Eating Well Regardless Of Your Age

When eating is a burden as opposed to a pleasure, it becomes painful to return home at the end of the day to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal. While some of us see this as a wonderful and creative opportunity, others see the opposite. They turn to fast food, pizza or high sodium frozen meals.

Managing one’s hunger and feeding the kids or one’s spouse are burdens to overcome quickly. Serving cheese, crackers, pretzels and soda, or a quick and filling burrito become the simple way to fill one’s stomach. Achieving flavor can become a hardship.

College or high school students who are no longer living at home, and other older eaters, must also learn to cope with these “eating well” dilemmas. There’s so much advice given to us in the media that a common response of many is to stop eating altogether, or to merely view food as fuel. “Foodies” find this hard to believe but a reality for many, nonetheless.

It may be still more difficult, for example, to feed yourself if you’re a senior with a fixed income. And if you are among the many people who are no longer sharing a home with a partner, then malnutrition may be a reality as nutritionist Chris Rosenblum has learned. Her research revealed that married women find eating a pleasurable experience—98 percent. In contrast, only 26 percent of the widowed felt the same way. Rosenblum suggests that the “widowed don’t see the value in taking care of themselves…since they can no longer care for others.”

Eating well can be done without great hardship, however. The overarching premise is that a diet rich in nutrients helps prevent depression, osteoporosis and heart disease among other diseases. See the recipe below which is easy and enjoyable to make.

Swiss Chard Casserole                                                                                            Serves   3-4
Prepare one bunch of red or green chard, remove the ribs and cut each leaf into 2×2-inch pieces, wash and dry well, and sauté with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Combine ¼ cup per layer béchamel, parmigiana Reggiano, mozzarella, Finlandia and toasted breadcrumbs. Then add to each layer 1 tsp each ground sage, marjoram, red chile flakes, black pepper and 2 tsp nutmeg.


Directions for Bechamel
1. In a medium saucepan, prepare the béchamel white sauce. Heat 2½ Tbsp butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add 2 Tbsp flour and whisk until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes
2. Heat 2 cups of milk in a separate pan but don’t bring to a boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture one cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a light simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside until ready to use. Following the above directions, bake for 30 minutes or so until brown on top. Very rich tasting and so good.

Send questions or your favorite recipes directly to: I look forward to hearing from you. Chef Alan


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *