Follow
Share

My Father and his wife are both over 80 years old (89 & 86) respectively.
They called me a couple of days ago that they were in need of us children assisting with meals, it was very hard for my father to say this, I know him. So I know they are in need. There are five children that live about 20 minutes from them. I just want to do my part to help them. "Meals on Wheels" delivers their lunch, so that is not an option. They don't really like that food anyway.
Both get around slowly. Mom is hunched over due to back surgery some years past and sleeps most of the time. Dad has diabetes and is having issues, he sees a Dr. for Renal care, and walks with a cane. The kitchen is available for reheating food stuff. Oven and microwave.


What types of foods are easiest to prepare, nutritious, and won't be a cost burden?

Find Care & Housing
The simplest is to just make more of whatever you are having for yourself, then plate up the extras for them. If you are freezing for later I have the most success with all in one dishes like stews, hearty soups, shepherds pie, chili etc in single serving containers.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to cwillie
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2020
Yum!
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
We cooked for my inlaws for 2 years before they moved to independent living. We bought plastic storage containers and made things like stew, soup, meatballs etc and packaged enough for the 2 of them for one meal.
They still made breakfast; he ate oatmeal and she liked cold cereal. They never asked for help from us; I just realized that they were not cooking, and were eating out and then eating the leftover restaurant food for a couple days. it was a gradual thing but it got to where her dementia was so bad they could not go into restaurants so they started to fast food, and mostly drive thru. But what we did not realize when they got to this point, there was a lot of other stuff that was being mismanaged despite what my FIL said. Medications were not handled properly and doctor's instructions were ignored or they just did not admit to the doctor what was really going on. So it is great that you and your siblings can help with the meals but I would suggest you get very nosy and stay looking at other issues. If someone is not going to the doctor with them, it is time to start and make sure they fill out the HIPAA form at the MD so you can f/u with MD if you are not able to attend. I think you will be surprised what you find. This whole "food thing" is often the tip of the iceberg, as we discovered.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to dogparkmomma
Report

When you all prepare your evening meals make an extra 2 or 4 portions and freeze them. If each sibling does this just 1 or 2 nights a week that is a lot of extra meals that you can bring them. All they would have to do is microwave their dinner.
When you visit bring fresh fruit with you that can easily be added to their daily meals.
I used to make a LOT of soup and I would freeze the soup in 2 cup portions (I used Ball or Mason jars) very easy to thaw and heat up soup. As my Husband needed food pureed and thickened it was super easy to process his portion. Adding extra veggies meant I did not have to use a commercial thickener soup and stew was thickened by the veggies.

I did find that making lasagna was another easy one to do. Rather than making my lasagna in a 13X9 pan I lined 3 loaf pans with plastic wrap then I would lay 1 noodle in each pan and go from there. Once made I would pop the pan in the freezer. When it was frozen I would remove the lasagna from the pan, wrap it in foil and put it back in the freezer. When it was tome to have lasagna I wold unwrap and put it in the loaf pan and thaw over night or I would pop it in the oven and bake. Baking from frozen added about 30 minutes to the bake time.
The loaf pan size lasagna was just enough for the 2 of us.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Feb 12, 2020
So smart to use loaf pan for lasagna! Great tip!
(2)
Report
We used to prepare meals for my mother when she was still at home and semi-independent. We bought plastic containers with dividers so we could put a complete meal in one container. She could then put what she wanted on a plate and heat it in the microwave. Hopefully all your siblings will take turns so it doesn't fall on one or 2 people.

One of the items we found handy to buy were prepackaged and pre-cooked meals in the grocery store. I cook from scratch so I thought some of those would be disgusting but they were surprisingly not. Hormel has containers with beef stew, chicken, turkey and dressing/mashed potatoes, noodle dishes, etc. already in one package. We'd throw a vegetable with it and you had a well rounded meal. Also, when cooking for yourself, make extra for your parents. Many things can be cooked ahead of time and frozen for later. We even had containers for breakfast items. Scrambled eggs can be reheated. Boiled eggs are good for any meal. You really just have to get creative but if everyone pitches in, it won't be too time consuming to handle.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Tiredandweary
Report

You’re a wonderful son to be so thoughtful to your parents.

What about something simple like a roasted chicken and veggies? Do you know how to make a vegetable soup? Soup and salad is easy.

Maybe a meatloaf with side dishes. Do you have a crockpot? A pork roast is delicious in a crockpot. Soups cook nicely in a crockpot as well.

I would package them up in individual servings for them to make it convenient. Best wishes to you and your family.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
Isthisrealyreal Feb 10, 2020
But no noodles in the crockpot.
(2)
Report
See 2 more replies
Smithson:

You can buy many tasty shelf stable pre-cooked prepared meals at Walmart, Costco, Amazon, or other similar stores.

These shelf stable foods do not even need to be refrigerated.

Some of the brand names of these products are: Ready meals, by K&J meats, Compleats by Hormel, Healthwise, turkey chilli, Ready meals by PACE, Barilla italian style entres, Prego ready meals, etc.

The shelf stable meals are fully cooked and can be eaten at room temperature or heated in a microwave.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Heather10
Report

Why not just get frozen food? These aren't the TV dinners from 50 years ago. Although you can still get those if you want. There are many delicious healthy options to suit any palate. Just load up their fridge every week and then they can microwave them when they are hungry. Look for sales and it's pretty cheap. I stocked up on a bunch of stuff at the dollar store for a $1 that sells for $4-$5 at the supermarket. That stuff ranged from guilty pleasure, bacon crusted turkey, to super healthy vegan bowls.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to needtowashhair
Report
CarolAlt Feb 12, 2020
Just remember to read the nutritional values on packages. Most grocery store frozen meals are loaded with sodium or don’t meet other criteria caloric restrictions (ie. sugars, carbs).
(2)
Report
Delivery services such as Mom’s Meals have a wide variety including diet specific choices for diabetics, renal patients and more. They arrive frozen and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. They deliver all across the country and have a number of different plans to choose from. Just an idea.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to anonymous1010889
Report

Please read labels if you decide to buy prepared foods. The sodium and sugar levels can be very high. Sugar levels on some yogurt brands are as high as if you’re eating candy! I like Siggi’s yogurt, low grams and it’s creamy and delicious!

I love yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. You can buy lower sugar yogurt and cereal as snacks for them. When my husband travels for work and I don’t feel like cooking I will eat breakfast for dinner!

Soups are not hard to cook and have much lower sodium than canned soup. Stews are great too. I find that a lot of older people like basic food. They like the simple foods of their youth, not frou-frou gourmet items.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
jacobsonbob Feb 12, 2020
I eat yogurt every day, and I like the "plain" fat-free type that doesn't have the added sugar. The flavored types tend to be too sweet--undoubtedly because the manufacturers add sugar or another sweetener.
(1)
Report
See 3 more replies
One of the things you can do is join one of the food companies that prepare the food already all you have to do is pop it in the oven think it’s called hello fresh the food is already paired put an individual serving trays and all you have to do is either microwave it or put in the oven. I heard it’s great food and it covers the food triangle
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Scarlettrene
Report
TXGirl82 Feb 11, 2020
The OP might also look into Schwann's. They deliver.
(3)
Report
See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter