Solution to promote healthy eating in self-sufficient elderly people

Research Projects AALElderlyNutritionResearch projectsSelf-sufficient living

Healthy and conscious cooking

To slow down physical and cognitive decline due to aging, the ChefMySelf Project is committed to monitoring the elderly population’s eating habits and to motivating them to prepare their own meals. Through the development of an ecosystem of customizable, open and extensible services (ICT), hinging upon an automatic cooking device, the elderly can receive the support they need to prepare meals and maintain healthy eating habits.

“AAL European Project: : Call 5 – 2012” – “Daily Life Activities”


Take a look at the system components

A guide for healthy eating

The device offers guidelines for healthy eating that consider the users’ own culture, and contributes to a reduction of risk factors by providing weight-control diets, information on how to ease daily routines into cooking activities, as well as the opportunity to access many cooking-related services and tips on how to select healthy foods.

In-depth look

The ChefMySelf Project provides a context-aware recipes library that relies upon semantics and machine-learning techniques to develop a series of user-oriented activities, such as: advanced research of recipes based upon ingredients, calories, preparation time, etc.; preference setting through monitoring of the interaction with the user; classification of recipes with priority index defined on the basis of the user’s specific needs; and, an automatic nutrition plan.
By reviewing the user’s food history, needs and preferences, the system automatically generates a nutrition plan that ensures a varied and quality diet. Img1-1
Furthermore, the system assists in the meal preparation process in accordance to specific usability criteria for elderly people, to be configured in the TV and/or tablet interface and connected to the food processor. Users will be assisted during grocery shopping by filling out a grocery list prepared on the basis of the specific ingredients to purchase for the preparation of meals and/or their weekly nutrition plan. They will also be able to review their food history aggregated in statistics referring, for instance, to their daily/weekly calories consumption. The information will be available to both users and their caregivers.Img2

An important function of the ChefMySelf Project is the social network on healthy aging and eating habits, a useful forum for elderly people to remain active, as well as maintain and broaden their social contacts. Users will be motivated in the kitchen, share their recipes and comments on those of their peers, exchange messages (audio and video), encourage other users to participate in social events (such as dining together), and organize joint grocery shopping trips with neighboring users.

In order to ensure that elderly users successfully partake in this technological program, we developed high-usability interfaces that are accessible through a variety of devices, such as the use of enlarged font size or easy navigation to adequately respond, for instance, to visual challenges.