Dinnertime can be one of the most hectic meals of the day, because you and your family members are coming and going, and everyone is starving. It doesn’t matter if you are responsible for meal planning and preparation for your children, your aging loved one, or both. The fact is that meals can add to your already stressful caregiver evenings.
So how do you plan and prepare last-minute nutritious meals that your aging loved one will eat? When you have stocked up on a few key ingredients, you’ll have several go-to meals that are ready in no time. Even if you haven’t been to the store for fresh food items, these pantry meals will make your elderly loved one full and happy.
Here are 5 go-to meals that you as a family caregiver can always have on hand and ready to go in just a few minutes:
All it takes is spaghetti noodles, a jar of alfredo sauce, and a can of chicken to come up with a hearty and healthy dinner. If you have any frozen or leftover veggies, it’s easy to toss them in as well. Because these items can live on the shelf for months, it’s easy to grab and go when there’s nothing much left to eat.
Because of the long shelf life of these ingredients, you’ll be able to whip up beans and rice at any time. Canned black beans, salsa and rice combine to make a spicy and satisfying meal. This one is a great vehicle for any leftover meat or vegetables as well to enhance the flavors.
If you purchase the type of pancake mix that just requires the addition of water, you can have a pile of hot and delicious pancakes in a matter of minutes. Keep a small bottle of syrup handy for this last minute meal. Whole wheat pancakes with butter and jam make this breakfast food even healthier.
What could be better on a cold night than a hot and hearty bowl of chili? Just blend canned chili beans, chili powder, canned diced tomatoes, canned corn, and tomato paste to create a delicious meal that goes well with any type of bread or crackers. Top with cheese or sour cream for an extra tasty flavor boost.
Using instant mashed potatoes, canned beef chunks and a jar of gravy, your aging loved ones can have one of their favorite comfort foods—potatoes and gravy. Enhance the gravy even more by adding a can of diced vegetables like peas and carrots, corn or green beans.
When it comes to keeping your elderly loved one well-fed with meals that are delicious, nutritious and easy for you or a home care aide to make, pantry meals are winners every time. As long as you keep the staple ingredients on hand, you’ll never have to order fast food at the last minute ever again.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a professional caregiver in Sanger, CA, please contact the caring staff at Valley Home Care.