For older adults looking to add a little spice to their lives, cooking classes may be just the “catch of the day.” At this stage in life, staying active, learning new skills, and socializing are essential keys to overall wellness, and cooking classes offer all of these benefits and more. While seniors may be in cooking class for fun, they can also learn important skills to help them eat healthy, great tasting food well into the future.
The variety of cooking classes available is tremendous. Classes may be available for brushing up on basic skills, learning to cook different ethnic foods, vegetarian cooking, cake decorating, or grilling meats—the possibilities are endless. Cooking classes are offered at local community centers, cooking schools, and often through community education programs. Cooking schools and restaurants will sometimes host special, fun events, like Girl’s Night or wine pairings with food that may be attractive for retirees. If a retiree is in search of adventure, there are cooking tours offered across Italy, France, and other culinary rich countries. A quick Internet search can uncover many options in just minutes, or a phone call to a local cooking school can be just as effective. These classes offer the opportunity to socialize with friends, make new friends, and flex the brain by learning new skills.
While cooking classes are a fun recreational activity for many retirees and seniors, cooking classes can also lead to healthier eating. For seniors, the Department of Agriculture recommends the following each day: 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of fruit, 2 to 3 ½ cups of vegetables, 5-10 ounces of grains, 5-7 ounces of proteins, and 3 cups of low-fat dairy foods. Cooking classes may help seniors develop quick, easy meals that ensure they are getting all of the nutrients required for wellness as they age. Besides getting the proper nutrients, cooking classes can make the food taste great at the same time. With age, taste becomes dulled, so cooking classes may offer ways in which to ignite food in new ways. Cooking classes can also teach older adults how to make their favorite recipes for one or two people, instead of an entire brood.