It’s not something anyone typically plans for, but when the time comes to take care of a loved one, his or her nutrition needs are often a top priority. Whether it’s a parent with type 2 diabetes or a great aunt with celiac disease, we can help you, help them. Click Here to schedule an initial consult with a registered dietitian.
3 Tips for Caregivers and Cooking Healthy for a Loved One
1. Prep proteins and freeze them. This is the part of the meal that tends to get skipped in convenience cooking, yet is so important to those recovering from surgery, illness or who are frail. Keep it simple: bake seasoned chicken breast while you’re in the kitchen making your own dinner. After it’s cooked and cooled for a bit, slice the chicken breasts and portion them into freezer bags or containers. You can freeze in single servings (3 to 4 ounces or the size of a deck of cards) or in larger quantities if that works best for your loved one. Freezing helps lock in the moisture. These can be quickly reheated in the microwave and paired with steamer veggies and a sweet potato for a healthy, balanced meal.
2. Experiment with seasonings. Find a couple of premade, low sodium seasonings your loved one enjoys. Since low sodium is a typical requirement of many eating plans, try Mrs. Dash seasonings and marinades, Lawry’s Salt Free 17, McCormick Salt Free Garlic & Herb, or make your own. These can be used on meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, potatoes, rice, popcorn and more.
3. Enjoy a meal together. It’s always hard being the one told they can’t eat something they want. It’s also hard to be the one doing the telling! Plan to try something new together, like a healthier version of a family favorite recipe. Your dietitian can help you alter recipes to fit your loved one’s health and nutrition needs.
Does your loved one have diabetes? Learn more about the right plan for people with diabetes here.