With the 65 and older crowd numbering 32 million and ""the nation's fastest growing minority,"" the Institute for Creative Aging is on to a good thing. But this bland cookbook, with its oft-repeated ""Here at the Institute. . . ,"" seems more interested in helping itself than in self-help. Aside from the well-known dietary caveats equally applicable to all age groups--low fats, cholesterols, fats, and sugars--there is not much here relevant to the complex pathology of aging. The recipes are plain, seem easy to prepare and nutritious, and in no way differ from those found in any other cooking-is-easy primer. And, to be sure, they are no cure for senescence. More annoying is the authors' patronizing attitude--""Fruits should be handled tenderly, washed and refrigerated, except for bananas""--bespeaking a veiled contemptuousness: old age seen as a generalized ""condition"" of timorousness and vague incompetence. Perhaps of interest for the elderly who didn't learn to cook or eat properly in the first place.