1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. zoeg

    zoeg Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    I'm looking for ideas and inspiration for meals, I do a lot of cooking for my Nan who has dementia and am really struggling to find recipes she will eat without spitting them out! I've done the usual whizzing up vegetables and hiding them in cottage pie or fish pie etc but I'm worried she's not getting enough nutrients in her diet. She is having problems with textures, anything that feels different she takes out of her mouth, we had a 20 minute row about broccoli (her favourite) yesterday. Can anyone recommend any decent cookbooks? I've looked online but they all seem to be prevention books with raw food etc, and she won't wear her false teeth!
  2. jimbo 111

    jimbo 111 Registered User

    Jan 23, 2009
    North Bucks
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello zoeg
    welcome to TP
    your Nan is lucky to have a granddaughter who cooks fresh meals for her
    I wonder if finding out what she ate as a youngster may help, and considering sweet puddings as much as the main course eg trifles, jellies, blancmange, rice pudding, mousse, banana and custard, stewed fruit with cream/ice cream/custard .... - and then there's soups, stews, casseroles - maybe mash vegetables eg carrot, parsnip, swede with the broccoli and other green veg, with butter and seasoning and lots of gravy - and make sure she has enough fibre, so porridge, brown bread, grapes, pineapple juice, prunes, banana etc to stave off constipation which causes havoc in people with dementia
    I appreciate we all worry about eating healthily but the main concern is just getting enough energy, so maybe don't battle about anything your nan isn't happy about - the bad feeling generated over the broccoli just isn't worth it for either of you - I also found with my dad that if I just accepted what he said and put the offending item to the side of his plate, it generally got eaten later anyway; if it didn't, well, that's not the end of the world

    this may help too

    best wishes
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #4 Witzend, Feb 28, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
    Honestly, don't worry too much about 'healthy eating' with someone with dementia. Many people with dementia have very poor appetites anyway. Just give them what they like, what you know they will eat.
    Yes, it'd be good to provide healthily balanced meals, but if they won't eat them, you're on a hiding to nothing. At this stage, sufficient calories are more important.
    Certainly it's not worth having a row if they won't eat this or that.
  5. Peirre

    Peirre Registered User

    Aug 26, 2015
    Slightly off topic, at a recent memory cafe meeting there was a presentation (again) by one of those ready meal companies you see on TV promoting their products. (Again) it went down like a lead balloon, as they seem to overlook 2 points:
    1. Most of those at the meeting are on low income/pension/benefits
    2. You can buy similar microwave meals in the local supermarket for £1-£2 each and have them delivered as part of the weekly shop.
  6. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    They're not right for everybody, but for those like my mum who was living alone with no family within reach, the ready meal delivery option has its uses. The delivery people were much more sensitive to mum's confusion than a regular supermarket driver would have time to be and took time to explain to her what they were doing. They put the meals in the freezer - if she'd been just given a bag at the door the food could have ended up anywhere. The choice was also wider as she didn't like anything that wasn't traditional British cooking and the portion size smaller; she hated wasting food.

    Cost? I didn't see a lot of difference from a standard supermarket ready meal of similar quality.
  7. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    I suggest batch cooking shepherds pie stews etc then freezing in small portions, and have ready frozen meals in the freezer as standby.
    I use a frozen meal delivery service for my mum who loves their mini meals which are all about £2.80 each and perfect for the carers to prepare.
  8. Peirre

    Peirre Registered User

    Aug 26, 2015
    I can understand the situation where the person lives alone and the visiting carer had a limited amount of time to prepare a meal and these readymade meals would be useful, but many imo are overpriced.
    Luckily for my dad I do prepare fresh food daily, he prefers a simple breakfast of tea, bread & jam or the occasional bacon sandwich, usually I serve a cooked lunch of meat & 2+ veg. Setting aside the cost of the gas for cooking the meal I guess I can budget the meal for £3+ Per person. ie: I can buy a whole chicken for under £3, potatoes for under £1, add a handful of 1-2 own label frozen veg, and we have a meal for both of us. Then his evening meal will be sandwiches, and fruit cake. I appreciate many can't get such service.

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