Let’s face it – you’ve stared into your refrigerator looking for inspiration on more than one occasion. As a matter of fact, you may do it on almost a daily basis. Coming up with, then making a meal on the fly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If your loved one is simply snacking out of the refrigerator, or skipping meals, then they may not be getting the nutrition they need to stay as healthy as they can. The good news? You can help with this, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started with making meals easy for your loved one.
Meal planning not only helps with the indecision of what to eat when you’re hungry, but it also helps streamline the grocery process, and helps everyone stick to a budget. Grab a piece of paper, sit down with your loved one, and decide what’s on the menu for the next week. You don’t have to get complicated with it if you don’t want to. It really is okay to write down “sandwiches” for lunch a couple of days during the week. If your loved one is still cooking their meals, then once the groceries are purchased, you just have to make sure that everything is easily found and able to open. If not, then spend the day cooking together, and putting everything in easy color-coated Tupperware dishes that they can simply grab and eat.
Tackle Snacks and Beverages
If a bottle of water hurts your fingers to open, imagine how difficult it might be for your loved one. Think about the packaging of snacks and pre-bottled beverages that you buy for your loved one, are they easy to open or do they need to be put in different containers?
Try to make sure that the snacks you have available for your loved one are balanced for nutrition. For example, you may not want to simply make sure there are baby carrots in the fridge. Instead, pack the carrots together with some cheese and cranberries. If the person you are caring for loves cheese and crackers, try to include some grapes or raisins in the snack container to balance the snack nutritionally.
Grocery Shopping Made Simple
If you did meal planning with your loved one, then your grocery list should be simple. You’ll only need to pick up the items necessary for the meals you are making for the week. Additional items might include snacks or breakfast items.
Do you ever go to the grocery store specifically for your loved one? Wish you could knock out your grocery list and your loved one’s at the same time? You can! Here is a trick to help you out, simply pack 2 different colored reusable canvas shopping bags and a large cooler. When you pack your groceries into the car, place your loved one’s groceries into one color shopping bag, and your groceries into the other. Make sure you place YOUR cold items into the cooler, then head over to drop off your loved one’s groceries with confidence. A cooler can keep your cold items safe for hours, so even if you want to drop off the groceries and then stay for a visit, you can do that!
Often times, simply finding the time to go grocery shopping and make meals is difficult for caregivers. This is where respite care can be helpful. Having a trusted caregiver who can come into your loved one’s home and make sure that they are safe so that you can focus on shopping or cooking, can be a huge relief. Contact Homewatch CareGivers of Ellicott City today to learn more, we’re always here to help.