Cooking For One: Preparing Your Own Meals While Living In An Assisted Living Facility

Most assisted living facilities are only equipped with a small kitchenette since meals are served in the group hall several times throughout the day. However, some residents like to maintain their independence, and one way they can do this is by preparing their own meals and snacks. If you live in assisted living and would like to start cooking for yourself, you face a couple of challenges. First, you will need to learn to cook for one if you haven't already done so prior to moving into the facility. Second, you must learn how to cook a meal in basic kitchenette/tea kitchen setup. Following are tips for doing just that. 

Equip Your Kitchen

If you only have a tea kitchen in your unit - a kitchen that has a sink, fridge and maybe a microwave - you know how challenging it can be to cook proper meals for yourself. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make your kitchen more functional regardless of its size. Crock pots, toaster ovens and electric skillets are ideal for kitchenettes that don't have appliances. If you want a fully functional kitchen with all the bells and whistles, you can get it by purchasing a compact modular kitchen for your unit. These kitchens are designed to fit in a small space and have everything you need. 

Keep Basic Ingredients on Hand

While preparing meals for one, it can be easy to fall into the frozen meal, peanut butter sandwich trap. However, you can cook wholesome meals for one if you keep certain items in your pantry, items that you can use a little bit of now and store the rest for later. These items include dried beans, dry pasta, rice, a jar of pasta sauce, yogurt and cheese. For items that you need to freeze, such as pork chops and chicken breasts, break each package down into individual servings before placing the meat in the freezer. Another great thing to keep on hand is eggs. By adding a few extra ingredients to your eggs, such as bacon or hash browns, you can create quite the omelette. 

As you can imagine, cooking in an assisted living facility can pose many challenges. However, you can overcome those challenges if cooking for yourself is something that is important to you. Before you start preparing your own meals, be sure to check with your facility to see if there are any rules you need to follow or forms you need to file to be able to cook in your own suite.

For more information, contact Harbor Lights House Assisted Living Inc. or a similar website.