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ded_tired

Help. Cooking for Mom

Ded tired
last month

Hi, long time, no see. I recently had to hire full time caregivers for my 103 y.o. mother. Her health is pretty good but she cannot see. Her appetite is poor. I still have to provide her meals ( we don’t live together).


To be honest, I don’t enjoy cooking all that much. I am trying to come up with ideas for food I can make in quantity and freeze in small portions. So far I’ve made meat loaf, salmon patties, Mac and cheese. It helps if it‘s finger food since she can’t use a fork too well. I’m really at my wits end trying to think of ideas. She does not like spicy food. I bought lasagna and I don’t think she enjoyed it. However, she does like pepperoni pizza.


Breakfast is coffee and toast, lunch is fruit and she drinks Ensure Complete throughout the day. It’s hard to get her to eat much at all.


what can you suggest for a less than enthusiastic cook, that can be made in advance, frozen in small portions and reheated by her aide. The only way she can eat soup is to mush it up with a lot of crackers so she can manage it with a spoon. The aide can do light cooking such as sautéing a fish filet. I do provide cut up fresh veggies for them to steam for her.


Tonight she had a hot dog and enjoyed it.


Comments (57)

  • Ded tired
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks, Nancy.mashed mightveat grilled cheese. I swear, a quarter of a sandwich and she’s stuffed.

  • Olychick
    last month

    Have you tried any frozen dinners (like Stouffers)? I don't eat them, so cannot recommend specific ones, but many seniors seem to like them - they are tasty and easy, which is probably why. Not homemade, but if plated instead of served in the tray, they may tempt her and give YOU a break from so much cooking from scratch. I just looked at the choices...they have things like Chicken Pot Pie Bites, Mac and Cheese bites, which could be eaten out of hand; Swedish Meatballs, Spaghetti and Meatballs. A couple of different Ravioli, which might be easier to spear with a fork than other pasta dishes.

    One list I looked at rated this the best frozen dinner: Banquet Classic Salisbury Steak

    Here's a list of favorites and most healthy frozen meals for toddlers - which means many are finger friendly. https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/healthy-frozen-food-for-kids/

    Would she eat sweet potato fries? They're a little more nutritious than white potatoes and are very tasty as a side.

    Do you have Meals on Wheels in your area? they may provide just the kinds of things she and other seniors like to eat. I don't believe you need to be low income to qualify.

    Ded tired thanked Olychick
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  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My mom is 90 and has poor vision too, along with dementia and neuropathy in her hands so she cannot cook for herself. I do buy frozen entrees for her. Some brands are pretty good quality, without lots of additives. The brands I like are Stouffer's, Healthy Choice, Zatarain's, Lean Cuisine, Michael Angelo's and Marie Callender's. It gives her a lot of variety. They take only a few minutes in the microwave, so my son can easily fix them for her.

    She mostly lives on milk, granola, Greek yoghurt, cheese and cookies. I add protein powder and fruit to her morning cereal too. I also make sure she has ice cream, as she'll snack on that.

    Last year around this time, she was barely eating, so her Dr. put her on a medication to improve her appetite. It's really made a difference. She's all the way up to 105 pounds now 😉

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  • Bevthebrit
    last month

    What about mini frittatas made in a muffin tin? They freeze well, just reheat.

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  • lindac92
    last month

    Think toddler.....Chicken nuggets. Either those awful frozen ones or make your own and freeze them. grilled cheese as has been said cooked whole carrots....or sticks like a finger food. Cheese sticks, rolled up deli ham perhaps stuck with a toothpick
    Ands you can pack a lot of calories in things like bread pudding. Peanut butter and jelly on good whole grain bread.....and they make things like applesauce and yogurt in pouches with a sucky top on it. The toddler squeezes the stuff from the pack into their mouth
    And think thick soups, like split pea, lentil, cheese soup with broccoli, carrot puree. And casseroles like something we used to call "train wreck" in college....an egg and bread and cheese strata with tomatoes.
    My friend's mother was quite elderly and blind and did very well as long as she knew where things were on her plate.

    Ded tired thanked lindac92
  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month

    you could also make some tortilla roll-ups ... cream cheese, pickle and ham, and slice them into rounds, once chilled; one, cut up, might sate an appetite ... how about applesauce or sliced peaches with yogurt or cottage cheese?

    Ded tired thanked bragu_DSM 5
  • l pinkmountain
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My Dad with same issues loves the crockpot stuff. He loves sweet and sour sauces. Does your Mom have salt issues? My Dad has to eat low salt, but there's nothing he loves more than some pork chops smothered in cream of something soup made in the crockpot with a side of Stovetop dressing. "My kind of meal" as he says. He also like Lipton's chicken noodle soup dried mix, which is so salty it burns my tongue . . . He likes rice casseroles, like chicken rice or shrimp with rice . . .

    A super easy crockpot chicken I make for my dad is equal parts French bottle dressing, cranberry sauce and some onion soup mix used as a seasoning, or a TBLSP of minced dried onions. How much depends on how much chicken, but don't over-sauce, that stuff in powerful! Can thin with a little bit of chicken broth. Pour over chicken to be made in the crockpot. It was a recipe I inherited from my Mom. It makes me cringe but Dad likes it. Could use sauteed real onions instead, but I don't bother, Dad always claims to not like onions. Serve with rice.

    Here's a link to the recipe. Way too salty for my Dad's diet, which is why I use the dehydrated dried onions reconstituted with a little unsalted chicken broth, instead of the soup mix. https://www.theseasonedmom.com/cranberry-chicken/

    Edited to add that no one will miss the grated orange peel. I have dried orange peel in my spice rack, but rarely use it. Of course fresh is best but certainly not necessary for someone who has depleted taste buds and is eating French dressing mixed with canned cranberry sauce and onion soup mix. Not going to hear, "Oh, that fresh grated orange peel is a sublime touch!"

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    Great suggestion to think in kid bites. Just looking at TraderJoes, Costco, even the grocery is full of small bites. Stoffer's has chicken pot pies bits. TJ's mini everything frozen. Costco has a dozen apps like the mini quiche.

    I'm about at the finish line prepping meals for my parents. One more chicken dish but it is an easy one. After reading through this yesterday I'm rethinking the quantities. And ordered a mini muffin tin to make some egg bites and a couple different bran type muffins....maybe a cornbread muffin.

    Last time we visited, mom sat down for her lunch....a half slice of thin deli ham and half a string cheese. And said, "oh, I probably don't need the cheese since there was cheese in your breakfast egg pie..." (she had the tiniest piece of the frittata) maybe two tablespoons.

    I no longer give them quarts, only pints. But now thinking I should put the chicken and grain in the 1/2 pints. Dad caught her watering the quarts down but this is so rich it can handle some added water. I'll just label them to add some veg. She always has frozen veg. That would give her a chance to customize. Peas, corn, broccoli, zucchini, etc. She will enjoy that.

    They do not care for purées in a soup. They like a broth with lots of greens and veg. When I did the quarts as a complete meal half full of greens, they would save them thinking it was too much...save for company.

    I'm thinking in the future I'll be using the 1/2 pints for 5 or six little bits like falafel, a mini meatball, etc...

    (the stack of containers are seeds...but shows the size, 1/2 pint and pint.)

    I'll test the muffins here at home, then take a 'kit' and bake during our visit I think.



    Ded tired thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • l pinkmountain
    last month
    last modified: last month

    More stuff: I make home made soups for Dad, better for him than canned super salty ones. "Home made" chicken noodle is super easy. We use broth from a carton, chopped up boneless skinless chicken, and bagged frozen veggies of whatever mix you like, and Mrs. Dash garlic and onion herb seasoning (but you can also use poultry seasoning and garlic powder to taste because the Mrs. Dash is peppery) and then bagged egg noodles. The whole thing can be on the table in about 45 min. Dad also likes chili which is basically tomato hamburger soup with kidney beans since he is so vegetable averse. I serve with corn muffins which he also likes. Any type of muffins are great for a snack for someone with small appetite. My Dad oddly for someone vegetable-averse, likes beets. I make a "root soup" version of borscht with tomato, cider vinegar and dill for a little kick. Also add other vegetables like cabbage, carrots, parsnips . . .

    And my Dad is obsessed with scalloped potatoes. When I make it, I add little bits of chopped ham and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar and parm. cheese. Since my Dad is not eating much, the extra fat is not a problem. The salt is though. I rinse the ham . . .

    Another thing Dad likes is sweet potato casserole. The kind with the brown sugar and marshmallows on the top . . . Mine is usually made with canned crushed pineapple instead of all that sugar, and topped with some chopped walnuts or pecans . . . can sprinkle in a few marshmallows and toast before serving . . .

    Dad will eat half a premade wrap for lunch. When he goes out for lunch he will often order a wrap sandwich and take half of it home . . .

    Dad likes starchy vegetables and so do I. I will often make a big sheet pan of roasted veggies like butternut squash, carrots, potatoes of different colors, red onion is a fave, sweet potatoes, parsnip, turnips, rutabaga . . . whatever you like. Coat with EVOO and whatever seasoning you like, I use the Mrs. Dash . . . a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar (just a touch) and some balsamic vinegar, but again, just a small amount, some tamari or soy sauce and salt to taste. A little rosemary and garlic is good instead of the Mrs. Dash if you aren't a devotee . . . This mix can be frozen, served alongside an omelette or scrambled eggs, mixed into soups, dressings or casseroles, etc. It isn't as sexy thawed out but if you're going to mix it in with other things won't be noticed.

  • moosemac
    last month

    Since your mother has eye sight issues what about hand pies? I would make a thick beef stew or chicken pot pie filling. Use a muffin tin and line it with pie crust or biscuit dough, fill with filling and top with pie crust or dough, Bake until crisp then cool, wrap and freeze. You could also do something simmilar using thinly sliced potatoes as the crust with a more solid filling. I would experiment. What about pasta rollups using lasagna noodles?

    My grandson loves chicken tenders stuffed with cheese and coated with panko and crumbled bacon. Cut a pocket lenghtwise from the tip of the tender, stuff with half a cheesestick cut lengthwise. Then dip the tender in egg, and roll in a mixture of panko, parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon and bake. These are great finger food.

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  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Maybe just buy a couple Costco apps that you would like. Just in case she does not. Somewhere is saw baby pigs in a blanket. A tiny quiche, a baby hotdog, and a spanakopita in a bowl might be welcome. Somewhere I saw a veggie type bite. I'm not a TJ shopper but have been in a few times. Lots of tiny frozen proteins.

    Mom really likes the mini Costco dumplings, potstickers. They are soft all the way through. I pack 4 frozen into some of their most brothy soups,... chilled soup ready for the freezer. She thinks they are ravioli. She could never do the 'potsticker' pan seared method.

    I also picked up one of these to fuss with. Probably silly but willing to try some type of hand pie. Could not find my favorite pre-made empanada wrappers on-line and no time to go all they way to the international market...that also means I have no time to make my own from scratch.



  • l pinkmountain
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Wonder if your Mom likes cream soups etc.? A cup of soup is something my Dad quite likes and would help with the eyesight issue. Cream of tomato I love and butternut squash is another. I make carrot bisque, cream of broccoli, corn chowder, black or white bean . . . if any of those sound good to you let me know I can get you the recipe. My white bean is a chili, although you can mash up the good ol' bean with ham or bacon pretty fine for sipping from a cup . . . My black bean too, is more of the S. American style than a European style. Dad likes soup with saltines.

    There's split pea and potato soup too, we like these but my Dad does not.

    If you could make biscuits with protein in them like cheese or bacon, that might go over well. My Dad loves creamed sausage on a biscuit, something that he no way should be eating. It wouldn't fly with bad eyesight but a biscuit with cheese and bacon bits might . . . maybe some chives thrown in. I dunno. I love biscuits but they are so bad for me that I don't make them. Maybe when I have trouble eating I will get to enjoy them again. My trouble now is the exact opposite of poor appetite.

    Ded tired thanked l pinkmountain
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    That is a good point about a cup/mug of blended soup for eyesight issues ipink. It might come to that here soon. My tomato/veg soup is really good. A full tray of roasted vegetables, then garden tomatoes. Roasted garlic and a parmesan rind when heated with the blendered veg and tomato. Dad looked at it and asked with a chuckle, "should I make a pot of pasta?". I stated the recipe and that it is blendered with vegetables...."why would you do that?", 🙄

    Maybe I'll take a couple pints from our freezer stash. Mom liked it fine but she hates waste.

  • Ded tired
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, she might sip a mug of soup. I never thought of that..she would do better with a creamy soup, no chunks. She literally eats two small bites and that’s the best she can do.

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month
    last modified: last month

    roasted veggies are always a good thing. and it is difficult to over graze on those ... peppers onion carrot and parsnip ... easy on the tators

    Ded tired thanked bragu_DSM 5
  • jojoco
    last month

    I know there are places around you that sell homemade empanadas. They freeze well and come in lots of different flavors. Also, how about egg rolls? Again, freeze well. Mini quiche? Tubes of yogurt?

    Good luck, ded. You're a great daughter.

    Ded tired thanked jojoco
  • Ded tired
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks, Jo. Doing my best but it is hard.

  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    Soup is a great way to get nutrition into an old person. No chewing issues and you can sip it slowly so easier to keep it down I think. Nothing beats some kind of chicken soup with tiny noodles like pastina, acini de pepe, or stars. The three favorites I can get my dad to eat are bean with ham, chicken noodle and cream of tomato. He will eat my butternut squash soup but its not a favorite. And my weak, bland chili with no peppers or visible onions . . . Just hamburger, dark red kidney beans, diced tomatoes and chili powder. i add V8 juice, beef broth and some dehydrated onion. That way it kind of dissolves and he gets the taste but doesn't notice the onion bits . . . Hubs and i love warm potato leeks soup with bacon but oddly since he eats potatoes constantly, dad does not like potato soup . . .

    My Dad also likes pizza. He'd devour pepperoni pizza if he could. He likes Hawaiian, gag me . . .

    Ded tired thanked l pinkmountain
  • nancyjane_gardener
    last month

    You say she might sip a soup. Get one from the grocery store that she likes and invest in a stick blender! You could freeze her favorites in a (sprayed with cooking oil) muffin tin and freeze in a resealable bag.

    I also like the idea of the appetizers from Trader Joes (costco's great, but you're feeding an army here!)

    I know a lot of the freezer foods are Way too salty, but at 103 are we talking about being comfortable, or are we talking about ......being comfortable?

    Ded tired thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month

    thinking kids again ... a lunchables [sp?] might be nice once in a while ... cheese, crackers and little squares of ham to the like ...

    Ded tired thanked bragu_DSM 5
  • annie1992
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Like dedtired and sleevendog, I'm struggling to feed my Mother. Some days she eats nothing at all, but will drink a bottle of Ensure. She'll eat half of a scrambled egg, maybe, and she does like cheese on it, so double bonus.

    She does like creamy potato soup, again with cheese. She'll eat the middle of a twice baked potato and sometimes will eat scalloped or au gratin potatoes. She also likes the sweet potato casserole, but very sweet. Sometimes half a banana or some applesauce, but that's rare and your mother couldn't pick up applesauce with her fingers anyway, and probably not the scalloped potatoes. The twice baked, though, she could probably eat as a finger food.

    Occasionally Mom will eat rice pudding or bread pudding, and even less occasionally pumpkin pie or quiche, but only two or three bites. She does occasionally eat pancakes, waffles or french toast and those can all be finger foods depending on whether they need much syrup. French toast sticks could be dipped, if she can manage that.

    I've taken to stopping at the local coffee shop and getting a caramel mocha, whole milk, just because it has calories and at least has milk. She'll always drink one of those and she ate yogurt for breakfast until she got tired of it and now won't eat it any more.

    Another mostly sure thing is chocolate ice cream. She stirs it until it melts, but she'll eat it. She'd rather have a shake, but she waits until it melts and then drinks it.

    I've found in the last year that it only gets worse, that the amount she eats and the few things that are acceptable shrink rapidly. (sigh) Many days she has nothing but the Ensure.

    I've found that quiche, omelettes, the twice baked potatoes, french toast sticks, pancakes, little "egg bites" which are basically omelette ingredients baked in muffin or mini muffin pans, all those freeze well.

    Good luck, I'm right there with you...

    Annie



    Ded tired thanked annie1992
  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    My Dad is bordering on an eating disorder. He ALWAYS leaves something behind, no matter how small of a serving I give him. When he was a little kid he was skinny as a rail, and my grandmother was always trying to cajole him to eat more. I think she was worried social service would come and take him away. Nothing worse for a Jewish mama than to have a skinny son . . . he's always been uber picky and I think he is trying to relive his childhood . . . so far he's not wasting away. My Dad is a big drinker of Boost . . . and he hits the store-bought cookie bag when no one is looking. Oh well, he's 89, the time for him to up his diet game is long over.

    My Dad likes my home made applesauce. Could your mom manage to eat it if it was in a small cup she could hold in one hand with spoon in the other? You might want to invest in some small soup cups with handles. My Dad has a few of those and really likes them. He can see OK, but can't hear worth a darn . . .

    Ded tired thanked l pinkmountain
  • Ded tired
    Original Author
    last month

    Annie, I had no idea you were watching out for your mom, too. It’s astounding how little they eat when they are so elderly. Ensure ( actually the. Costco Kirkland Vanilla) is my mom’s primary source of nutrition. She has coffee and raisin toast every morning. She also has a sweet tooth and loves Hershey bars.I bought a little apple cake and she ate a bite of that every once in awhile. I tried chicken nuggets, but they got a thumbs down. Honestly, it’s exhausting trying to come up with ideas. I guess I should stop worrying about variety and just stick with the three or four things she eats.


    Happy Mother’s Day to all the daughters!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    Oh geez - my mom won't eat a full serving of hardly anything. She talks about it upsetting her stomach. Her stomach seems just fine with cookies or ice cream though 😄

    Single serving whole milk greek yoghurts are a good snack - high in protein and calcium. I buy Oikos 4 packs for my mom.

    Ded tired thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • annie1992
    last month

    dedtired, my Mother is here with me some of the time and with my disabled brother some of the time. He lives with her in her home, which is where she wants to be, she is not happy when she's here.

    He's a terrible cook, though, so I try to cook for her when she's with him. You are right, though, it's exhausting to try to even figure out what she'll eat two bites of and my brother gets angry with her because she won't eat, he says she's being stubborn and lazy. I think she's just being 85. My oldest daughter is a CNA in an assisted living facility and she says almost all her residents eat tiny amounts, it's "normal".

    Carol, Mother used to eat one cup of yogurt every morning. Only Oikos, only Greek, only full fat and only raspberry. Now she's "tired of it". (sigh)

    Annie

    Ded tired thanked annie1992
  • plllog
    last month

    My mother never liked chocolate—until she was very old. Then it was only See's, only milk chocolate, only kiss sized balls. Then she would pop them all the time and ruin her appetite, until she put herself on a two a day limit. I think the desire for sweets, and things that leave the mouth moist, is part af aging as well as the loss of appetite. She also desired salt in a way she never had before. Basics that appeal to worn out senses.

    OTOH, for meals she only wanted freshly cooked, top quality food. Meat, and especially vegetables, as she always had. She might not eat a lot, but it had to be properly prepared and good, or she'd refuse to eat it. Definitely not toddler food, though Linda's point makes sense for others.

    Ded tired thanked plllog
  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    No raspberry OIKOS 4 packs where I shop, but they have strawberry and key lime, and thankfully Mom enjoys both. she only eats 1/2 cup at a time though - sigh...


    Other snacks I buy for her are little packages of cheese, nuts and dried fruit (Aldi) and chocolate chunk almond cookies from Trader Joe's. I try to make sure she always has cookies and ice cream, since she needs those extra calories.


    My mom never gets tired of cheese - and milk. I've been thinking about buying cheese curds for her, since they're so easy to munch on - and she's from WI, where they're practically a staple food. She goes through a gallon of organic whole milk every week.

    Ded tired thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    Annie it is so frustrating when my Dad claims to only like a few things, and really like one or two that I make, then sooner or later complain he is "tired of it." Well heck yes I'd be tired of eating on his limited diet too!! I totally get having a touchy stomach, and small portions. But some of this is just controlling behavior I think . . . but fine by me if this is the worst thing they fret about . . .

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    IMO, a good deal of loss of appetite can be from depression - and why wouldn't someone be depressed with all the things that start to break down in old age - along with this past year's pandemic, which now seems like it will never end?

    Ded tired thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    It was more than a dozen years ago when I noticed Mom not eating much. I cook for them when visiting as always. For years. To leave behind some extra freezer meals. Make extra, then freeze in portions.

    She would sit down for dinner, not eat much, nibble a bit after a small portion, then hop up and put her plate into tiny portions for the next 2 day lunches.

    I never plate in the kitchen for them like I do at home for us. The meal is on the kitchen table to dish as wanted...a bit of veg, a bit of grain, and/or a protein...chicken, yada yada. Dad still has a healthy appetite with his walking and swimming everyday.


    Ded tired thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • heatheron40
    last month

    If she is in need of calories, the doc can give her meds to help with that :^) an "appetite increaser". I also resorted to an Ensure milkshake. I would only buy the fattest, highest calorie ice cream and instead of adding milk, add ensure.

    A little off topic.

    Please make sure you are taking care of you too. The job is hard. Much harder than people realize, until they live it. I was in my mid 40sish when I was put into the caretaker position of my MIL. My friends had no real comparison, DH was off by a generation and an only. Find a group to get together with, I wish I had.

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  • agmss15
    last month

    I was one of two primary caregivers for my grandmother who lived to 101.5. She was charming, very contrary and stubborn.


    Our main goals were to keep her moving and getting adequate water. To keep her in her upstairs bedroom with privacy in her very eccentric home.


    She could drag out a glass of water until I was ready to sob in surrender. It took awhile for us to take up subterfuge. She would drag out the glass of water but eat an equivalent amount of watermelon without any hesitation.


    As far as meals - she was very attached to a certain elegance. Tiny servings well presented on familiar china and her antique silver. Meat was important - of whatever cut I came up with as long as it was small and tender. When out she liked finger food - shrimp or chicken tempura were favorites. She also liked her English muffins. And sweets. Coffee cakes and cookies.


    I once came upon her eating cookies for breakfast with and incredibly mischievous triumphant look on her face. The cookies were burnt to a crisp and a thick layer of black smoke floated over her head. Coworkers had put together cookie platters and I had brought them to her. She had snuck into the kitchen and managed to put a plastic tray of cookies into the toaster oven without starting the kitchen on fire. Scared me and pleased her.


    I sympathize with your task - both because you don’t enjoy cooking and because it is a hard job.

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  • Ded tired
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Heatheron, you are so right about also taking care of yourself. When mom started going badly downhill I was a wreck until I got help. I was so exhausted I one point I felt like I was going to pass out a couple times. She now has 24/7 Caregivers, which is an enormous help but there’s still a lot on me. i am trying to take care of myself but i could do better.


    agmss, that’s quite the story! My mom did a few wacko things before we got the situation under control.


    I got her some chocolate pretzels, candies, cupcakes for Mother’s Day and she loved the sweets. Also left some chicken salad for dinner. We’ll see if it gets eaten.

  • annie1992
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My Mother has never eaten very much, she's never weighed over 100 pounds, to my knowledge. Right now she weighs about 85 pounds. Things she used to love, like broccoli and and salmon, she now refuses and says "yuck". She only ate the whites of eggs, now she will only eat the yolks. She loved salads for years but a few months ago I gave her a salad and she ate all the blueberries and raspberries off the top and told me to feed the rest to the cows. She never ate sweets, now it's all about ice cream and Orange Crush. The only constants in her diet are coffee and potatoes, she has always loved them both and still does.

    Agmss, I'm at least thankful that she has always hated to cook and doesn't even try to, she'll never burn the house down, that's for sure. I'd be scared to death if she every tried to use the stove, but I know she won't.

    She is probably depressed, with good reason, she was independent and active and then had that "episode" about 18 months ago, now she uses a walker and can't shower without help. The doctor gave her various anti-depressants but they mostly make her sleep 20 hours a day. We keep looking for something that might work but the doctor reminds me that there is nothing that will stop the memory loss or bring any of it back and nothing that can make her younger again.

    Annie

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  • lindac92
    last month

    My great grandmother lived with my family for a lot of years when I was young. Little bitty wisp of a woman, ate not much, Her idea of supper was a couple of crackers broken up into a glass of warm water.

    My father insisted if she was living with us she was going to see to her health and eat right, and had her checked out by the doctor next door. He said perhaps a little glass of wine before dinner would increase her appetite....or a bit of brandy or whiskey. Well Grandma was a life long tee toatler and that didn't sit well...my parents often had a drink before dinner and she sat and listened to the talk. One day my father offered her about 2 teaspoons of southern comfort in a tiny glass with an ice cube and she sipped on it, and it became a fairly regular thing. One evening she was sipping her tiny bit of Southern Comfort and dinner was a bit late......and she held out her glass and asked for more! But..."Don't tell Molly!" she said....Molly was her daughter, my grandmother herself about 70!
    Seriously a tiny bit of something sweet and alcoholic might help her eating. A bit of a sweet wine.

    Ded tired thanked lindac92
  • Islay Corbel
    last month

    This thread is so long and I don't have time to read it all at the moment. One thing my Mum loved was a cheese soufflé. I know you said you're not crazy for cooking but the recipe I'm linking to is so easy, leave them in the ramekins, covered in clingfilm until you want to reheat and they're so easy and taste great. Just the sort of thing to temp a jaded palate. They freeze well too.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/double_baked_cheese_94727

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  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Oh geez - my mom does the 'save the rest for my lunch tomorrow' thing as well - and then promptly forgets it's there 😄

    The medication her Dr. prescribed is mirtazapine. It's an antidepressant in larger amounts, and increases appetite in the tiny dose she takes at bedtime.

    I worry about her not getting enough water too.

    And as for alcohol, you have to be careful about other medications that may interact adversely with alcohol. We found an alcohol free wine for my mom, because she was always a big wine drinker, but Dr. advised no more because of the meds she's on. She drinks a lot of it, so she's getting fluids that way, at least.

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  • lindac92
    last month

    My great grandma took no meds but an occasional Carter's Little Liver Pill. Perhaps because she ate so little her blood pressure was fine....hearing and eyesight not too good, but she could beat anyone at Casino and add her score faster than any calculator.

    Ded tired thanked lindac92
  • bpath
    last month

    I really like the idea of the mini-quiches that are sold frozen as appetizers. And you can get them with a bit of vegetable in them, so among with the fat and calories they can be good..I think my mom would have enjoyed them, too. She reached a point where texture was important, she didn't want anything with"lumps" and would pick out any rice etc that might be in her food.

    Funny thing, she never liked milk at all to drink or in cereal. Ever. But in her last years she did. And she liked Ensure. And the "magic cup" ice cream, or just real ice cream. A fondness for sweets is common, I think they are the last tastebuds to still "work".

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  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Oh carolb. ! Non alcoholic wine. What a great idea. I would have to find it in a box. She started an odd habit last year of starting dinner at 2 in the afternoon and drinking Dad's box wine he keeps in the fridge. She has never been a drinker except maybe a holiday dinner. He has a glass with a cheese snack around 6 or 7 an hour or so after dinner. She never cared for red wine. He is a bit stressed about it. Because of the early signs of dementia she forgets she just had a glass and has another. Maybe he could fill an empty box with grape juice. Hide his in the shed. I doubt she would know. She would never have a glass of wine from a bottle..."that's for company!"...why I can't bring packaged snacks. She would hide them as 'special'.

    I did take out ingredients for an oatmeal/date type no-bake protein bomb/balls. Something they could keep in the freezer if they like them.

    Dad has a salt shaker and a sugar shaker on the table.

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  • nancyjane_gardener
    last month

    A couple of tips for those with visual problems.

    Put food items on the plate like a clock face. Meat is at 12:00, potatoes at 6:00 (for those of us who still know what an analog clock looks like!)

    For filling a cup/glass, hook your finger over into the cup so it won't over fill and listen to the sound as the vessel fills! As the cup/glass gets fuller, the sound goes up! Give it a try!


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  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    Trader Joe's has some nice individual sized quiches. My mom really likes their broccoli and cheddar. They have mini frittatas too.

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  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month

    frozen pancakes ... pop them in the toaster

  • nekotish
    last month

    French toast sticks? Mini muffins? My dad likes a piece of string cheese (split in half vertically) wrapped in a slice of ham or turkey or roast beef. He also likes dates and eats a few of those a day. Just had a teleconference with his care team at the long term care he is in and apparently he refuses meals about 50% of the time. He makes frequent chocolate bar purchases from the tuck shop though! His doctor said at this point, any calories are good calories and even better if he enjoys what he's eating.

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  • artemis_ma
    last month

    I think the last two tastes that go as most people age are sweet, and capsaicin hot. Dad never cared for sweets until he was nearly 90. Then for the final years he devoured sweets. He always liked hot and spicy foods - so at Assisted Living, the cook had a special bottle of Tobasco for him - no other residents wanted any - which would be brought out for his breakfast eggs. Dad would just pour that stuff over...

    He lived halfway across the country, and although he got picky about food, he never fully lost his appetite. So I wish I had suggestions.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Maybe some different tableware would help. A divided plate could ensure she knows what is where. Soup can be served in a mug and this can have two handles and/or a spout if necessary. I got these for my father when he became very shaky but I made sure they were attractive bone china and not plastic, which looks like baby or medical equipment. You can get wine in cans or third bottles. I wouldn't ever subject anyone who actually likes wine to the non alcoholic stuff. Every one I’ve tried was vile.

    I used to make my mum small plates with tiny sandwiches, an eighth of a regular slice, maybe a chipolata, a tiny canapé size pork pie, a cherry tomato or two and a few grapes or tangerine segments. She could pick at it without being overwhelmed. The sandwiches, canapés etc are freezable ready plated and the fresh fruit can be added at serving time. A cookie or two was offered with every cup of tea or coffee and usually accepted.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    FWIW, I've bought my mom the frozen White Castle sliders with cheese. They're small and can be heated in the microwave in around 1 minute. She craves cheeseburgers, but will only eat half of a junior size from Wendy's, for some reason.

    Her finickyness has started to remind me of a cat 😄

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month

    does she come running when she hears the can opener? yeah, that was bad ...

  • honibaker
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Bagel Bites (they're little mini pizzas, different flavors)...easy to cook in an air fryer or microwave

    String Cheese

    Breaded Chicken Tenders (I tried some frozen, cooked breaded thighs from Meijer's

    to use in my salad, was stunned how tender and flavorful

    it was. Warmed in air fryer. Tenders should work too).

    Maybe make a 'dip' from yogurt and cucumber?