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Meals that are easy to prep and can last a week?


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Trying to think about meals I can make for my dad when he moves here so he doesn't have to order a meal service.

He likes a lot of protein.  So past dishes are ok, but would need a lot of added chicken or something.

He will only have a studio place, with a microwave and small fridge.  I am considering getting him a dorm size freezer to add, but for now, this is what he will have.  

I plan to visit once per week as that is all my current schedule will allow.  

He said he can just get meals on wheels and supplement with grocery items.  But I was thinking if I can provide at least two dinners per week, large enough to split into two meals, he may not need it.  He only eats one large meal per day and then supplements with soup, fruit and veggies.

I do NOT typically cook more than a couple of times per week.  DH does some meals too, but they aren't really the kind of meals my dad likes (lots of lentils, beans, non-meat meals)

Meals that will be easy for me to make and meal prep for him?  They must have meat.

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I'm not sure how long cooked meat can safely last in the fridge...so I would look for things that can be frozen, but easily reheated.  (Not sure it can make it a week.)

Meatloaf--either in a small mini-tin or in muffin pans.

Beef stew. Easy-peasy to make in an Instant Pot.

Roasted chicken quarters...Pioneer Woman used to do a recipe for drumsticks which involved basting them with butter and Lowry's Seasoning Salt. Surprisingly Good.

Actually, what if you bought him a Costco/Sam's Club Rotisserie Chicken? Or bought one yourself and used it to make things with...such as pasta alfredo with chicken, chicken fajitas, etc.

 

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You could make a bunch of chicken breasts, shred it, and make two kinds of chicken salad, a chicken alfredo, and mix it with lime and cilantro for tacos. 

A pulled pork could be used for sandwiches and mixed with potatoes. 

I would get an instant pot for him. Brittany Williams has an excellent book (2 really) that use an air fryer and the instantpot. 

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13 minutes ago, umsami said:

I'm not sure how long cooked meat can safely last in the fridge...so I would look for things that can be frozen, but easily reheated.  (Not sure it can make it a week.)

Meatloaf--either in a small mini-tin or in muffin pans.

Beef stew. Easy-peasy to make in an Instant Pot.

Roasted chicken quarters...Pioneer Woman used to do a recipe for drumsticks which involved basting them with butter and Lowry's Seasoning Salt. Surprisingly Good.

Actually, what if you bought him a Costco/Sam's Club Rotisserie Chicken? Or bought one yourself and used it to make things with...such as pasta alfredo with chicken, chicken fajitas, etc.

 

 

Thanks.  He doesn't have a freezer right now, that is the big thing.  He has one of those larger dorm size fridges with a teeny freezer that *might* hold two meals if I store them in very shallow dishes.  But maybe I could do that.

Do the potatoes and carrots from the beef stew get mushy after being frozen?

I don't make it to Costco every week, it is 15 miles away (opposite direction from where he will live), but I could just get it at our local grocery store.

He isn't super picky but he does prefer chicken breasts to thighs.  I know Costco does sell their chicken breast only from the rotisserie meat and I have purchased that before and then sectioned it out to freeze.  But they don't always have it when I go.

 

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9 minutes ago, Chris in VA said:

You could make a bunch of chicken breasts, shred it, and make two kinds of chicken salad, a chicken alfredo, and mix it with lime and cilantro for tacos. 

A pulled pork could be used for sandwiches and mixed with potatoes. 

I would get an instant pot for him. Brittany Williams has an excellent book (2 really) that use an air fryer and the instantpot. 

 

He is 85, I don't think he is going to learn to use an Instant Pot.  I would actually be afraid of him trying to use it.  His memory is having some issues too.  That is why we need pre-made meals for him.  I am honestly not even sure he can remember that the taco meat is to put in tortillas unless it arrives together, ready to eat.  But I will label and see!

Edited by DawnM
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What's wrong with the Meals on Wheels plan? My dad loved those when my mom was ill - it relieved him from cooking and worrying about meals, it provided one person to talk to (even briefly helped), the food was nutritionally balanced, the food was mostly tasty (there were a couple of meals my folks didn't enjoy), and it provided some exposure to the outside world (via the delivery person, opening the door, etc). I also think my dad looked forward to the one routine time/spot in the day when the meals were delivered. The meals delivered actually made two meals for them - one for lunch with leftovers for supper.

My dad had delivered Meals on Wheels previously and had spent a few minutes in conversation with each delivery. 

Cooked meals - It's my understanding that cooked meat only lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. I'd personally be hesitant to have him eat it past four days. If he is having memory issues, I'd be afraid he would eat a past-due meal and get sick.  If he is having memory issues, is the plan to supplement from the grocery store a good idea? (assuming he drives there and doesn't just do grocery delivery - which I'm assumed since you said you didn't think  he would learn to use an InstantPot - I wouldn't think he'd learn to use his computer or phone to order groceries for delivery).

Honestly, this is what Meals on Wheels is perfect for. It's also a nice daily check on the elderly to make sure they are okay. When he moves, he may be lonely, so the Meals on Wheels delivery may help with that too. 

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7 minutes ago, Bambam said:

What's wrong with the Meals on Wheels plan? My dad loved those when my mom was ill - it relieved him from cooking and worrying about meals, it provided one person to talk to (even briefly helped), the food was nutritionally balanced, the food was mostly tasty (there were a couple of meals my folks didn't enjoy), and it provided some exposure to the outside world (via the delivery person, opening the door, etc). I also think my dad looked forward to the one routine time/spot in the day when the meals were delivered. The meals delivered actually made two meals for them - one for lunch with leftovers for supper.

My dad had delivered Meals on Wheels previously and had spent a few minutes in conversation with each delivery. 

Cooked meals - It's my understanding that cooked meat only lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. I'd personally be hesitant to have him eat it past four days. If he is having memory issues, I'd be afraid he would eat a past-due meal and get sick.  If he is having memory issues, is the plan to supplement from the grocery store a good idea? (assuming he drives there and doesn't just do grocery delivery - which I'm assumed since you said you didn't think  he would learn to use an InstantPot - I wouldn't think he'd learn to use his computer or phone to order groceries for delivery).

Honestly, this is what Meals on Wheels is perfect for. It's also a nice daily check on the elderly to make sure they are okay. When he moves, he may be lonely, so the Meals on Wheels delivery may help with that too. 

 

yeah, he is fine with meals on wheels.  I just was feeling like I should help out.   Maybe we will just do meals on wheels 3 days per week and see how it goes.  He will most likely eat Sunday dinner with us, which may be eating out or at home, but can include some leftovers to take.

And I plan to get either grocery delivery or deliver it myself.  He likes a lot of fruits and vegetables and soups.

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I think maybe your ideal could be Meals on Wheels supplemented by 2 meals you make. You could bring it with you and eat with him one day. Can he come to your home for dinner once a week, too?

I think this is so kind and caring of you, by the way, and probably looks like my future, too. ❤

ETA I see we posted at the same time lol

Edited by Chris in VA
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1 minute ago, Chris in VA said:

I think maybe your ideal could be Meals on Wheels supplemented by 2 meals you make. You could bring it with you and eat with him one day. Can he come to your home for dinner once a week, too?

I think this is so kind and caring of you, by the way, and probably looks like my future, too. ❤

 

My guess is that he will come over on Sundays and eat with us.   Or I will take it to him and eat with him at his place.  He will be renting a studio from some friends of ours, no stairs, private entrance to a bedroom and bathroom, and full use of the shared basement space if he wants to use it.  But only a dorm size fridge and microwave.

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This is been difficult to figure out for my dad, too.  He's in his early 90's, but still in decent health with only very minor memory issues, but has always been overwhelmed in the kitchen.  It's gotten harder for him to focus on a lot of things at once...  So thinking about remembering to take wash his clothes and paying bills will take up his mental resources, while fixing dinner is bottom of his list.

At first we were were bringing him frozen, home-cooked meals leaving him notes on how to thaw them in the microwave, etc.  Those meals just sat in his freezer.  We'd bring him smaller portions to keep in his fridge, and he'd eat part of it, and the rest would be pushed to the back and grow mold.  It did work for awhile to bring him single frozen Trader Joe meals, but lately, those have just sat in his freezer too.  He does drive still, and will often stop by Culver's and places like that and pick up a burger.  (Also, my sister lives just a few blocks away, and she has him over for dinner often.  He has a standing invitation to go there.)

Probably what I would do is something like this:  Bring dinner when you visit him once a week.  Make enough so that there are leftovers for one more day and make sure it's in the front of the fridge so he sees it.  For two days, have something easy that can be kept in the cupboard -- good hearty, soup, for example.  (Would he open up a can and pour it into a bowl to heat it in the microwave?)  Then three days with Meals on Wheels.  We do make sure my dad has things like bread, cheese, sliced sandwich meat, milk, juice, baby carrots, watermelon sticks, berries, apples, bananas, cereal, and peanut butter on hand.  He likes making sandwiches, and in fact, often he'll just make himself a sandwich for dinner, too.

So that's another thought, how about some good sandwich meat and cheese and bread and he can make himself a sandwich to go with soup?

ETA:  Just read your other responses, and it does sound like he enjoys Meals on Wheels, so I'd keep doing that at least to an extent.

Edited by J-rap
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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

  He said he can just get meals on wheels and supplement with grocery items.  

Absolutely go with this as the main plan, and of course you can bring him fresh meals whenever you can as a bonus and supplement. But it will simplify things so much to have the base meals handled, and when you do bring him something it can be a single serving that he can eat in the next few days. If you cook a meal specifically for him, portion and freeze the extras in your freezer. Maybe cook a few things one afternoon and then freeze; when you go over, put one in your fridge the night before and just grab it that day. 

There will be plenty for you to help out with. If one aspect can be made easier, go for it. Even if he pays full price, it's a pretty good deal! 

Also, he may like the social aspect of Meals on Wheels, particularly as he will be moving to a brand new area. Volunteers usually chat at least briefly; at a minimum, it's a friendly face and greeting that can help break up the day. Keep in mind, it's also another set of eyes on him when you're not there. 

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I agree with the others: Meals on Wheels, then an occasional meal from you. Your schedule is already so full, that it seems like you will enjoy his being closer a whole lot more if you can just drop by and visit with a few groceries rather than waiting until you have a full meal to take. He will enjoy an occasional meal, but will probably enjoy the quick visits now and then even more. It will also help him not feel like a bother--something all of our older family members have worried about. This is something he can do for himself that will not require extra work from you, and that will probably help him feel more useful, which is a big deal when you get older.

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If he wants Meals on Wheels, I also would just roll with it. He's making good dietary choices and it will be good for him to be self-sufficient and not to have to rely on you. There may come a time in the future when he isn't able to handle decisions and will be more reliant on you, so why not let him handle it now?

If I were to do anything, I'd cook up grilled chicken and slice it up and freeze so he can add to salads, pasta, sandwiches, etc. And take over an occassional meal that we normally eat. 

Edited by Pippen
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I don't know if this is true everywhere, but my dad and step-mom delivered for Meals on Wheels and it was very social and they stayed to chat with people.  I think it would be very positive if this is the case, he would have someone stopping by to say hi and chat a bit every day that they came.  I don't think my dad and step-mom delivered every day, I don't know if people had deliveries just those days or if they had different volunteers stop by.

Anyway -- I would definitely think it was a good thing to do if that would be the case.  It is more than just meal delivery if that is how it is where he will live.  

Edit:  to the point they would update me with the goings-on of the people they delivered to.  who had a doctors appointment, who had a grandchild get married, etc, etc, etc.  Really I have got a good impression of it, it was a really nice thing for my dad and step-mom when they were doing it.  They saw people they knew when they were picking up the meals, also.  

My step-mom volunteered several places and saw a lot of people socially, but Meals on Wheels was the only thing my dad did with her, and he did really like it.  

Edit again:  my impression was that they would deliver about 10 meals over 2 hours, in one area, and have 5-10 minutes to chat, but they would see the same people over a long period of time and look forward to seeing everyone.  

Edited by Lecka
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We did this with my mom, although she lived right here by me, and I was able to just have her walk over, or walk meals to her when they were ready, so that's not helping you with prep ideas.

However, right now I do a lot of that sort of thing for us due to our schedules, and because dd (who now lives in my mom's house with her children) is expecting her 4th baby any day.

My go-to at the moment is rotisserie chickens from Whole Foods. I buy two or three on Saturdays ($2 off on Saturdays), and debone them then put bags in the freezer, or fridge if I know I'm using within a couple days. I use the carcasses to make broth (I will do this with theirs because I know they are clean and/or organic, depending on which I buy). I can use the broth to make soups/stews/gumbo, etc., and then I can take chicken out to add to those, and/or make other recipes (use for taco filling cooked down with salsa, lime, cilantro; thaw and make chicken salad or salads with chicken on top, throw in any recipe that calls for chicken much more quickly and easily than having to cook any, or mess with raw chicken, etc.).

This has just been an awesome time saver, and makes it so easy to do quick meals.

Another thing I think would freeze well would be meatballs, and you could have some packaged in serving sizes that are ready to eat alongside veggies, or put some in sauce to have over pasta.

I also make up big batches of crustless quiche to eat during the week. It's easy enough to brown some sausage then put eggs, the sausage, cheese and anything else you might like (I typically add spinach or something, but it isn't necessary), and bake that up while you're cooking other things. I then cut it into squares and throw in a ziploc bag. He could easily pull out a couple pieces and heat up for a light mid-morning meal with some fruit.

Also, just any time you cook for your family, you could freeze portion size amounts and bring over a couple of those weekly since you said he doesn't have a real freezer. It would make it easier than always having to set aside a day for cooking. I do this a lot for my husband so he'll have things to fall back on if I have to be gone for any reason.

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If you still end up being him some meals, I wonder if you could pre-freeze them. Find containers that will fit in his tiny fridge's freezer space, then make a meatloaf, slice it, assemble a couple meals for him and freeze them in your freezer. Then when you deliver them, he can keep one in the tiny freezer compartment and one can thaw in the fridge part until he is ready to eat it.

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When MIL moved to our area, she inquired about Meals on Wheels and was told she didn't qualify. I don't know if it's different by state or city, but I wouldn't count on it unless you've confirmed he qualifies. TBH, I had no idea there were qualifications other than age and being housebound.

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What about burritos?  Meat laden lasagnas? Pot pies? They're a complete meal by themselves and easy to customize with more meat or cheese or whatever he likes.  We use one of those dorm fridges in our living room as a "drinks fridge."  The freezer can hold the double pack of costco lasagna, so it might have a bit more room than you think and will hold more when things are in bags rather than boxes.  If you do a double fridge meal and a double freezer meal each week that would work for him.  This would mean you can do the freezer cooking whenever you're in the mood, store it at your house, and just transfer stuff to him when he's eaten through the stash in his small freezer.  Then the fresh stuff can be a big batch of whatever meat meal you're making at home.  I'd start small to make sure you don't burn out on the 4-meals-weekly commitment.  Older people can get really attached to routine and it's easier to add stuff later than it is to scale back if you get overwhelmed.  

ETA:  For what it's worth, I use a Lunch Crock on co-op days.  I plug it in in the morning and my food is hot and delicious by lunch.  It makes leftovers tastes a lot better than microwaved food and the medium-sized sour cream containers are the perfect size for freezing portions to fill up the Lunch Crock.  (Not the thinner ones.  The one lb size that is wider than it is tall.)

Edited by KungFuPanda
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24 minutes ago, SusanC said:

If you still end up being him some meals, I wonder if you could pre-freeze them. Find containers that will fit in his tiny fridge's freezer space, then make a meatloaf, slice it, assemble a couple meals for him and freeze them in your freezer. Then when you deliver them, he can keep one in the tiny freezer compartment and one can thaw in the fridge part until he is ready to eat it.

This is pretty close to how we help my dad.  If we bring him a bunch of meals they sit in his freezer. So we have meal size containers and I fill them and freeze them, then bring two or three when I go see Dad. Usually I put one in the freezer and two in the fridge.  I do have to remind him what’s in there and I’ll call home him sometimes in the afternoon and ask if he’s going to eat the x or y for dinner, or tell him to take the z out of the freezer for the next day.  He can manage with three meals a week, and your dad could, too, if he gets meals on wheels. 

I have about 12 containers so when I make a meatloaf meal I make up a container for dad and pop it in the freezer. Same with chili, spaghetti, etc.  Before you know it you have a variety of food in there. 

 

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I've come up with a plan to make chicken breasts that I finally like and that produce tasty breasts right out of oven and are still tasty reheated after a few days in frig. You could do this and freeze some at your house for you dad then deliver them.

I get chicken breasts with rib meat so they are very thick. Also, the kind I buy are varying sizes in one package...the thickness and varying sizes are a PITA to get it all good, until I came up with this plan. 

here it is, no complete sentences, I'm sorry!

preheat oven to 415degrees F

Pour a few tablespoons of vegetable oil on sheet pan/cookie sheet (IOW, a pan with low sides)

Using kitchen shears (or paramedic/ER scissors, LOL) trim all the yucky parts off the chicken...there is usually a big bloody chunky gross area on the back near the tender

using a cutting board & chefs knife, cut chicken in half horizontally, so you have 2 thin breasts (this in the most important step, IMO. 

Put the chicken on the pan and flip and coat both sides with oil. Salt tops of pieces.

Roast in bottom half of oven for 12-15 minutes. Chicken should be about 150-155 degrees bc we are going to broil next. 

Take chicken out, turn broiler onto high.

drain off as much liquid from the pan as possible. Do not let chicken slide into sink!I

Now, pour a little marinade or dressing into each chicken piece, whatever flavor you want, we use teriyaki, honey mustard, italian, and Greek the most. BBQ sauce is good too, but I have issues with tomato based BBQ sauce on chicken but I'll do it for The Others. Spread sauce to completely cover each piece.

Stick under broiler and broil until the sauce/marinade/dressing is set. this takes 4-6 minutes. watch carefully, don't go start talking to the dog or anything. Check often. Once the sauce is set, with the littlest amount of brownish spots, remove.

I cook 4-5 lbs of this at once. I also do more than one sauce flavor at a time.

THese last a good 5 days in frig. They freeze nice and flat (bc they are flat) and they thaw FAST because they are thin. So you can do a bunch at once, in different flavors, and freeze and store at your house, then grab a couple to bring to your dad. 

 

 

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Unsinkable, thanks for taking the time to post how you make chicken! I’m going to be able to use this for both my dad and our son, who gets off work around 11 Pm. He arrives home hungry but I really don’t want him to mess up my clean kitchen (and he’s tired and really just wants to eat). 
‘Your comment about not walking away to talk to the dog cracked me up!😄

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6 minutes ago, Annie G said:

Unsinkable, thanks for taking the time to post how you make chicken! I’m going to be able to use this for both my dad and our son, who gets off work around 11 Pm. He arrives home hungry but I really don’t want him to mess up my clean kitchen (and he’s tired and really just wants to eat). 
‘Your comment about not walking away to talk to the dog cracked me up!😄

You're welcome. They are nice for tossing with rice and veggies, in salads, with pasta. The thinnest pieces are good for rolls on sandwiches.

I very very much dislike thick chicken breasts, mostly because of texture. I also don't like worrying about undercooked chicken and this really eliminates that worry.I

The dog is very distracting! LOL

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3 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

You could make a bunch of chicken breasts, shred it, and make two kinds of chicken salad, a chicken alfredo, and mix it with lime and cilantro for tacos. 

A pulled pork could be used for sandwiches and mixed with potatoes. 

I would get an instant pot for him. Brittany Williams has an excellent book (2 really) that use an air fryer and the instantpot. 

 

This 

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I'm so glad to see how many others chimed in with their support for Meals on Wheels. I ❤️ that organization.  Really, it is more than about the meals.  That one moment of having a pleasant reason to open the door is SO important for our older folks.

Also, I'm thinking that a small dorm type frig is not going to be able to keep things as long as a regular fridge, so would feel *very* hesitant on keeping meat beyond:  Made Monday, eat by Wednesday.  

Also, thinking of my own elderly MIL (87), she doesn't really cook, but loves certain, reasonably healthy shelf-stable foods, like PB and hummus cups (those individually packed ones from Costco are fabulous).

Edited by vmsurbat1
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I also think that if he qualifies for Meals on Wheels that'd be better. Think about it - this way, somebody will come to his home every day, speak with him, and presumably call 911 if he's fallen down or something. He'll get a hot meal and some socialization. That's better than home cooking, and less work for you. I call that a win-win.

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3 minutes ago, vmsurbat1 said:

I'm so glad to see how many others chimed in with their support for Meals on Wheels. I ❤️ that organization.  Really, it is more than about the meals.  That one moment of having a pleasant reason to open the door is SO important for our older folks.

Also, I'm thinking that a small dorm type frig is not going to be able to keep things as long as a regular ridge, so would feel *very* hesitant on keeping meat beyond:  Made Monday, eat by Wednesday.  

I bought all my college kids fridge thermometers just to be on the safe side. 

 

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1 hour ago, wilrunner said:

When MIL moved to our area, she inquired about Meals on Wheels and was told she didn't qualify. I don't know if it's different by state or city, but I wouldn't count on it unless you've confirmed he qualifies. TBH, I had no idea there were qualifications other than age and being housebound.

 

My mother was getting them when she was alive, in their house in Arizona, so they qualified then.  I think he will qualify.  Do you know why your MIL didn't qualify?  I mean, they don't qualify for getting them at a discount, but they qualify for having them delivered.  I thought the requirement was over age 60 and have a disability of some kind?

My dad has had multiple hip replacements and is 85.  I think he will qualify on his own.  

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Thanks guys, maybe I just needed you all to make me feel not so guilty about Meals on Wheels.

He is getting one of those tiny freezers, but I did find you can get mini-freezers, so I thought of adding that in.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Arctic-King-1-1-cu-ft-Upright-Freezer-AUFM011AEW-White/248677244?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227083060431&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=195007698669&wl4=pla-310843611814&wl5=9009968&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=248677244&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAiA-P7xBRAvEiwAow-VadZSoSu0u9yQ_zKBb0_bN0kpSW90BcwBaa-xhXCqbBaY_u0RuiIF3RoCg88QAvD_BwE

 

Or, the people renting the room may be agreeable to us removing their mini fridge and getting one that has a larger freezer, like this one:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Arctic-King-3-2-Cu-Ft-Two-Door-Mini-Fridge-with-Freezer-Stainless-Steel/49660449?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227040722170&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=97260882392&wl4=pla-198793697552&wl5=9009968&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=49660449&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAiA-P7xBRAvEiwAow-VaWJcLVU18nDQl_5ygRMCDtQNuDckK40zOr1oSupr7-16FUuP3OLnWRoClHMQAvD_BwE

 

I do have small containers that would be perfect for single serving meat and veggies or just the meat part:

https://www.amazon.com/pack-17oz-Food-Storage-Containers/dp/B07954RZKJ/ref=sr_1_28?keywords=single+serving+freezer+storage+containers+rectangular&qid=1581270507&sr=8-28

The owner of the house where he will be renting space said she is happy to do drive up pick up from the local grocery store if I order online and she can pick up after work, so that will be helpful.  He loves huge salads and so I will get those on weeks I can't prep for him.  I have a very nice large container that will hold 3 heads of romaine chopped and then the small containers above for toppings should work well.

I am not sure this place is a long term solution, but we will do it in the short term and see how it goes.

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8 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

My mother was getting them when she was alive, in their house in Arizona, so they qualified then.  I think he will qualify.  Do you know why your MIL didn't qualify?  I mean, they don't qualify for getting them at a discount, but they qualify for having them delivered.  I thought the requirement was over age 60 and have a disability of some kind?

My dad has had multiple hip replacements and is 85.  I think he will qualify on his own.  

She was 79 and walked with a walker. She would have loved getting the meals and having someone visit briefly with her, but for whatever reason, she was told she couldn't have them delivered. It's possible she was told she would need to pay for them and understood that as not qualifying. Now that I think about it a bit more, maybe it was because she lived in assisted living and had access to a dining room, though she didn't want to pay extra when she could make less expensive meals e in her own apt. That would make more sense to me. 

Edited by wilrunner
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18 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

She was 79 and walked with a walker. She would have loved getting the meals and having someone visit briefly with her, but for whatever reason, she was told she couldn't have them delivered. It's possible she was told she would need to pay for them and understood that as not qualifying. Now that I think about it a bit more, maybe it was because she lived in assisted living and had access to a dining room, though she didn't want to pay extra for the less expensive meals she could make in her own apt. That would make more sense to me. 

Our county currently has a waitlist because there aren’t enough volunteers to deliver the meals. I feel bad that dh and I can’t each deliver, but we share a car.  Perhaps your mom was ina situation like that- I know our waitlist prioritizes people w no other options. 

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22 minutes ago, Annie G said:

Our county currently has a waitlist because there aren’t enough volunteers to deliver the meals. I feel bad that dh and I can’t each deliver, but we share a car.  Perhaps your mom was ina situation like that- I know our waitlist prioritizes people w no other options. 

Here and where my mom lives in another state, there is also the option of going to one of the sites and eating your meal with others. Of course that only works for those who can somehow get there. My son and I delivered Meals on Wheels for several years when he was younger, and it was a great experience. He enjoyed chatting and having coffee time with the other, usually retired, volunteers and most of the people we delivered to really seemed to enjoy seeing a young person.

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5 minutes ago, Frances said:

Here and where my mom lives in another state, there is also the option of going to one of the sites and eating your meal with others. Of course that only works for those who can somehow get there. My son and I delivered Meals on Wheels for several years when he was younger, and it was a great experience. He enjoyed chatting and having coffee time with the other, usually retired, volunteers and most of the people we delivered to really seemed to enjoy seeing a young person.

Same here- our senior center is where the meals on wheels program is administered. They serve lunch there five days a week for $2.  They also pick people up/take them home three days a week, and it’s so good for elderly people. The staff cares so much about these folks- I’m pretty proud of how caring our senior center staff is. 

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11 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

My guess is that he will come over on Sundays and eat with us.   Or I will take it to him and eat with him at his place.  He will be renting a studio from some friends of ours, no stairs, private entrance to a bedroom and bathroom, and full use of the shared basement space if he wants to use it.  But only a dorm size fridge and microwave.

What a perfect set up!  So glad you found such a place for him.  Is it close to you?

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

What a perfect set up!  So glad you found such a place for him.  Is it close to you?

 

Yes, it is 10 miles away.  Unfortunately, it is the opposite direction of my 23 mile commute each way to/from work.

But I am HOPING and praying to find a job closer to home for next year.   I have decided that proximity and good hours trump several other "wish list" job priorities. 

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My dad just turned 85 and is in his own apartment 10 minutes from me.  His short term memory isn’t the greatest anymore.  He doesn’t cook anything.  Only heats up food in the microwave and makes coffee.  I do all his grocery shopping with and without him.  I used to stock his fridge once a week, but was very surprised that he seemed overwhelmed with too many choices.  We tossed a bunch of food he didn’t eat that first month or so. I love when I have lots of food options in my fridge.

Unfortunately, he would eat bread, cereal, protein bars, etc. all day so. I limit those so he will eat other things.  He likes potato salad and lunch meat/cheese.  I pick up ham salad at the Honey Baked Ham store (I get him a sandwich at the same time).  I get him big burritos at a place he loves and that is 2 or 3 meals for him.  Chili and his other 2 favorite soups.  I buy pre-cleaned/cut fruit.  He wanted to do it himself, but then the stuff just sat in his fridge uncleaned and uneaten.  Then I cleaned and cut up fruit, etc. and took it to him and he still didn’t eat it all.  I stopped spending my time doing that 😊.

I will bring him meals when I know I am going over.  He won’t eat pasta of any kind so that makes it a bit harder as we love pasta dishes.  I live 10 minutes from him so can make an extra quick  trip one or 2 days a week.  I do make him beef stew and pot roast that he will eat over 2 days.  He does not like it if it is frozen.

Costco has great prepared meals.  For example, we bought the stuffed peppers and cooked them today. I took 2 to my dad and DH took the other 4 to his parents.  Their chicken alfredo is really good, but buy extra sauce and chicken to go on it.  

One thing that will be good is if you can figure out what restaurants close to him will deliver (or do uber eats).  Panera would be great because they have a lot of great meals with protein.  Unfortunately, there will be times when life gets in the way and your current expecations of visits, etc. won’t work.  It would be good if you can order restaurant food to be delivered to him.

Another thing that was a huge help to me was him adding me to his main credit card.  I have my own card on his account.  I use it to buy his groceries and other thing he needs.  Also, automate as many of his bills as possible.  Is he still driving?  With memory issues in a new place, his driving alone may not be the best.

It is great that he is near you now, but this is life changing for him and for you.  I have so many added responsibilities with my dad that I am overwhelmed.  

Also, make sure you get him set up with new doctors and try to go to those first appointments (at least).  Make sure you are on his HIPAA forms.  Worrying about bringing him meals will not be your biggest worry at some point.

And...I agree with others that doing the meals on wheels for 3 or 4 days a week would be great with you supplementing.  Trust me as I am in the thick of all of this withmy dad.

Sorry I strayed from the meals question.  Good luck.  Sounds like he is going to be in a good place.  I hop eit is near you.

 

 

Edited by mlktwins
Forgive me for mistakes - typing on my iPad
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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

Walmart

Our Walmart has nice prepared salads in the deli section. You might stock a couple of those a week for a while and see if they get eaten. I would feel guilt free about the meals on wheels. Even for sending home leftovers with him on Sundays, maybe just send a slice of pie or treats. He might like to keep cheese and crackers, basic things in his frig. Men like their snacks. 

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If he thinks he would like Meals on Wheels, I'd try that first.  Give him a nice meal on Sundays with enough leftovers for snacking on Monday and Tuesday.  

For his remaining meals get prepackaged items.  Look in the produce section of Walmart for salad bowls.   Most of these include a small portion of meat - chicken, turkey, or ham.  You could pick up a couple to see if he likes them.  There is also a section of pre-portioned snacks - apples and nuts or cheese for example.  Get individual serving-sized shelf-stable tuna salad or chicken salad if he likes those.  Add in some canned soups, sliced cheese, bread or crackers and any items he fancies that week.

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I think a small freezer is a good idea.  There are some really good frozen meals these days.  And my 81 year old dad eats a half gallon of ice cream in three evenings.  So he would have to have the freezer for his ice cream....But agree with others that meals on wheels is perfectly acceptable.  Older people just eat less.  A nice Sunday meal with leftovers for a day or two would round things out nicely.  

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As far as putting meals in the freezer, depends so much on your dad. When I have travelled, there have been times when I made sure there were meals in the freezer that required minimal preparation, usually only being thawed and heated. Even so, my guys would end up going out to eat or something, as if I hadn't planned everything all out. So it's possible that even if you put meals in the freezer, he might not take the trouble to cook them, as I think a couple of people above mentioned happening with family members. 

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Do you have Schwann’s available where he lives?  They deliver all American diet kinds of meals, and it seems like everyone I know who is that age likes them.  (They would not really suit me very well.).  If he is a on a regular route, I’ll bet that you could get him two meals worth once or twice a week fairly economically and that he would really like the food. That way you don’t have to worry about refrigeration.  I agree with others who say that the dorm fridges are less reliably cold than home size ones.  I have had a succession of dorm fridges at work over the years, and things spoil much faster in them than at home.  And the little freezer compartments don’t actually even make ice, although they are colder than the fridge parts.

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I wanted to add—‘nosh’ spreads are actually pretty healthy, and reasonable nutritious.  Plus they tend not to spoil as quickly as meats and regular main dishes.

I think that having a bunch of different kinds of cheese, some shelf stable milk, juices in cans or bottles, dried fruit, various kinds of pickles, and assorted crackers and breads would be what to focus on.  No cooking required, reasonably balanced meals would be easy in between regular dinners.  Bananas, oranges, and cuties are nice as they also don’t have to be kept very cold to stay edible.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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FWIW, the freezers in those dorm fridges don’t usually keep things frozen.  
 

My dad is getting to this point and he walks across the street to have dinner at his church a few times a week + relies on things that are pretty shelf stable.  
 

what is the breakfast plan? 

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

FWIW, the freezers in those dorm fridges don’t usually keep things frozen.  
 

My dad is getting to this point and he walks across the street to have dinner at his church a few times a week + relies on things that are pretty shelf stable.  
 

what is the breakfast plan? 


He never eats breakfast.  He has tea in the morning usually.  Then a hot lunch around 11:30am.  Then for dinner he will have something very light.  A salad, some soup, fruit, or maybe a couple of eggs and toast.  

So he really only eats one hot meal per day at most.  Some days he eats very little overall.  It just depends.

Edited by DawnM
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When my dad comes over for dinner, we try to send him home with things he can reheat.  For example, he will take home a bunch of green chili (with lots of pork) and smother his eggs and burritos with it.  He also loves to take home a roast chicken, because he can eat that for a few days.  So if we are having a roast chicken dinner, I’ll roast an extra just for him to take home.  He doesn’t use an IP but he does throw things in a crockpot.  He has a freezer though.  

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9 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

When my dad comes over for dinner, we try to send him home with things he can reheat.  For example, he will take home a bunch of green chili (with lots of pork) and smother his eggs and burritos with it.  He also loves to take home a roast chicken, because he can eat that for a few days.  So if we are having a roast chicken dinner, I’ll roast an extra just for him to take home.  He doesn’t use an IP but he does throw things in a crockpot.  He has a freezer though.  

 

Yeah, we will send him home with leftovers for sure.  I don't cook a whole lot myself though!  My husband is cooking more.  And I got him a coveted Kamado Grill for Christmas and we all are happy!  He loves it, I love that he cooks more, and the taste is really good.

Still praying I can get a better job, better hours, better location, etc....which will really help with things. I just get home so late!

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I've been having issues with depression and anxiety lately so dh and ds are often on their own for dinner. I made two pounds of ground beef into taco meat and 2 pounds of dried pinto beans into slow cooker refried beans.  Dh and ds have been able to make tacos, burritos and taco salad in the microwave almost everyday for a week now. Luckily, they are completely happy with eating the same thing everyday if they like it. Plus sometimes they will just put some beans and cheese in a bowl and eat it with tortilla chips as a snack. Heck, ds will eat beans and cheese with spoon for breakfast too. lol The beans are stored in the fridge in a bowl but the meat and cheese are in ziploc bags to conserve space. Even 7yo ds can put his (cold) meat, beans and cheese on a tortilla, put it in the microwave for 1 minute and then roll it up burrito style. You can add lettuce, onion, sour cream, tomatoes, hot sauce, salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole or whatever you want after it is warm and before rolling it up. It's cheap, easy and better than frozen burritos in our opinion.

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