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6 Meal Prep Strategies Family Caregivers Should Consider

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Your senior loved one requires proper nutrition to stay healthy and strong. However, you may find it difficult to help your loved one prepare nutritious meals as time goes by. Whether your loved one has difficulty chewing or you simply lack enough time in the day to cook multiple meals, you can use the following tips to simplify the meal preparation task.

1. Take Your Loved One’s Health into Consideration

The first thing you need to do is make sure the meals you plan match up to your loved one’s health needs and abilities. For instance, a senior with diabetes may need to be cautious about the amount of sugar in his or her diet, which means you should limit carbohydrates. Alternatively, your loved one may be experiencing slow digestion that requires several smaller meals each day. Work with your loved one’s physician to identify ways you may need to alter meal planning.

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Scottsdale seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

2. Use Herbs for Seasoning

Seniors may need to cut down sugar, salt, and other ingredients they use in seasoning their meals. However, your loved one may balk at eating a bland diet, especially if his or her sense of taste has decreased over the years. Fortunately, you can use herbs such as rosemary and basil to flavor meals so your loved one is more likely to eat the food you serve.

3. Try Prepping Food in Bulk

Family caregivers often have difficulty finding the time to prepare healthy meals, especially those who also need to cook at home for their families. You can streamline the food preparation process by setting aside one day each week to chop all of the vegetables you plan to use. Once you have the necessary ingredients chopped and stored in containers, all you have to do is pull them out when you are ready to prepare a meal.

4. Fill Up the Freezer with Leftovers

As you cook, consider making a little extra to place into freezer containers so your loved one can heat up the leftovers during the week. Then, label each container along with the instructions for reheating. Your loved one can simply pull out a container and reheat precooked food when he or she is hungry and short on time.

5. Use a Slow Cooker

Slow cookers work well to soften food, and you can prepare dinner early in the morning when you may have more time. Explore slow cooker recipes that give you an easy way to add more vegetables to your loved one’s diet. You can even find a slow cooker that works with a smartphone app so you can turn it on or adjust the temperature when you are at work or running errands.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you don’t have enough time to prepare nutritious meals for your elderly loved one. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Scottsdale, AZ, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

6. Delegate Meal Preparation Tasks

There are times when it is best to lean on others for support. Identify the parts of meal preparation that are the most difficult for you, and find people who can help by taking over these tasks. For instance, you may need to have someone else handle the grocery shopping so you can focus on doing other things for your loved one, such as taking him or her on a walk.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to ensure your loved one receives nutritious meals along with high-quality in-home care. Families looking to hire a caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance Scottsdale. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve. Call us at 480.448.6215 to hire a professionally trained caregiver for your aging loved one.