If you are not dropping in every day, you may consider taking some time to pre-prep some food which will then be easier for your loved one to finish preparing when they are alone. It may be nice to turn cooking bigger dishes into an activity you can do together.
Here are a few ideas:
- Make larger batches of a dish such as chili or lasagna and freeze it into meal size portions that can be microwaved.
- Chop vegetables ahead of time for salad. Cut the pieces small so they are easier to eat and avoid anything that may be difficult to chew (depending on your situation). It's a good idea to put lettuce into one container and then the add-ins in another so that a scoop from each makes a nice salad. If you are using onion, be sure to keep it in its own container as a chopped onion will make the other vegetables go bad quickly.
- Cook a batch of pasta to keep in the fridge. If you rinse it after it's cooked, it won't stick together as much, you could also add a tiny bit of oil to prevent it from sticking together. You may want to break it in half or thirds so it is easier to eat. You can have small portions of sauce frozen, use the jars of commercial sauce that can heat in the microwave with the noodles, or a little oil with spices. There are many possibilities. You can do the same with rice, which is often calming on the stomach.
- Chop fresh fruit and melon into bite-sized pieces for fruit salad.
- Make home made power bars to keep in the fridge. You can use nutrient-dense ingredients that will add healthy calories to a diet and be a nice pick me up when the appetite for regular meals is poor. If you are using almonds be sure to chop or slice them. Whole almonds can be very difficult to chew, even if they've been cooked. Here is a great collection of nutritious home made bars to try: http://www.theloop.ca/18-homemade-energy-bars-that-are-actually-good-for-you/.
- Keep berries on hand (fresh or frozen depending on your location and time of year. They have benefits including antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and many more. They will also add flavour and interest to oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, desserts, and salads.
- Make single serving chia parfaits. If you leave them overnight, they will take on a texture similar to tapioca. They last in the fridge about 2 days but could be easily prepared ahead of time so your loved one just has to add the wet ingredients. Chia seed is an excellent source of omega-3, fiber, protein, and many other valuable nutrients. Use them raw whenever possible to retain the omega 3 source.
- Keep a clear broth on hand. It is good for days when there is UI distress and also makes for a quick soup or gravy base.