Food For the Frail

So...I promised you I'd be back in the kitchen soon now that we have Home Angels taking care of Mom during the day, but...

Having to cook for a 90-year-old who now has difficulty swallowing, has no appetite whatsoever, and has a phlegmy chest which they suspect are the remnants of Omicron, is not as easy as I thought.

I am currently avoiding giving Mom dairy products as she has a problem with a phlegmy chest, possibly remnants of Covid, so unfortunately no custard or other milky puds that she enjoys!

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Wheat is said to increase mucus, so my choice of oats and other wheats may not be wise, but it seems to agree with Mom.

The portion size that she manages to eat, is way too little but there's no way of changing that; she sometimes only manages a couple of teaspoons. The current caregiver is a bit more strict with her and makes sure she finishes her tiny bowl of food, something I'm very thankful for.

Breakfast options:
  • Oats with Ensure, an excellent nutritional supplement.
  • Wheat Bix mixed with hot water and Ensure.
  • Creamy scrambled Eggs with just a dash of milk added.

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Lunch & Supper Options:
  • Pureed vegetable Soup
  • Baby food - a mix of steamed vegetables mashed up
  • Butternut Mash

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Desserts:
  • Stewed mashed Apples
  • Mashed Banana with Ensure
  • Reduced Sugar Vegan Lemon Jelly
    These often are the main meal or lunchtime meal, it just depends on what she feels like having.

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Perhaps the foods I've been preparing may help someone who finds themselves in the same position one day, or you may have advice and tips to share with us.


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14 comments
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This seems to be healthy meals Lady Lily. Best is to stay away from dairy with a phlegmy chest.
Happy that mom has good people caring for that does indeed lighten your load.
Please let her know that she is in our prayers.

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Thank you for the prayers my friend, we are very fortunate having these ladies. Two of them alternate and Mom is happy with them both!
Blessings to you and Marion!

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These are some great looking meals. My mother was a diabetic and with her dementia would swear blind that she had eaten, and often refuse to eat. So we had to coax her, and a banana often worked wonders. Her swallowing was never a problem, and she loved soups.

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(Edited)

My mother has always eaten like a bird, now she's eating even less. The caregiver coaxes her by telling her that the doctor will send her back to the hospital as she won't get better if she doesn't eat😉
Ah shame, it must have been quite a job with your mom!

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Yes, we had to learn almost to speak as if we were talking to a five year old at times, so I can relate with the coaxing of the caregiver, whatever works in a kind way is awesome.

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My goodness I see you must be cooking an awful lot for your mother. Food as medicine. Great job making it lovely to look at for her, as well as hitting all the other marks you are trying to hit.

I have never been able to get ensure into a sick person! Does your mother drink it without complaint? I opted for salted chicken or beef broth instead. Very nutritious, mild going down, and easy to make. Egg drop for more protein. Few sick people say no to a nice, homemade, broth.

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Fortunately she likes the taste of the Ensure added to cereal or a banana. I made a nice broth but she even choked on that so everything has to be pureed, but she doesn't eat any meat or poultry, only fish. I will try to stew some fish & potato mash for protein.
Mom usually enjoys a veg broth but this swallowing is a big problem!
Thank you @owasco!

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Out on a limb making soft food, one tends to forget how much we made when children were young.

I recently made after tooth problems, mashed potato then added a tin of Saikav split pea dhall, once warmed added eggs and stirred all together for exceptionally filling meal, family enjoyed it.

Of course there are many recipes out there to make your own Dhall, I was definitely not in the mood to cook 😆 so tinned it was and it was good!

!BEER

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I've fotgotten about dhall and Mom always enjoys it so I'll definitely try your combination, she needs to get more protein but doesn't eat meat!
Thank you for this.

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Amazing what you think up when you have a sore mouth. Glad it may help with some alternative taste to the menu.

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I remember my great aunt who had trouble swallowing solids used to get arracacha soup with small chicken strands almost crushed. And since your mom can't eat dairy products by now, maybe jelly could be a good choice, and it can be refreshing with the heat.

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Your mom is fortunate to have someone like you to care. All those special items are so perfect with variety. I wouldn't mind having those things myself.

Sending warm thoughts your way.

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