Chapter 2: Meals and feeding

Meal preparation

I learned that the simpler, the better – for both of us. My husband started to want blander food, and I needed quick and easy. It was all good.

Preparing food is probably something that you will do often. While you may be an excellent cook who loves trying fancy new dishes, when you are giving care to someone who is ill, this may no longer be possible. Time-saving, simple meals may become a priority.

Meal preparation is more complex and time-consuming than we often think. It includes the following:

  • Meal planning including appropriate textures and aromas of foods for the person who is ill

  • Making a shopping list and purchasing food

  • Preparing the meal and serving the food

  • Storing leftovers and cleaning up

Ready? Set? Go! – Suggestions for efficient meal preparation

Below are several tips and strategies that can help you save time and keep meal preparation simple. Click on each title to view.

What may help 

Involve the person who is ill if possible

Given the many demands on you as a caregiver, how can you still manage to make meal preparation and mealtimes enjoyable? If the person who is ill is open to it, one possibility is to involve them in as many aspects of meal and food prep as possible. Planning meals or preparing food together can be fun. 

Accept help from others

People may offer to help, but sometimes it’s difficult on the spot to think of what someone can do. Try to have a list ready for when someone asks. Here are some suggestions of ways they can help:

  • Grocery shopping (ideally, regularly)

  • Finding recipes for easy-to-prepare meals

  • Staying with the person who is ill while you grocery shop

  • Bringing prepared food (e.g., a casserole, lasagna, or roast)