How do you not feel frustrated when you prepare and cook meals for your elderly parents and they refuse to eat the food?

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It is frustrating, especially when you take extra steps or spend additional money to try to make the meal even more special by providing favorite foods, etc, in order to stimulate to their appetite. But, some times they just don't wat to eat and we have to just accept that and move on. I have tried all sorts of things and over the past few years, have some to realize that I was doing more harm to myself stressing out over it. They will eat, when they get hungry, unless there is some underlying medical condition.
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My experience is that my Dad has lost a great deal of his sense of smell & taste, which makes the things he liked before not taste the same. He doesn't want it. I ask what he thinks he might wish to eat, and make that for him.
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How do you not get frustrated? Please don't be too hard on yourself, it's OK to get frustrated, it's normal. Sometimes I used to get so frustrated that I'd go outside and kick the side of the house! I find cooking to be very personal, you might also and then to have someone you're cooking for not want it, well, it can feel like rejection. Are your parents mentally competent? or do they have any form of dementia? Sometimes if their mouths (or ears) hurt they may not want to eat. Also sometimes as people get older they like to eat earlier in the day (that's why the 'senior specials' in restaurants start at 4pm). of course there is also the possibility that they feel they are losing control over things and refusing to eat what you cook may be their way of asserting some control over you and what they eat. What if you let them 'help' make the dinner? It sometimes works with children, especially fussy eaters when they get to help make the food. It's worth a try.....Blessings to you, Lindaz
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Happens to me all the time. I like a light diet. Mom's an old farm girl. So I have learned to cook her favorites and eat what I like. Made her chicken noodle soup and bread from scratch last night. She was all excited because she loves homemade noodles and bread. When I told her dinner was ready she said I don't want soup. She ate it anyway. I don't make soup exactly how she used to but it is pretty good. One time she asked me why (her) mom let HER (me) make the soup? Apparently it was terrible. I just shrug it off now. One night I made her 2 different dinners and she didn't like/want either. She ate cheerios. I know not to add any spices to her food. Keep it simple.
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Dentures can be refitted by a modern dentist. Shakes work, if you make your own shakes with nutritious ingredients, have you tried ensure? I do not blame anyone for not wanting those. Can't always go by what they pick out if they have dementia, our stopped eating her favorites a long time ago but still requests them.
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If I got those good protein shakes I wouldn't want to eat either.
My mom hasn't worn her teeth since the day she got them...10 yrs ago. She exists on a soft diet only but manages nicely.
The last time her highness was in the NH for rehab she got them to puree her food but tired of that after the amusement wore off.
Try not to take it personally & don't let your emotions get involved. That never helps.
If she is able to get out.....note what she orders at a homecooking style restaurant you might take her to for a treat.
Sit down with her and ask for suggestions from a cookbook on what she thinks looks good? "I'm thinking of cooking something different...please help me...anything in this book look good to you?"
If we use our imaginations and ask for their input it usually works. Hope it wokrs out well for you.
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It can be really frustrating. Sometimes it's hard not to take the rejection as a comment on the food. One thing that helps me a lot is to cook for others besides Dad. When I serve my brother a chicken casserole, or my best friend an apple tart, they respond with cries of delight. Seeing them eat and really enjoy the food cheers me up a lot.
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mash poatatoes with good ole gravy on top of it . my dad loves that .
brown sugar oatmeal , chop up banana , scramble eggs , sausage gravy with bread chop up . greenbeans cut up ,
my dad cant wear his dentures either , falls out all the time .
ravoli , spagatti-o .
applesauce . yum now im hungry lol
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My mom is 87 years old. She's depressed, on anti-depressants no dementia. I do cook her fairly bland food. She can't chew because her lower dentures don't fit due to weight loss. She doesn't know what she wants to eat. I do make her protein shakes which I make more fattening by using hemp milk and ice cream. She loves them and I give her 2 a day but want to encourage her also to eat.
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Does your parent have difficulty swallowing? Have you asked them what they want to eat and then cooked that? Perhaps the food is to salty or greasy or spicy. As people get older quit often they prefer
more bland, or sweet foods. How old is your parent? Is there dementia involved ?
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