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Bulk Cooking and Freezing Meals for the Elderly

Eating healthy nutritious meals are important for everyone, but it is not always possible to make healthy food choices.  Whilst there is a huge range of ready-made microwavable meals available at the Supermarket, these can often be high in salt, sugar, fat & calories.

A better option is to meal plan ahead or bulk cook and freeze meals.

Flavour and texture of food needs change as we age, so it’s important to consider foods that are soft to chew and not too spicy, as the elderly experience deterioration in both the sense of smell and taste.  We have put together some preferable cooking processes, storing options, as well as meal suggestions:

 

Cooking Methods

Braising, boiling and steaming are some of the best ways to prepare food for the elderly.  Boneless and skinless meats are best as well as ensuring meats are not tough, chewy or have bones.

Avoid coarse, stringy, hard and dry textured food, sticky foods and also those that tend to crumble easily.

 

Storing Food

If you are planning to bulk cook and drop off meals for elderly loved ones, it’s important to consider food preferences, what foods freeze well, convenience as well as storage space in the freezer.

Air Tight Glass Storers – these are handy because they can be moved from the freezer or fridge straight into the oven or microwave (with lid removed).  They are a great option for just reheating meals.

Plastic Containers – come in so many different shapes and sizes and easily fit into the freezer.

Foil Trays – these are great as you don’t need your container returned.  These are good for foods like rissoles and bakes.

Ziplock Bags – these are good for storing individual serves of soup or Bolognese sauce.

 

Top 30 Freezer Meal & Snack Ideas

Click on the Links below to view Recipe Ideas we have searched!

 

Beef or Lamb Rissoles (can be frozen before or after cooking).

Basic Bolognaise Sauce (For the perfect Bolognaise Sauce only Tomato Puree should be used, no peeled or fresh tomatoes as they release too much water).

Chicken & Corn Chowder  (this can also be made in a slow cooker)

Pea & Ham Soup (Freezing can make the Soup more watery, but it can be frozen in containers or plastic ziplock bags)

Pumpkin Soup (lots of varieties of recipes such as creamy, spicy, bisque & hearty)

Hearty Potato & Bacon Soup   (Inexpensive and easy to make!)

Shepherd’s Pie  (Tip:  Cool the meat before adding the potato topping to stop it weeping into the filling)

Lasagne  (For best results freeze Lasagna after it has been assembled, but before it’s been baked).

Macaroni Cheese. (Another recipe you can freeze after it’s baked or prepare but freeze before baking).

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake  (You could add some spice to mix it up!)

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu  (A nourishing & warming meal, ideal to seperate into portion sizes and freeze).

Lamb Casserole  (Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge and freezes well).

Butter Chicken  (We’ve shared a non spicy recipe).

Tuna Mornay  (For a healthier version use low-fat milk and cheese and it still tastes great!)

Sausage Stroganoff  (Using Sausage instead of Beef, makes it more economical, but still tasty!)

Chicken and Leek Pie  (Before basting with egg, wrap the pie in a layer of tinfoil and then Clingwrap and freeze)

Aussie Beef and Mushroom Pie  (Use Blade steak diced and Button Mushrooms).

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork   (The secret is to cook the Pork long and slow as it will just fall apart).

Zucchini Slice  (Super healthy and versatile it keeps for 5 days and is suitable to freeze by wrapping individual portions).

Meatloaf  (These recipes give you options of Glazed, Creamy, Spicy and even a lighter version!)

Meatballs  (Easy to make and can be frozen when raw, browned or fully cooked.  Once fully frozen can be placed in freezer bag and sealed).

Pizza Bases  (You can’t go wrong with a basic Pizza dough recipe from Maggie Beer).

Muffins  (17 variety’s of Muffin Recipes!  If there’s any left over place in airtight freezer bags, ensuring you squeeze out any air.  This prevents freezer burn and dryness.  Freeze up to 3 months).

Cinnamon Rolls  (To freeze unbaked rolls, cut as directed, but don’t allow to rise.  Freeze up to 2 weeks).

Scones  (The secret to perfect scones is cold ingredients!  Chill your milk and butter before mixing them together).

Pancakes  (Leave the mixture to rest for 30 minutes, this will ensure you get a thick, light and fluffy texture).

Cookies  (Once cooked, you can freeze cookies by arranging in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Once frozen solid, place in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper separating each layer).

Cake  (Cakes freeze best when they are without any icing or filling and can be frozen up to 3 months)

Energy Bars  (Delicious and nutritious and easy to make!  When freezing wrap each bar individually and place in a freezer bag).

Slices  (Best defrosted in the fridge overnight, except Caramel & Cheesecake slice best served directly from the freezer).

 

All these meals & snacks can be portion sized into individual meals.   Many of the above meal recommendations will provide essential nutrients and are soft, easy to absorb and digest.  It’s also important to ensure the elderly stay hydrated drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, as they are more prone to dehydration.

With minimal preparation and organisation, you can help to prepare meals for your elderly loved ones, knowing that they are eating a balanced and nutritious diet.  All our meal suggestions are easily found by searching the internet for more recipes ideas.  Bon Appetit!

If you would like to contact us with regards to short-term or long-term accommodation in one of our homes, you can contact us here.

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