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My mother in law is Diabetic and an incredibly picky eater. If she could have pancakes with syrup every day for every meal she would. That is a big no go!

She tries to eat peanut butter by the spoonful several times during the day and constantly asks for McDonalds. Ummm no not happening.

She has been better about the meals I have been preparing and I try to cater them to her likes but making them healthy though there are few vegetables she will eat or can eat, she refuses to use her dentures to eat. We are looking into new ones but she doesn't want them.

Anyway, I made her soup and packed it full of blended vegetables but she caught me blending and one doesn't trust me when I have the blender out refusing to eat what I made saying she will just have top ramen. *sigh*

She will drink V8 once in a while but will not drink Boost or Ensure or anything like that.

She was drinking smoothies before she caught me with the vegetables.

Any ideas? I want her healthy......

She won't eat: eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, chicken, rice, apples, any veggie other then green beans (from a can only) or mushrooms, pork, any seafood, salads of any sort, nuts ground up, really the list goes on.....I'm desperate!

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When I make bolognese sauce, I grate carrots and celery into it, as well as parsley, mushrooms and of course the tomatoes. Would she notice a grater in the same way that she spotted the blender?

Tinned tomatoes are very healthy. Tomato rice soup - is rice on the banned list? - oh. Oh well. What about cream of tomato soup, then?

Does she like sweetcorn? That's nice creamed.

Raymond Blanc has a delicious recipe for peas: you pulse them lightly so that they're a bit squashed but not puréed, then stir in olive oil, lemon juice, mint and… oregano I think, then cook them over very high heat just for two or three minutes, stirring. You can use frozen ones but you have to thaw them first (a minute in a microwave). If you're interested I'll look the recipe up for quantities. If you make a bed of them and - goodness, how is she eating anything much if she won't put her teeth in? I was going to recommend a nice tasty lamb chop, but she'd have a job with that, wouldn't she. I suppose you could cook the chop, take out all the bones and fat, chop it small, reheat it for a second, then shape it into a sort of soft burger.

Does she like pickles? It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

If you've got a soft-leaved lettuce handy, you could stir it into the beans as they're cooking. The leaves just soften into sort of green ribbons. Not much nutrition but again better than nothing.

Onions? Good for folates (I was surprised, but when you think about it the bulb is made of leaves, so yes, makes sense…)

Cress (ordinary cress, not watercress which she might find too peppery) in egg sandwi - oh bugger, she won't eat eggs.

Hm. Well. I agree with FF that she can only be as fussy as you allow her to be, but on the other hand there's her autonomy to consider, and in any case you obviously want her to enjoy her food, not endure it. Reeducating somebody's palate is hard going at the best of times. Having said that, don't forget the old adage: "a pinch of appetite is worth a pound of seasoning." Do make it as hard as you humanely can for her to eat between meals.

As a last resort, I would tell her there's been a global noodle shortage (you heard it on Fox News, remember?) and sadly they won't be available for several months. So what would she like instead :)?

Oh potatoes! Don't forget potatoes. Cooked in their skins they keep quite a lot of vitamin C, and of course they're very versatile and quick in the microwave. Add some butter for vitamin A and D, some tuna - tuna? Does that count as seafood?, and some sautéed mushrooms for B, and you're nearly there!

You can get, I think, sugar-free jello (is that how you spell jello? I'm having to translate from British English, here); and recently the manufacturers have started making lunchbox pots of it with fruit in it - peaches, mangoes, mandarins. Of course the fruit is cooked, not fresh, and of course it's not as good, but my mother eats one very cheerfully for her lunchtime dessert and - again - better than nothing. Tinned fruit in general might help - it's soft, and you can get it canned in juice rather than syrup. Just watch how much sugar she's getting from it, though; because it might not help her diabetes.

You can roast peppers, squashes, aubergines, zucchini - drizzle them with olive oil, pinch some large-flaked sea salt over them, shove them in the oven and wait until they're pleasantly browned. The sweetness might appeal to her.

I got my partner to enjoy cauliflower by puréeing it, sieving it, beating in some butter and serving it as a creamy garnish. And it was quite tasty, though I do say it as shouldn't. I liked it too.

That's it. I have exhausted my fuss-pot repertoire. You have brought back cold-sweat memories of when my ten year old self-proclaimed vegetarian daughter wouldn't eat tomatoes, mushrooms, aubergines, lentils or pulses of any sort, leeks or potatoes. Yes, that was a fun time...
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Thank you for your comments!

My mother in law also has Epilepsy and though her doctor does not see the need for round about care she does not know when a seizure will come and has hurt herself many times. I live with her and have for about 7 months. She is 62 years old. The doctor says her weight is good however she thinks she is overweight and sometimes tries to skip meals. She also doesn't have much of an appetite.

She drinks a lot of water which I guess could be good and bad. She was drinking a 50% less sugar orange juice but her Nutritionist told us that was a no go.

She will eat bananas BUT they have to be green just turning yellow and if they have even one spot on them she is done. I got her to eat strawberries with breakfast but she is tired of them now and won't eat other berries or fruits.

Each time I go to the store I get a couple of new things and try that. She usually looks at the. And saws, "eww" I get her to try them and she gives me dirty looks.

I thought of tinned fruit but the syrup is too much for hr diabetes.

You are right I should not try to sneak it if she catches me again I fear she won't eat anything!

Country mouse, you have some good ideas. Sometimes just the name of something she will turn her nose up to.

I think I am going to do a couple of things: one I'm going to continue trying new things each shopping trip and just cooking them not giving her the choice and two: we are starting to do 2 walks a day now maybe I can get her appetite up and once she smells the good food while being hungry she won't make as much of a fuss.

Here is for hoping!

Thank you again for your responses.
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CountryMouse, I had to laugh about the global noodle shortage and hearing it on a certain news station :)
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Well, bless you for being so caring as to be taking on this battle. Hon, there's a limit to what you can do, as she is a picky eater. You want her healthy, but she has to be willing to work on it too (ie dentures). I buy V-8 Fusion for DH as it tastes like fruit juice and has added veg juice in it. You could check into recipes online by moms who sneak the veggies (pureed) into the kids' food. They create cubes in ice cube trays and then add the cubes to the food. I've done this for added nutrition (I didn't sneak...more of an "eat it, that's dinner" sort of mom). Sweet potato/carrot mash is really good. Baked sweet potato fries.
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Linda, I love that idea with the ice cubes I will try it! Lol thank you. Though it is a battle I could not do it without my husband. I am the kind of person that needs praise and I get depressed when I do not get it. I feel odd for saying that but it is the truth. My husband comes home very night and tells me how much he loves me and supports me, then asks me to make him a sandwich, in which my response is, "you have two hands" lol no he is very appreciative and always tells me how great of a job I am doing. I'm only 27.
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Oh hey the noodle shortage actually is a great trick because she watches the news all the time. I feel bad for deceiving her but I may try it.
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My MIL has epilepsy and the beginning stages of Dimensia. She has asked me too care for her and to help her with her decision making. Because of the amount of seizures she has endured her cognitive thinking is not at the right state and she has been deemed by her primary doctor, neurologist, memory care therapist and psychiatrist well as social worker to not be of fit mind to care for herself.

Her son and I are her POA and secondary POA.

I still treat her like an adult as much as I can. We have conversations often lead by her.

To understand the situation fully you would need to know her. She knows nothing of bills and the cost of things. She doesn't know how to use a phone anymore, has no idea what the internet is.

When she sees an ad for something on TV that had been out for a long time she thinks is brand new even if she saw that same commercial the day before.

In some ways you are right she is capable of some things but overall she needs an assistant. We live in an apartment where myself, my husband and she are all on the lease.

She forgets to eat sometimes. If left to take her pills on her own she has in the past taken a double amount. If left alone she might have a seizure outside while smoking and fall on the concrete.

She is my mother overall and I care for her dearly. She tells me what she likes to eat I just try to tweak it so it can be healthier. If she wants to do something we do it. However all she wants to do more often then not is watch TV and other then a walk each day I let her. I do try to engage her I. Card or board games but only if she is interested. The doctor said the games could help her memory.

Thank you for your concern.
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I should have given all the information in the beginning I apologize.
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Another idea is a good whole food multi vitamin supplement.
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Ah, Nennie86, this is an entirely different story. Probably the number one factor to consider in dealing with a loved one who needs care is their cognitive state. And yet caregivers often fail to note in their profiles or in a topic that their loved one is cognitively impaired. That makes a huge difference.

It does sound like you are doing a fantastic job. Be proud!

And, yes, it would be nice if MIL ate more nutritiously, and yes, that is another huge challenge for you. Stay strong!

But ... eating more vegetables is not going to cure her dementia, or her diabetes, or her epilepsy. Being able to trust you is more important than having a variety of green vegetables. Green beans are fine.

I don't know what nutritionist you talked to, but most Certified Diabetes Educators say there is NOTHING totally off-limits to people with diabetes. Portion control is everything. It is better for MIL to eat an orange than to drink orange juice. But if she likes orange juice and hates oranges, give her orange juice. But a serving is 5 ounces, not a quart! If she loves pancakes, figure out how many she can safely have for a meal and serve them once in a while. Even a Big Mac is not off-limits if you serve it occasionally as a special treat and she isn't eating fast food every day. Her insurance should cover at least 2 hours with a Certified Diabetes Educator. Make an appointment and go with her, to educate yourself about what is most important to her diabetic health. Perhaps include a written note before the meeting explaining in full MIL's impairments. The first thing the CDE asked me was what kinds of foods I like. The poor CDE isn't going to have much to work with for MIL, but she or he will be creative and very helpful to you.

MIL's food pickiness reminds me so much of one of my sons. He is strictly a carnivore and the range of fruits or vegetables he will consider is extremely small. And wouldn't you know it? He married a vegetarian! Talk about mixed marriages. He theoretically likes bananas, but there is about a 90 minute window in the life of any banana that he considers them suitable for eating. NO brown speckles on the skin! LOL I find his wife easier to cook for when they visit than for him. So I empathize with your struggle. I suggest consulting a CDE and relaxing at least a little. The AMA, the CDC, the FDA, and thousands of doctors combined cannot convince 74% of the population to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Don't beat yourself up if you can't single-handedly convert your MIL to healthy eating. Do your best. Focus on other issues. Be proud of all the good you are doing!
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