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Published: Sunday, 5/16/2004

Meals consider seniors' nutrition needs

Meals consider seniors' nutrition needs

The growing need for food options for the elderly and their caregivers is beginning to be addressed by food companies and even chefs on the Food Network.

●As a result of experiencing care-giving firsthand, ConAgra Foods vice president Russ Bragg has helped the company look at the nutritional requirements of seniors and the needs of more than 7 million caregivers in the United States.

The introduction of Golden Cuisine, a meal program that meets federal guidelines established by the USDA for senior nutrition is a line of 35 frozen meals than can be ordered online and delivered directly to the home, helping homebound seniors maintain an independent lifestyle.

Golden Cuisine can be ordered by caregivers or relatives who live in another state through its Web site, www.goldencuisine.com. The meals contain three ounces of cooked protein, one-half cup starch, and two one-half-cup servings of crispy vegetables.

Simple preparation instructions on the packages are in large black print for easy reading, and meals can be heated in a microwave or a conventional oven. Meal ingredients originate from varied and familiar product lines of ConAgra Foods, including brands as Butterball and Armour. Sixteen meal varieties are available at a time, with selections rotating. Meal prices range from $3.70 to $4.70 plus shipping.

●Chef Rachael Ray of the Food Network's 30 Minute Meals and $40 a Day shows has teamed up Home Instead Senior Care franchises, including the Toledo office, to offer a 30 Minute Meals booklet with recipes designed to bring flavor to food for seniors. (Home Instead Senior Care provides non-medical companionship for the elderly that assists with meal preparation, grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc.)

"Appetizing meals are an important part of seniors' lives, and vital to their physical and emotional well-being," says Scott A. Rozanski, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care office.

To add flavor to a senior's diet, Ms. Ray recommends being creative to liven up food within a senior's dietary guidelines. She advocates moderation rather than denial of foods.

She also suggests that fresh herbs are a no-fat addition to brighten the flavor of salads, dressings, and sauces. Purchase better cuts of meat for better flavor and less fat; a small amount of lean protein is better than a larger amount of fatty protein. Stock up on fresh meats and vegetables when they are on sale, then divide and freeze them.

To get a copy of 30 Minute Meals booklet with recipes for seniors, call 419-472-8181 or visit Home Instead Senior Care at 2509 West Sylvania Ave., Suite 21, Toledo 43613.

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TARTA Lunch Loop Trolleys run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. A 25-cent ride will get you to your favorite downtown restaurant.

If the restaurants on the west side of the river don't suit, take TARTA downtown Lunch Trolley to the river and board the Water Taxi to be taken to the Docks for $2 round trip. The latter service begins in June at Water Street and Jefferson Street or the lighthouse behind COSI.

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When an overweight chef accepted a job at a Hawaiian resort only to find out she must cook spa cuisine, Chef Kathleen Daelemans lost weight. Now she has a Food Network Show called Cooking Thin, which airs locally at 11:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays and two cookbooks to share the recipes.

Chef Daelemans will sign her book Getting Thin & Loving Food (Houghton Mifflin $27) at Thackeray's at 1 to 3 p.m. on May 29 at 3301 West Centeral Ave. in the Westgate Village shopping center.

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The Weber Grill Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the exception of Christmas Day. The consumer grilling information hot line at 800-GRILL-OUT is staffed by trained team of Weber Certified Barbecue Experts. They address a variety of questions including food and product safety.

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The 13th annual Tops Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival will be May 27-31 at Tower City Amphitheater in Cleveland. Among the competing grillers will be Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ, which won the title of Greatest Ribs in American in 2003; Johnson's Q Colonel BBQ of Chesapeake, Va., and Carolina Rib King Solomon Williams of South Carolina, who dry-rubs his ribs and then smothers them with a sweet tomato-based sauce. For information, admission prices, and directions, visit www.cleveland.com/rib.



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