Cooking for One

Good nutrition is important at every age, but in older adulthood it gets a little more complicated. Taste buds change as you age. By the age of fifty, taste buds decrease and the rest shrink. At the age of sixty, some individuals may not be able to tell the difference between salty, sweet, sour, and bitter foods. Older adults require fewer calories because their metabolism has slowed, but they require more of certain nutrients. Malnutrition isn’t uncommon, especially as older adults attempt to adjust to these changes. It may be easier to grab a frozen meal or order takeout, but cooking for one is easier than you think.



Before older adults head to the kitchen, they need to make sure they have a clear understanding of the nutrients they need. Because they require fewer calories but more of certain nutrients, they have to be focused on consuming high-quality foods that are lower in calories but packed with nutrients. Skip the sugary, fattening, high-calorie foods.



To try to stick to a budget and make sure you buy the correct, healthy foods, it’s important to plan your menu at least a week ahead of time. Incorporate the things you already have in your cupboard and then decide what you need to purchase outside of that. Try to shop seasonally by purchasing foods, like your favorite fruits and vegetables, when they are at their peak growing season to save money. Consider buying in bulk to save money in the long run, too.



Cooking for one can seem difficult because most recipes make multiple servings. However, this can also be an advantage. Choose to cook meals that keep well or freeze well. You can make the meal and put it in individual serving containers for meals all week, or you can freeze the meals for later. If you get bored with eating the same meal every day, you can get crafty with a little extra preparation. If you make rice as a side one night, you can use it in a casserole the next night. Meat cooked one night can be used in a sandwich for lunch the next day. You can also make enough rice, vegetables, and protein for the entire week and change it up each day with different seasonings or sauces. It’s all about versatility.


If you like cooking and enjoy cooking every day, there are countless great recipes designed for one person. With a loaf of bread, some oatmeal and frozen berries, eggs, and a container of yogurt, breakfast is simple. Lunch and dinner is made easy too with a little preparation. It just requires taking out meat to thaw in the morning, and then it can be prepped and eaten alongside a salad or vegetables.



Check out these great recipe ideas for one serving:


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