Food ideas please ....

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Brian_P6, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. White Rose

    White Rose Registered User

    Nov 4, 2018
    Sounds like you're having fun in the kitchen! Made me laugh - god knows I can do with it this evening - partner going through a new 'phase', he can't watch TV and just gets angry when I do (OK it's X Factor so not everyone's cup of cocoa), storms off upstairs, comes back down again, thinks it's time to go to bed and that means I'm supposed to go to bed, doesn't understand that it's not time for bed, storms off again, then back down, then says sorry......the joys of dementia.....
  2. daveb378

    daveb378 New member

    Jun 3, 2018
    In the past I would use the slow cooker to do chicken, beef or pork casserole 2 or 3 times a week but gradually found that my wife was eating less and less of these meals until it came to the point of thinking is it worth it ?.I now do the ready meals for one which she is still usually ok with but on occasions when that fails what I have done recently is to use ensure protein drinks which she really enjoys and I get the satisfaction of knowing that she is getting the goodness required.
  3. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    I still do home cooked meals for dad(Soft diet).It is the fluids im having a problem with.I bought some chocolate milk shakes which need to be kept cold..Apparently he would like them warm:rolleyes:
  4. manArgentina

    manArgentina Registered User

    Aug 10, 2019
    Mendoza, Argentina
    What about legume like lentils or beans ? I pretty much like lentils and Ive heard are very healthy and have good calories.


    If she eats cauliflower cheese pies maybe you could try the same but with brocoli and other vegetables, and mixed so she cant tell its something she dont use to eat, some carrot mixed there.

    But ask what she would like i think is the best, see what brings her attention.

    Sorry dont bring much ideas.
  5. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    I have the same problem
    I’ve tried the following list with some success. I’ve found if I keep the meal really simple I have more chance of her eating it. If she has to cut up food she’s less likely to eat it, she looks horrified if I put a roast dinner and all the trimmings in front of her. It looks like a lot of junk but at this stage I will try anything to keep her weight up.. I don’t think she has the attention span for a large meal so I use small plates or saucers and small pudding bowls and give her food little and often and things she can eat with her fingers. Replace meat with veggie alternatives.

    Muller rice
    Magnum choc ices
    chicken fried rice
    Beef fried rice
    beef or chicken stew
    Lentil and bacon soup
    Chicken supreme
    Cuppa soups with croutons
    Pizza easy for her to eat with her fingers you can add extra toppings
    Macaroni cheese
    Scrambled egg with chopped bacon and tomato
    Cheese and onion on toast
    Arla Protein yogurts there are lots of flavours and you can always add a banana or other fruit
    Cheese/ savoury biscuits
    Bel vita breakfast biscuits
    Wagon wheels 1/2
    Bread sticks
    Special k breakfast bars.
    Fish fingers instead of fish
    Meat balls/ veggie
    Baby bell

    Also a large glass cookie jar left out on the counter filled with small cakes, muffins or fancies she will see and possibly not be able to ignore?
  6. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    My husband will eat almost anything, but not as much as he used to do. I give him smaller portions now but after a while he puts his knife and fork down and says he's had enough. I just stay at the table and talk to him. Now and again he'll pick up his cutlery and eat a bit more as he says "it's nice this". I find that sometimes he's ended up eating it all.
  7. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    East of England
    You definitely do learn how to handle things without having to get stressed. A while ago I was going spare trying to get him to eat. Now I don’t worry and let him take his time and give encouragement. It’s wearying but worthwhile. At the end of the day what difference does it make? As long as he isn’t starving himself completely, it’s impossible to get enough calories into him to put on any weight. This disease is inexorable.
  8. annierich

    annierich Registered User

    Nov 11, 2015
    My MIL used to say that everything had no taste. When she came to our house for a meal - often Sunday lunch - she would always say ‘Don’t give me too much’. We served a portion slightly smaller than ours and she invariably ate the lot and the dessert. She always claimed she was far too fat - and bought trousers in a size 12 but always needed them taking in at the waist or used a safety pin to fasten them cos they were too big. Her view of her body size seemed to be very skewed as time went on.
  9. icu2

    icu2 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2017
    Reading your problem it seemed as though I could have been writing it for you.
    My wife has had increasing vascular dementia for three years and I have the same problem with poor appetite and slipping her food to the dog. She is getting very thin but still has a lot of energy and walks round the town incessantly searching for her mother (deceased 50 years).
    I have just started the Wiltshire prepared meals service and they are very handy as you just microwave from frozen and serve. The portions are modest but sufficient for her.
    Another problem is when I put out the meal for her she will not eat it as 'my mother has my meal ready for me' and off she goes again but I just leave it and when she reappears heat it up and try again, usually this works.
    The puddings go down better than the main meals. I also find she cannot cope with a large item on her plate such as a pork chop or a steak, so I cut these up into small bits and this seems to work.
    What the future holds is unknown but certainly the dog is getting fatter.
    Could I also recommend a tracker service for your smart phones. I use Life 360 and find it excellent. You link the other phone to yours via the app and it will tell you where the phone is on a map. It is fairly accurate and invaluable to find a wanderer.
  10. Brian_P6

    Brian_P6 Registered User

    Dec 1, 2015
    Wow, what a fabulous response to my first post, thank you. I've been reading through all your comments and thought I'd do a few updates ......

    Canary - Thanks for your wisdom and experiences. I agree we are definitely heading for the 'little and often' but combined with an expectation that there is also a meal time. I thought pancakes might be a good idea to try, but they got a big rejection. I'd love to be able to make a meal that I could freeze portions of to quickly zap in the microwave .... I just need to find something that she will eat first, that would be a big bonus.

    Lunch almost seems to be the easiest, the only bread she will reliably eat are brioche buns - it probably comes back to the texture thing that you mention Canary. Brioche buns are very light and easy compared to a lot of breads. I cut the bun into 4 quarters and feed her two at lunchtime with 3 layers. A cheese/onion sandwich filler on the bottom, something like an egg mayonaise next (with added spring onion/red pepper) and then 'butter' the top with a spicy hummus for some chickpea protein. Follow that up with either yoghurt, cake or ice cream.

    Although she's vegetarian, she only gave up fish a year or two ago (meat has been gone for 16 years) but in my desperation I've also added in a tuna mayo (plus spring onions/red pepper). She's no idea it's fish but helps me vary and provide nutrition. To be honest she gave up fish without any thought as to what else she would eat when she was already getting too picky. I used to say she was a vegetarian that hated vegetarian food!!

    Keeping pots in the fridge of the various mixtures means it's easy to make up another one at any time of the day.

    I've also found that she will eat the odd quarter of a bun with nuttella during the day.

    Mood is also a big problem when it comes to eating. If she's generally happy, then there's a good chance she'll eat something. If she's not, then it's a very good chance that the bin will get everything.

    Dimpsy - I've tried putting food out so that she can just help herself whenever, but she just keeps 'tidying up'. She'll think that she doesn't want it so takes it back to the kitchen and always puts it out of the way, so if she did want something later, she'd never see it. Everytime I put it back .... she takes it away again.

    Thanks Dootee, I have wondered about some sort of meat (purely out of desperation of course). The thought came to me because another lunch that I've found works is a cheese bake - those dip like things you put in the oven for half an hour. Aldi do a veggie one that she does seem to really like - spread on a toasted brioche bun. The jalapenos etc in it all seem to be pureed (would have to be if it's a dip I guess) so the meaty one hopefully is to and it's chorizo - and that's got tons of flavour. I am tempted to try it out.
    I've tried all sorts of drinks including the lemonade and flavoured water to no avail.

    Andrew_McP - I've doubts on Angel Delight, but I'll give it a go! Perhaps if I find a vanilla one - she loves vanilla, and then load the milk with double cream ;-) Thanks for the suggestion. Mind you, with all her leftovers I can see myself getting fat haha.

    Peter107 - Thank you, it does sound like we're in the same boat and just 2 years apart and sounds like it could be a similar journey.

    Boudica - Thank you. I'm afraid tinned soups are also a no-go. I've tried all sorts and she refuses every single one :-( I never force her to eat, I bet we've all learned that one the hard way! It does take quite some time to settle down and accept the rejections - spend time preparing and cooking, present the meal to be told it's horrible and disgusting. If I'd said that to her before her Alz started I'd have been wearing it! Lol.

    Grahamstown - Blending everything up into a drink .... interesting! I'll bear that in mind and have a good think about that one thank you.

    icu2 - I'll give Wiltshire a try thanks.
    Your poor dog! My wife keeps wanting to give her food to the cats and everyday I have to tell her they don't eat vegetarian food lol

    I've also come to the realisation that double cooking is now a must. I've always resisted the idea before because I don't want to cook twice, but with her reduced appetite and rejecting so many foods, the types of meals I end up doing just so that she will eat aren't particularly well balanced. I'm giving her her vitamin tablets everyday, but what about me? If we're not careful we can be too concerned with getting our partners to eat as well as we can while neglecting our own nutritional needs - thought I'd throw that one out there, let's remember to look after ourselves too.
  11. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    My contribution, and I am lucky because Mummy is i a CH and eats most things, is chopped up mango.
    I lazily buy the pre-chopped sort, and Mummy gobbles this up happily with her fingers - she gets very frustrated by cutlery. I don't think the home can afford exotic fruit, and probably not all would want to eat it so it makes a good supplement and a little treat to take with me.
  12. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    Also, picking up on something you mention and what most CHs do, you may want to make the "main" meal lunch time rather than tea time as capacity and enthusiasm tends to wane towards the end of the day.
    Definitely "think outside the box". Mummy used to be very healthy and love cheese. I took some in for her - she hated it but now loves puddings and sticky buns.... I had never known her eat cake before.
  13. Brian_P6

    Brian_P6 Registered User

    Dec 1, 2015
    Hi Helly68 - You know a lunchtime dinner crossed my mind just yesterday. I was wondering if the evening time of the day is making her 'enjoyment' of food worse. Deffo one to consider!
  14. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    East of England
    I have just made him a milk, two scoops of skim milk powder, two scoops of strawberry milkshake powder, two tablespoons of full fat yogurt, whizz it up and it goes down very well. He is having trouble swallowing even the small pieces of normal food hence my efforts. Good luck!
  15. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    My husband, who has had dementia for 4 years eats whatever I put in front of him, but smaller and smaller portions now. He always says he's not hungry and eats with no pleasure or enthusiasm which means I've stopped enjoying my meals too. Sometimes I think he wouldn't care if I served up soup every meal.
    He has lost weight as his interest in food has lessened but he will eat any amount of sweet foods. We have always had a very sensible 'Mediterranean Diet' with few cakes, biscuits or desserts but he is now 91 and loosing weight so I've decided to dust the cobwebs off my baking tins and make plentiful supplies of homemade cakes and puddings.I make a batch and freeze in portions.
    I also buy loads of biscuits and give him a bar of chocolate every evening. The main thing is not to worry about what he should be eating and concentrate on what he can eat and enjoy. I'm hoping by loading him with calories he will start gaining weight. The only drawback to this is - I'm also eating the yummy stuff so I bet I'm the only one who gets fat!
  16. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    My husband will eat almost whatever I give him but in smaller quantities than what he used to. The strange thing is he always says "thank you, I enjoyed that". Even if I give him a glass of water with his soluble aspirin in, he still says "thank you, I enjoyed that".

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