Cooking Class Add Spice to Older Woman's Life

In the USA and Canada, the constantly available food source can work against people's health. Diets can become glutted with too much sustenance. This state of affairs is particularly true for people who arrive from developing nations where their food consumption is far less.

North Americans can borrow from New Zealand where programs have been constructed to relieve this problem. The Press from Christchurch, NZ, reported about the troubles of a Zimbabwean immigrant who gained a lot of weigh upon her arrival to her wealthier environs.

"The food we ate in Zimbabwe was different. You just ate what was there to keep you going," Cyciliah Muchirahondo told The Press. The 65-year-old was referred to the local district health board's Senior Chef program, a course of eight classes for elderly people.

The classes provided instructions on nutrition, breakfast ideas, cooking on a budget, meal planning, shopping tips and healthy desserts. It also provided Muchirahondo a much-needed opportunity to make new friends. "It changed my life," she said. Best of all, She has lost over 11 pounds and intends to shed another 11. Her classes focused on meal plans and the importance of eating breakfast, which Muchirahondo used to skip.

Older people are at high risk of poor nutrition. The body changes. Appetites can change, and they can lose taste because of medications. Many elderly people need to adapt to cooking for one, including men who never cooked for themselves and women who cooked for a family.

Project nutritionist Katy Keogh told The Press: "It's to help them improve their cooking and nutrition for one person, especially people who are newly widowed and who may have never had to cook for themselves before." She reported that those who completed the program were now eating more healthily, were socializing more and had more confidence when it came to cooking

Many Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences offer recreational cooking classes.