• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can access this area by going to the Health and wellbeing forum >here< or you can directly access the area >here<.

Ready meal suggestions

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,611
Chester
I have arranged for my mum to have an evening meal heated up for her.

Therefore I now need to supply her with a range of meals.

Which ones have others found good? Do some do smaller portion size ones?

do you buy fresh and freeze or frozen?

(Wiltshire farm foods only delivers on days I work in my area so have ruled them out)

I've no idea what mum will like either apart from no spicy food.

(we cook all our food from scratch and always have so no idea what exists)
 

Amelie5a

Registered User
Nov 5, 2014
93
Scotland
Dad has had carers now for over six months coming in to 'fix' his evening meal, so I've done quite a sweep of ready meals in that time.

I've found there's a massive amount of choice just in the supermarkets alone - and there are some interesting ranges of healthier options too. Thing is, not many of these are likely to appeal to Dad. But the freedom of being able to pick up a choice of meals when needed from a number of sources, suits me better than waiting in a for a fixed fortnightly delivery from one specialist supplier at a set time.

To be honest, I tend to favour M and S meals for one, (not least cos their 3 meals for £7 or £10 offers help make the cost competitive). But also because you can buy dishes which are complete - meat or fish in some kind of sauce, with potato and veg. They also do mini meal portions which are useful.

But with all the vendors I do think it needs a bit of experimentation to see what is enjoyed most. Dad still responds to flavour/taste and will happily eat a whole meal of one of his favourites - but there've been a number where he's nibbled cos he's hungry and then decided to feed the rest to the birds! I put that down just to the meal not being very appetising to him.

But I do feel guilty about the amount of microwave meals cooked in plastic that Dad now eats, particularly when he devours any home made meals by your truly (who is no chef, believe me!) - but it's a case of needs must. If not and left to his own devices, it'd be back to back toast! (Or me cooking every night - did that for nearly a year and it wasn't sustainable)
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,051
Nottinghamshire
Hi. I normally buy frozen ready meals for my dad. I had the same problem as you as I always cook from scratch! I normally check the freezer section in Asda when I go as they do a good range, including full meals with all the veg, as do Sainsburys. I don't really shop in the other big supermarkets so couldn't comment on their selections.

We do use Wiltshire when I'm really pushed for time. They actually deliver the food into his freezer. I was going to stop shopping with them as I was afraid it would end up in the wardrobe!! But they told me they have a lot of customers with dementia and were very helpful. Expensive though, but very nice meals.

I also buy pots of yogurt, fruit or jelly for his desserts and individual ice creams like choc ices or lollies and take them out of their boxes before I put them in the freezer. Dad had been taking the box out, taking out one item, and then putting the box away in the nearest cupboard. He did the same with tubs of ice-cream too [emoji51][emoji51].

Hope this helps.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

notsogooddtr

Registered User
Jul 2, 2011
912
I started off with Wiltshire Farm Foods then moved on to M&S.Supplemented by stuff I cooked and froze.Beauty of WFF is they can all be heated from frozen.TBH my mum.wasn't keen on either,a lot were wasted
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
I now buy quite a few ready made dishes for mum and myself. Good cottage pie, frozen fish and chips, If it is only one night a week then once you find the dish she likes - that's it. Friday is fish and chip night and Wednesday is cottage pie night in my home. There are some really good ready made pies out there too, all really easy for a carer to prepare in oven or microwave.
 

Hippichic

Registered User
Nov 14, 2016
14
London
My mum lives with me and I work up to 3 days a week, I do try to make as many fresh meals at home as I can, but she eats meat and my partner and I eat mainly vegetarian and fish, and I have to have gluten free. So often I have to do 3 meals at one sitting. I tend to cook mum a chicken casserole type meal with carrots and one other veg or barley pasta with it, then just do fresh greens or similar when heating up. I do about 4 to 6 portions at a time from fresh chicken then give her one portion and freeze the others. I also buy fresh sausages and freeze them, then take out 2 at a time for her. She eats fish too which I do fresh for all 3 of us.

I do buy ready meals as well, to use if I am pushed for time, Morrisons is very reasonable and some nice ones she likes, beef casserole. Ready mash with cabbage is good, yogurts are good. M & S is very good and I get her a few of their ready meals.

I freeze them all, so that I can make sure she has a variety in her daily food, as she also goes to a lunch club a couple of times a week.

She tends to like something for some time, then seems to go off things, so I vary it a lot.
 

jimbo 111

Registered User
Jan 23, 2009
5,080
North Bucks
I have arranged for my mum to have an evening meal heated up for her.

Therefore I now need to supply her with a range of meals.

Which ones have others found good? Do some do smaller portion size ones?

do you buy fresh and freeze or frozen?

(Wiltshire farm foods only delivers on days I work in my area so have ruled them out)

I've no idea what mum will like either apart from no spicy food.

(we cook all our food from scratch and always have so no idea what exists)
hello jugglingmum

Perhaps you could try Oakhouse foods
I ve tried them all jncluding M&S
They are a bit dearer than some , but they are very tasty
and they do mini meals s]as well
jimbo

Delivery depends on your local distributer


New 2017 Brochure Available ONlne. Free Delivery Over £30!
Traditional, Oriental, French and Italian roasts, casseroles and ...
Quick Order*· Regular Delivery*· Free Summer Brochure
Ready Meals | Main Meals | Oakhouse Foods
oakhousefoods.co.uk is rated


www.oakhousefoods.co.u



www.oakhousefoods.co.uk
 

mancmum

Registered User
Feb 6, 2012
400
I-care deliver hot meals

Blackpool based I care deliver hot meals in the north west. MIL has them. However, when she was admitted to hospital she was deficient in iron and potassium. There seems to be a lack of green veg and fruit in the diet of someone relying on these meals and as she is 'normal' she is able to refuse all attempts to get her to eat things that would give her a balanced diet.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,733
Yorkshire
hi jugglingmum
when I set dad up with meals he could still use the microwave, and we both preferred the M&S meals as there's a good selection including the traditional meat/fish, potato and veg with gravy/sauce, and we found most to be tasty and offered a decent portion size - just check which are for oven cooking only as I'm assuming someone coming in won't be able to wait around 20-30mins for it to cook

I would check the use by dates and then write on each one which day of the week it was for (dad was not good by then with choice, he was happier to be told) and leave it in the fridge with an individual desert, a small fruit pack and a carton drink (he liked these and could cope with a full drink, the bottled drinks he found difficult and too big)

I checked which meals could be frozen AND then immediately microwaved from frozen (some have to be fully defrosted before heating) and had a week's worth in the freezer for just in case (not sure now why I bought the 'fresh' meals and froze them rather than buying frozen meals) - along with some bread, milk, juices, ice cream, lollies ... and I also stocked up with cans of fruit, veg, minced/stewed meats, baked beans, hearty soups, and packets of those tiny pastas, to cook in the soups - anything that was useful to have in case of not being able to shop so some kind of stew could be created

I also left in clear view a bowl filled with individual wrapped cake/biscuit bars, packets of crisps and nuts and carton drinks (whatever your mum enjoys) so that there were snacks and drinks available throughout the day too (dad didn't binge, so he wouldn't just scoff the lot)

there are also pre-prepared salads, and also small packs of fresh, prepared veg to microwave which can easily be added to a meal

best wishes
 

cobden28

Registered User
Jan 31, 2012
442
I have arranged for my mum to have an evening meal heated up for her.

Therefore I now need to supply her with a range of meals.

Which ones have others found good? Do some do smaller portion size ones?

do you buy fresh and freeze or frozen?

(Wiltshire farm foods only delivers on days I work in my area so have ruled them out)

I've no idea what mum will like either apart from no spicy food.

(we cook all our food from scratch and always have so no idea what exists)
When you are cooking your own meals from scratch, could you not set aside a portion for your Dad - you could then store a series of home-cooked favourites in your freezer that he likes and deliver them to him say once a week.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,611
Chester
Thanks for all your suggestions, there is a lot of useful info which will really help me look for the right stuff ont he packets.

Cooking extra portions for mum just wouldn't be practical, I work part time, there are 4 of us to cook for, normally fitted in in a rush between both kids activities and neither my or OH's brain would cope with that, I don't have much spare freezer space and no spare fridge space the day my on line shop is delivered, so I can't add mum's meals to this easily either.

Mum is in sheltered extra care, so I need to find out if someone will help a delivery driver if he turns up when reception is open, as mum wouldn't know how to buzz him through downstairs doors (she can't hear the phone, and isn't even aware of this option) as then deliveries of either Oakwood or Wiltshire might be options. I've checked out Oakwood and again their local delivery day is a day I work.

I will have a look at the supermarket ones suggested, I didn't want to try a supermarket one that no one had said was OK, as I won't be there when she is eating them I am not sure I will get any feedback, although the carers are all well known to my mum and really like her.

Mum is about 12 mins or so from me, and I can drive past either Morrisons or Asda & Aldi on the way. M & S and Sainsbury's are a few minutes out of my way, but only doable at non holiday times as the traffic even on a week day is manic for teh whole of November and December (by Cheshire Oaks outlet village).

I didn't realise some had to be defrosted before cooking if frozen, and I know the senior organising it asked that the meals take no longer than 11 mins to cook from frozen, the carers will pick one and cook it I guess. Mum makes her own tea and coffee during the day, not sure she'd want a drink with a meal.

She does eat in the on site bistro for lunch, and I know often has salad, so maybe is getting some veg. I did leave fruit and veg in fridge when she first moved in, and she never ate it so I stopped buying it, but I did notice the meals I bought didn't have a lot of veg, which was what prompted my question really. She will eat anything except spicy if put in front of her and always used to eat lots and lots of veg. I have introduced evening meal as I felt she would accept it now, and there was space to include it in the increased care package, I don't think she has been eating much after lunch alot of days, but other days she has(sweet food).

She either binges sweet food or doesn't eat any, but she knows where the cakes are because she gets her breakfast out every day.

The carer I saw when she had her first meal call suggested soup, so I will get a few other tins in as suggested of pasta etc.

I only get there once a week normally and sometimes I miss a visit so need to have a fortnights food in place in reality, which rules out fresh food to some extent.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,611
Chester
As the carers are using the meals they need to be in date. Mum doesn't need anything low calorie at the moment either. But good idea and I will look into the dates on them
 

Malalie

Registered User
Sep 1, 2016
306
WFF is what we used - they could all be cooked from frozen and just about had the same cooking time on each. Mum managed for a short time (until the microwave broke and I could not replace it with exactly the same model - after which she was unable to cook them...) The carers then took over.

We were there for the first two deliveries, after which the delivery chap used to call, come in and pop all the trays in the two top drawers of the freezer. I believe that their delivery men had some sort of training and were police checked as well. We never had a problem with Mum letting them in. Please double check that this is the same situation now, but the food looked OK and the company seemed very well organised.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,164
I have arranged for my mum to have an evening meal heated up for her.

Therefore I now need to supply her with a range of meals.

Which ones have others found good? Do some do smaller portion size ones?

do you buy fresh and freeze or frozen?

(Wiltshire farm foods only delivers on days I work in my area so have ruled them out)

I've no idea what mum will like either apart from no spicy food.

(we cook all our food from scratch and always have so no idea what exists)
I use Wiltshire FF. I find portion size fine for MIL and she particularly likes the softer extra tender meals. I have them delivered to me early in morning and keep them in my freezer then take them to her on a day convenient to me. I order 20 at a time so I'm not always running to her with them . Admittedly I have room in my freezer .
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,941
North East England
My Mum used the M&S meals.As she was sight impaired, I used to put bright post its on the front with the time for cooking in large black letters, so that she just had to lift them out of the freezer each morning. She ate her main meal early evening time.
There was no waste, no work and sometimes only a knife and fork to wash...other times she would decant the meal onto a plate.
Other supermarkets did nice food too, but Mum was a lifelong M&S shopper.:rolleyes:
 

Plymum

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
135
WFF delivered to Mum with no problems. Female delivery driver also had my phone number and was an extra pair of eyes keeping watch.She phoned me a couple of times when a) she smelled gas in Mum's house and b) she found Mum in the street. Mum is now in a NH but I would recommend the WFF ready meals as a tasty ,easy to microwave from frozen and a small size for a declining appetite option.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

oilovlam

Registered User
Aug 2, 2015
386
South East
Wiltshire Farm Foods & Oakhouse were fairly similar when we used them. One was very good at categorising the food for low salt, gluten free, low fat, etc (but I cannot remember which one).

I moved to ready meals cooked by my local butcher because I felt they were better value. But they don't have many vegetables, so I supplement with broccoli. I freeze them and microwave then oven cook to reheat. Works for me.

Probably wouldn't work for a care agency because the 'sell by date' isn't accurate when frozen....they can be so fussy:D

Have heard M&S are good quality & value. But freezability & reheat times (from frozen) would need to be looked at. That's where WFF & Oakhouse are the easiest option.
 

Rosnpton

Registered User
Mar 19, 2017
394
Northants
Hi
We have used oak house for several years. At first,when mum was still at home and could manage a little cooking, as a standby. Now she is in a ch we get for dad-who in late 80s never did cooking.
I arranged to have a brochure sent to me as well as dads,they deliver once a week- you can pre authorise them to use a keys safe if suitable.i registered my bank card with them and it is noted in dads file that he is diabetic and cannot use an oven.i normally collect his order and phone it through for him, but if he wants to do it himself they check he can eat it etc.
They also offer a phone call the day before your areas delivery day if you haven't placed an order in case you forget to call etc.
They have a very wide range and although slightly more expensive,the meals I've seen him eat when there have all looked like the pic in the brochure.
Ros
Thanks for all your suggestions, there is a lot of useful info which will really help me look for the right stuff ont he packets.

Cooking extra portions for mum just wouldn't be practical, I work part time, there are 4 of us to cook for, normally fitted in in a rush between both kids activities and neither my or OH's brain would cope with that, I don't have much spare freezer space and no spare fridge space the day my on line shop is delivered, so I can't add mum's meals to this easily either.

Mum is in sheltered extra care, so I need to find out if someone will help a delivery driver if he turns up when reception is open, as mum wouldn't know how to buzz him through downstairs doors (she can't hear the phone, and isn't even aware of this option) as then deliveries of either Oakwood or Wiltshire might be options. I've checked out Oakwood and again their local delivery day is a day I work.

I will have a look at the supermarket ones suggested, I didn't want to try a supermarket one that no one had said was OK, as I won't be there when she is eating them I am not sure I will get any feedback, although the carers are all well known to my mum and really like her.

Mum is about 12 mins or so from me, and I can drive past either Morrisons or Asda & Aldi on the way. M & S and Sainsbury's are a few minutes out of my way, but only doable at non holiday times as the traffic even on a week day is manic for teh whole of November and December (by Cheshire Oaks outlet village).

I didn't realise some had to be defrosted before cooking if frozen, and I know the senior organising it asked that the meals take no longer than 11 mins to cook from frozen, the carers will pick one and cook it I guess. Mum makes her own tea and coffee during the day, not sure she'd want a drink with a meal.

She does eat in the on site bistro for lunch, and I know often has salad, so maybe is getting some veg. I did leave fruit and veg in fridge when she first moved in, and she never ate it so I stopped buying it, but I did notice the meals I bought didn't have a lot of veg, which was what prompted my question really. She will eat anything except spicy if put in front of her and always used to eat lots and lots of veg. I have introduced evening meal as I felt she would accept it now, and there was space to include it in the increased care package, I don't think she has been eating much after lunch alot of days, but other days she has(sweet food).

She either binges sweet food or doesn't eat any, but she knows where the cakes are because she gets her breakfast out every day.

The carer I saw when she had her first meal call suggested soup, so I will get a few other tins in as suggested of pasta etc.

I only get there once a week normally and sometimes I miss a visit so need to have a fortnights food in place in reality, which rules out fresh food to some extent.
 

daveyshadow

Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
38
Tesco

We have used Tesco's for two years now and over that time their ranges have improved greatly again some good healthy option's now that are not weight control items but just a little healthier in content.

OH normally does a weekly shop for MIL but if we are away on holiday I do Tesco home delivery. I always explain in the notes about MIL's health issues AZ and macular degeneration and organise the delivery for the 1 hr slot before the lunchtime carer. The drivers have been great, they normally offer to bring the food in and are sensitive to her.

As has been mentioned, double check that the food is suitable for microwave cooking as not all options are. :)