When you’re a family caregiver, finding time for everything on your list is challenging.
You plan to get everything done, but your mom’s neighbor stops you to chat. Your mom is having a bad morning and refuses to get out of bed. Until she does, you can’t change her sheets and do the laundry.
On these days that don’t go as planned, having meals prepped in advance saves time. With meal prep done on the weekend, you don’t have to figure out what you’re making. Everything is sliced, chopped, and marinated. You simply remove items from their packaging and start cooking.
How Food Prep Works
Food prep is a system where you plan meals for the week and get everything prepped and ready to use. It doesn’t take more than an hour or two to set up the meals your parents will eat during the week. It’s best to complete your food prep tasks after grocery shopping and when you have an hour or two of free time.
Start by planning a menu for the week. Discuss what your parents want to eat. You may need to adjust recipes to have them meet your parents’ dietary guidelines, but it’s not hard to make adjustments when it comes to reducing salt, avoiding sugar, and cutting saturated fat. Create your list and put it on a calendar or in a spreadsheet that you print out.
Go through their kitchen and see what ingredients are available. You need to put anything they don’t have on a shopping list. Place the order online if you want delivery or curbside pick-up, otherwise, take your list to the store with you.
Once you’ve purchased the items and are back in their kitchen, prep everything you can. For recipes that call for trimmed green beans, take the time to wash and trim them. Pat dry with a paper towel and put in containers to put in the refrigerator.
If meats like chicken breasts need trimming or marinating, do that before you put the item in the freezer or refrigerator. Dice onions and put them into a container. Peel and slice carrots and other vegetables. Keep going through the ingredients until everything is ready for use.
When it’s time to cook a meal, everything is prepped and ready to go into the skillet, pan, or baking dish. It frees up time for other chores.
Would It Help to Have Someone Else Cook Meals for Your Mom and Dad?
Have you thought about having caregivers available from the local senior care agency? Caregivers can help you by taking over some of your to-do lists. While you’re running errands, a senior care aide in San Diego. CA, can do the laundry and help your mom get ready to start her day. Call to find out what pricing and availability are in your area.