satisfied and healthy.
The Benevolent Society is hosting the Cooking For One or Two sessions from this month in Tamworth and Armidale for people aged over 65, or 50-plus if Indigenous.
Executive director on aging, Andrew Collins, said “adapting to cooking for only one or two can take training”, particularly for older people who may be used to feeding a household.
“Not only do food quantities require adjustment, but learning to make nutritional choices to best suit mature-aged health needs can also call for professional guidance,” he said.
The sessions will include the guidance of a chef and dietitian, and tips on shopping, cooking, recipe adjustments and nutrition.
Participants will practise cooking for one or two, then enjoy the meal together.
Program facilitator and qualified chef Ann-Marie Jeffares said they would be hands-on, informative, “a lot of fun” and good for people in more ways than just dietary.
“By the end of the session, people make really good friendships – the members of one of our groups in Bathurst ended up exchanging numbers and had a meal together later down the track,” she said.
The Benevolent Society said at least one quarter of older Australians lived alone and almost three-quarters were at risk of malnutrition.
In Tamworth, two different groups will run from February 19 at Oak Tree Retirement Village on Warwick Road.
In Armidale, one group will run from February 21 at Oak Tree Retirement Village in Martin Street.
The cost is $7 per session – call 1800 236 762 for more details or to book.
Top tips for cooking for one or two:
- Prepare a shopping list before you leave home
- Your top three pantry items should be canned tuna, tinned tomatoes and canned beans
- Buy canned fruits or fruits in a cup, as they can last in your pantry for longer. Add fruits to yoghurt or custard for a delicious and nutritious snack
- Count frozen and canned vegetables as your vegetable intake – they can be easily added to your meals
- Add extra protein to your meals by adding beans and lentils. They will not hurt your budget!
- Always wash your hands regularly when preparing food.