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I am 32 years old, male, and my wife and six year old daughter and I live with my grandmother in her home. Granted, she practically raised me when I was young due to my mother being single and having to work to support herself and me. My mother took care of her for seven years living in her home and cared for her 24/7 until she got caregiver burnout and was hospitalized for seven days in a behavioral unit. She finally gave me an ultimatum of either moving out of the house (I have been living with my grandmother and mother in grandmother's home for years) so she could find other living arrangements for my grandmother either a nursing home or other. I could not bring myself to agree to my mom's terms, so she moved to an apartment. Now, I have the evening and weekend care of my grandmother while my mother assists her everyday from 9:00am to 2:30pm. My mother is 66 years old, single and has Emphysema and severe bursitis so I can understand her need to take care of herself since she has no husband. But my major gripe at the moment is that my grandmother hates the meals I prepare for her and will not eat them. She gripes about the food not being healthy, however, I spend quite a bit of time cooking nutritious food for my wife and child as well as her. How do I get her to eat my meals without losing my sanity? Thank you.

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Sometimes my mom doesn't want what I make. Doctor's orders low salt, no dairy, and no sugar limits what she can eat. Sometimes its easier to prepare ahead of time gelatin. She loves oatmeal and fruits . So she eats fruits and vegetables. For her soft is best, she says it's difficult to eat with her dentures. But if your grandma has Alzheimer 's disease she may forget that she used to love certain foods. My mom will say I hate that! But it was her favorite. Good luck. Discuss with doctor about what dietary restrictions she may have and the other issues that others have brought up.
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You said you were practically raised by your grandmom, do you remember what she made or what she ate? I agree with person saying maybe she has difficulty with certain foods and may need soft food. Maybe she just wants desserts. Most doctors don't care when they are elderly as long as they are eating. This will help with dehydration problems that many seniors get. Mom had her favorites and I would serve small portions of each. My neighbor also suggested that I should just leave the food on the table be sure it not perishable and when she is ready to eat she will. That was so true for my mom.
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Don't know if Grandma has any dementia...if so, I will let you know the meals that were acceptable to my mother narrowed and narrowed through the years.

Ask what she would like you to cook and how she wants it prepared. Older people are differently than we do now and her idea of nutritious may be different than yours. Additionally if she has dementia she may use the word nutritious when she means something else. Ask a lot of questions to make sure thAt you are both talking about the same thing. My mother would lose words day to day and sometimes use wrong words in trying to tell me things. As someone else said, she may tell you what she wants, you make it and she says she does not like it before even tasting it. At these times, if you are a prayer, pray for grace.

As people age it is not uncommon that food just does not taste as good and so there is not a lot of enjoyment in eating. Food may Actually taste bad. So ask questions and make sure you figure out really why she does not eat. I used ensure to make my parents chocolate milk shakes. Ensure is a high protein drink supplement.
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I would say we need more information. Sounds like a very confusing situation and past.
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Good Lord, let her eat what she wants. In my house if the kids don't like the meal there's peanut butter and jelly. You get to b that old what does it matter. Eat drink and drop dead happy.
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Sheba66,

It could be that your grandmother is fighting depression, which can affect her desire to eat. If she has dementia that can also affect her eating habits, likes and dislikes. As my parents are now in their 90's they don't seem to eat much even though our family provides many good meals. It has to do with their metabolism at their age too.

For your grandmother, I would have the concerns addressed by her physician to see if she may be battling depression.
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Grandma complains that the food is not nutritious enough, but most answers here assume that she complains about the taste. Since she is concerned more about nutrition--not taste--I would ask her for suggestions about nutrition. More veggies maybe, or what? However, if she has dementia, you should take anything she says with a grain of salt.
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If grandma grew up on basics and lots of carbs, that is probably what she thinks is good food. It's possible, too, that veggies are not easy for her digestive system to handle. It's also possible that her taste is off and nothing tastes good. What did she cook when you were a kid? At this point, let her eat what she wants (within reason) and don't make it a big deal. Might even want to give her meals separately so her attitude doesn't ruin mealtime for everybody else.
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maybe she likes comfort foods. My mom 86 always makes casseroles and my kids and grandkids think it's gross. Younger people eat more basics,simple food- organic, pure rt? I guess see what she actually wants and make it just for her. Maybe she is just grouchy. If that's it just use the tough approach.
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Have problems with meals too, it doesn't matter who cook's them it's always too tuff, not cooked right, him or her don't like it ( I take care of a husband and wife so I get it dubbl) if she sees her husband eating something she will tell him he doesn't like it then he stops eating it. They look forward to meal time so they can complain I think out of boredom You'll never please them . Just cook what you want and give them access to healthy snacks. You won't win this it's part of the disease.
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I was the one having to constantly fix all of the meals there's only three options: 

She can get off her lazy butt and start cooking the household meals

She can take herself out to eat at her expense and pay for her own transportation

Starve if you don't like what I fix. Therefore, if it's pizza night and I make a homemade pizza, then that's what's for supper. If it's chili, spaghetti, Chinese, steak or all veggies then that's what's on the menu, take it or leave it because I cater to no one if I'm left having to fix all of the household meals
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Jeanne, the way I'm reading this is that grandma - the matriarch - owns the home and the plan put forward by Sheba's mother was to sell it to pay for her nursing home care. There may be cultural obligations complicating the family dynamics here, but I'm only guessing at that based on the OP's screen name and the fact that four generations sharing a home is not usual in North America.
I agree that there is much more going on here than grandma not liking meals.
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When I first took over his care, My dad would complain about food because he would not admit that he had trouble eating certain things due to years of neglecting to go to the dentist and getting proper care. He needed soft foods. Later on months before he passed away he lost interest in eating at all but would complain about the food being served.
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I'm a little confused as to who is who. Does your grandmother have dementia? If so, tough love is not appropriate. It may work fine on a child who is capable of learning, but not so well on people with a broken brain.

What does she want to eat? Can she tell you that? Be forewarned, though, that sometimes a person with dementia will say "chicken soup" and when served that says "Why did you bring me this? I hate chicken soup!" Sigh.

I tend to agree with Barb that grandmother may need a higher level of care than can be provided at home.

I don't understand why you would have to move out in order for your mother to find a different living arrangement for grandma. What is that about?

Your mother was so burned out that she spent a week in a behavioral center to recover, and now she is spending more than 5 hours a day taking care of her mother again, because you could not agree to her terms? What? Why would you do that to your mother?

I don't really understand this whole situation, but it sounds like grandma not liking your cooking is not the highest priority problem here.
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You don't say how old Grandma is but I will guess upper 80's if your mother is 66.

Ask her physician to look for Thrush Mouth and do a Candida Overgrowth check. It could be that nothing will taste good to Grandma if she has Candida Overgrowth in her gut. I could be wrong but my DH went through this in the early spring (he's 96) and after finding a better Probiotic and Candida Support, he's back to eating meals. For my DH, I also had to add Gas-X, 1 chewable daily, and his pains stopped.

When they age, they become almost like toddlers again and have trouble with digestion sometimes. Those 3 items straightened out my DH and he turned 96 last week.

Also, their appetites change when they age. So I make him his Hot Cocoa but I use Ensure as the base instead of milk. I add Ice Cream for extra calories and he loves it! Lately he wants it a couple of times a day - here at AgingCare, there is an article that says, if all they will eat is Ice Cream - give them Ice Cream.

It's not your cooking that is the problem. It's her appetite and the possibility she has the Candida Overgrowth in her gut. After only a couple of mouthfuls, she could just be full. Sadly, it's easier to say the food isn't good than that she just isn't hungry.

Have her checked as soon as possible. Life is easier for everyone when they are feeling better.
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Ask your mom for suggestions. The aim is to cook everything on low so you don't destroy vitamins. Is there a brand of cornbread mix she prefers? Butter is more healthy than margarine. Ask her to give you lessons from her bed. Taste! You have much to learn from this dear woman.
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Ask her to teach you to cook better. Do this by using the flame in low always (unless you are cooking steak.) Cook beans on low for several hours. Soak them over night and rinse them. Taste the food. With emphasema
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It sounds as though grandma needs a higher level of care than can be given at home.
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What kind of meals are you serving her? Have you asked her what kind of meals she would like?
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Mt grandmother always told us "There is always butter bread"... there you go!
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Your mother burned out and compromised her own health in caring for her, I expect she is demanding and high maintenance. From reading your other post sounds as though you have lived the majority of your life in a multi-generational home, perhaps your mother wisely sees the correct solution but you are unwilling to give up the comfort of what you know best.

(edit)  Hm, the other post seems to be written by the mother using the same name - what's going on Sheba?
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My tough love approach would be to tell her that this is what is being served, take it or leave it. Eventually she will either eat w h at you made, make something for herself or go hungry until the next meal. What are her impairments?
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