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I spend alot of time preparing and serving food for my mom and Dad. He will only eat certain foods and Mom is kind of picky too. So, I tend to prepare different meals for them so they will eat.
By the time I'm done cooking, serving and cleaning up, I am not hungry. This is becoming an issue for me. It affects my mood and my health. I love all kinds of food, but have really let my wants on the back burner. It's probably partly depression...
There's no more eating as a family. I use the time they're eating to try ro relax.
Tips? Hint?

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my elderly father doesnt like anything i make him so i end up eating piles of food i dont even like just to not waste it, he just wants beer and ciggarettes but i bring him 3 meals a day and he mite eat one, sounds like you go to a lot of trouble too to make food that they will eat, i have to crock pot it till its died and mash everything else, my dog is getting fat too ,. i understand how hard it can be,all the best
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I go through this and found my hunger is variable, not hungry when the meal preparation has been frustrating. Then, I just wait, breakfast is at noon! Housekeeping, cooking, cleanup is much less expensive than caregiving/nursing when hiring help, so get some help with meals.
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Prepare one meal, with several choices, some of what each would like. Serve more of what each likes best, but include a little from every food group. Encourage them. Can you all eat together on t.v. trays?
Otherwise, treat their meals as a separate job, and eat when you are hungry, which may be much later, that is ok. Or, schedule your meals seperate so you don't forget to eat. Are you spoiling them? Because they can have their hearts desire for snacks, which are easier to serve.
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Can your parents be left alone? How about going out to eat while they are eating -- at least once in a while. Let someone else serve you. You won't have extra dishes to wash and you'll get to eat what YOU like. It will also help with the depression to get out and treat yourself once in a while.
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I'm sorry if I wasn't clear before. I meant the smoothie, soup or sandwich for your parents, not specifically for you. Just so you don't have to cook a meal every single day.

What I was suggesting is something akin to people who do all their cooking on the weekend and then freezing it. Except not to that extent, just cook extra servings while you are at it. Suppose you are frying chicken. Just fry up a bunch and freeze it in portions for later. Cook up several pounds of ground beef at a time and freeze it in 1 lb. portions for sloppy joes, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, Hamburger Helper, tacos, whatever. Make a meatloaf or casserole, eat one portion, freeze the rest in one serving increments. You get the gist. Also, there is no crime in using convenience foods occasionally. By the way you can even cook up pastas ahead of time and reheat by dropping it in a pan of hot water for a few minutes, stir it around and then drain it when you are ready for it.
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Keep it simple simple simple.

You can use Ensure shakes for them and yourself. At our Costco, they have protein shakes that are great time savers you might like (but aren't for elderly people). The protein will help you feel energized longer. Things high in B vitamins will help you feel better. On a really bad day, I will grab a 5-hour energy for the caffeine & vitamins. Good carbs like whole wheat bread, grains, and fruit will give you a boost. Yogurt in cup, cottage cheese, jello. Jello is high in protein! Hard boiled eggs. A handful of nuts. If you can graze throughout the day it might help you keep your energy up, vs. trying to have set meal times.

I was just trying to think of what I used to eat when I had babies and couldn't make a meal for myself happen predictably.

Can you get on a Meals on Wheels program to give you a break during the week?

The aging tongue changes and it can't taste what it could before, so your mom & dad might need to discover new favorites that will taste differently than they expect. Texture might also be another factor.
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When Mom was doing the cooking, did she prepare two different meals each meal time? Or has this behavior just begun recently?

What I would do, given the information you gave, is prepare several servings for each of them at a time, and freeze the rest in individual serving packets. Foodsaver does very well, or use freezer Ziploc bags or containers. Do several days meals at once that way. Maybe it's just the meat and then you open a can of vegetables to accompany it. But label the containers well so you know who it was cooked for.

While meals are important, sometimes you could probably get by with a smoothie, soup or a sandwich. Maybe breakfast for dinner, that's popular in my house.

I'm so sorry that out of all of the aggravations that we deal with while caring for our elders, that mealtime is such an ordeal for you.
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