I try my best to make healthy and appealing meals for my mother.
1. Come up with meal plan (as she will not provide any input)
2. Shop for food
3. Prepare food
4. Serve meal
5. Listen to complaints about meal
6. Clean up
7 Repeat
I just don't know how to please her and am at the end of my rope - meal wise. If left to her own devices it would be potato chips and doughnuts all day long. Any advice for making this more pleasant? Thanks for letting me vent.

There may be no pleasing her. This is part of the decline, possibly.

Also not knowing your details, it may be time to celebrate eating and stop worrying about healthy.

People can thrive on all manner of food. Our parents reached old age so there's that.

My mom loves French Fries and ketchup. She can have them every time I see her.

If your mom will eat a sandwich or soup or whatever, and potato chips, then encourage it.

There's a parallel with the pickiness of children's eating habits.

I say choose your battles.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Rabanette

Some great answers here!!! I think we really got this one, folks!

Last thing I'll add is to respond with humor. If mom complains about a meal, I remind her of the time - long ago when she was a wife, mother, full time worker, AND probably going through menopause during a long hot summer - when she served us a supper of cold hot dogs with cold cereal. Dad sternly told my sister and me to eat it and be quiet. THAT always makes her laugh. And she briefly "gets it" so we can move on.
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Reply to JillLu
97yroldmom Jan 11, 2019
thanks for this post JillLu. I laughed out loud. Cold hot dogs and cereal was funny but when your dad said eat it and be quiet ..too much. I’m still laughing. What a good man.
Have you asked Mom if she’d like to help you cook? It’s how I got my young grandsons to eat. Ask for her input. Help her make a few of her favorite recipes.

The fights over food may be part of the big picture. She may simply have no appetite. She may just resent how her life has turned out in general and decided to focus on your meals, which I’m sure are very good. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes it’s ok to have a bowl of cereal for dinner...
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Yes, I also struggle with this. I’ve never liked eating food, and it’s been up to me to feed my bedridden LO for the past couple years. I struggle with what to buy at the grocery store and what to offer him also because his tastes are very different than mine, and I never fully understood them. Now, he won’t tell me what he wants, claiming he doesn’t like anything, which doesn’t help!

To improve his calorie intake, I recently bought Benecalorie, a liquid 1.5 oz “food enhancer” with nutrients, protein, and 330 calories. It has a neutral taste, and I’ve started adding it to his food. I also ordered Thrive ice cream, which has extra nutrients. I’ve heard it’s tasty! These are what patients are given in rehab, so I’m hoping it helps. Thrive also has enhanced gelato in different flavors.
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Reply to JuliaRose

Look for foods with natural sugars. The elderly have lost a lot of taste buds, this is why they tend to want sugar and salt.

There are some nice sweet natural milks that make an awesome milk shake...without the added sugar. I used to add extra protein by using some boost in the shake.

See if there is some other natural sweet things she would like....maybe fresh chopped fruit? Fresh veggies are good too....just chopped not cooked. Cooking veggies changes their taste and texture...reducing the natural sweetness.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Katiekate

Btilley, it could also be the adult/child dynamic. In your Mom's eyes, we are once again the "kid", and what do we know?

By the way, how old is your mother? If she is in her 80's or 90's, she has lived a long life, let her eat what she wants [unless there are sugar limits]. I always say if an elder wants ice cream for breakfast, you ask "one scoop or two?".

Also, as we age, food starts to taste different, the flavor just isn't there as Katie had mentioned earlier. When I did the grocery shopping for my very elderly parents, my Mom also had on the list ice cream, Little Debbie cupcakes, apple pie, Whip-Cream, Pringles, etc. because sweets were pretty much all they could taste.
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Reply to freqflyer

Thank you all.
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Reply to BMT1011

So frustrating. What are her complaints? Doesn't like it? Or just likes to complain? Are you making things you think/know she likes and she's still complaining?

It's not an easy ride, that's for sure. My mom lives with me and I cook 2 (usually) very healthy, low carb, high nutrient, yummy meals a day for us and my husband. I try to keep it on the paleo side. She's not terribly fussy, so luckily she'll eat most of the things I make without much complaint. She used to say she didn't like the scrambled eggs. We used coconut oil, she wanted butter. Fine. Now they're in butter. We used to make them more omelette style which she didn't like, she wanted them "scrambled" and fluffy. OK, fine. We make them that way and she doesn't complain anymore. About that, anyways. So, I had to drill down to the exact root of that complaint which was pretty easy to resolve. If only other issues were so easy to resolve. It's good for me to remember that!

She "cheats" like heck the rest of the time. Very content eating junk food with no nutritional value. Frustrating since she should lose at least 50 pounds but there's only so much a girl can do.

Good luck. Maybe if you give more details, you can get more specific advice from those in the trenches.
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Reply to againx100

My elderly parents would not purchase fresh fruit and veggies. And now that dad is gone as of last week.. mom won’t purchase them either... well in the summer she will buy tomatoes but that is it.. I have tried to convince her to buy some apples .. she would just turn up her nose and say naw... she heads straight to the area that has the small individual pastry pies! And loads up and buys a large box of choc chip cookies ... I swear her cart has nothing but processed foods and sugary items and simple carbs!!! Unless me or my sister bring over a home cooked health dish or crockpot stews etc.. they would never eat a healthy meal.... I don’t know if it’s fheir generation and being brought up on lack of computers and social media ... I asked her if she has ever read the ingredient labels... she said no cause she would know what she was reading... everything in her cart does not exist in my home because I eat healthy... I try to advise her she has hypertension and autoimmune diseases because of her diet and lifestyle... she doesn’t want to hear it... that generation would rather take pills for their diseases and conditions than change fheir diet or lifestyle ... so... I quit trying to get her to see my point.. when she complains about her stomach I just tell her it’s due to her diet and lifestyle and let it go ... u can’t change them ... but I do know the nursing homes will not let her eat like that whenever she has to go in one ...
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Reply to Sherry1886
againx100 Jan 10, 2019
You're so right that many of that generation just want to take a pill and do what the doc says. They don't seem interested in a healthy diet or exercise or other simple things they could do to help themselves a bit. Frustrating.

I don't know if a NH wouldn't just let her eat what she wants. Lots of carbs and sugar, so....
When they get a certain age u just have to let them eat what they want especially if they buy their own food ... I just keep my mouth shut because I don’t have to live with her and take care of her .. eventually they all will lose their appetites and quit eating altogether likevmy deceased father did.. he went on hospice and died couple days later ... u just have to let nature take its course after they get a certain age..they don’t want to live if they can’t eat what they want... it’s their life
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Reply to Sherry1886

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