Great Freezer Meals for CaregiversOctober 19, 2023
As a caregiver, you understand the struggle of putting a fresh, healthy meal on the table every night for your elderly loved one. Some days you have the time to craft a thoughtful meal, while others you just have time to order delivery. While it’s fine to splurge on a delivery meal every once in a while, most of the time these are not the healthiest options. You can purchase freezer meals, but those are packed with preservatives too.
You can have the convenience of frozen meals with the benefits of cooking them yourself. On one of your easier caregiving days, spend some time in the kitchen preparing some of these great freezer meals for caregivers.
What shouldn’t be frozen?
Though there are plenty of delicious meals you can enjoy from fresh to frozen, not everything does well in the freezer. Items with high water content (such as watermelon, lettuce, or cucumbers) develop a mushy texture when defrosted. Milk products are likely to experience some separation, which has an unpleasant mouth feel. Eggs become tough and rubbery.
Some of these ingredients may do all right in a dish, so consider doing a little bit of research before throwing a meal in the freezer.
Healthy meals for seniors
Having freezer meals that are ready to eat is an invaluable resource for caregivers. Some of these meals are better prepared all the way up to the point of cooking, while others can be cooked, frozen, and heated up in the microwave. Select options that work best for your loved one’s needs.
Pasta primavera is an easy, flavorful dish that allows you to feature whatever vegetables are currently in season. To make this simple rendition, throw together all the ingredients in one pot and start cooking. If your loved one requires additional protein, consider adding chicken or bacon to the mix. Once you’re done, put it in an airtight container and save it in the freezer until you’re ready to eat.
Chicken pot pie
Chicken pot pie is one of the best cold-weather meals. Hearty and full of vegetables, seniors will never feel left wanting—except for maybe another slice. Prepare the ingredients on the stove, then pour them into the prepared pie crust. Instead of throwing it in the oven, cover and place it in your freezer. When you’re finally ready to eat it, remove it from the freezer 30 minutes before baking, cook for 30 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 and cook for another 70 to 80 minutes.
Healthy beef stew
Stews are wonderful to freeze! This healthy beef stew is cooked all in one pot, making cleanup a breeze. You can even make the cooking process simpler by preparing it in your slow cooker, so you don’t have to be in the kitchen the whole time. Freeze in one large container, or in single-sized portions so your loved one can heat up what they need.
Meatloaf has a bad reputation for being dry and bland, but this recipe certainly isn’t. Full of herbs and spices and topped with a delicious sauce, your loved one will be satisfied with this meal. Prepare the recipe as instructed and wrap it tightly in tin foil to secure it in your freezer. When you’re ready to eat, pair the meatloaf with vegetables for a rounded meal.
For a lighter approach to the traditional chili, try turkey chili. Cook the ground turkey and spices together in a pan. Then, throw the remaining ingredients in your slow cooker with your cooked turkey. Allow it to cook for eight hours, and when you’ve had a serving of your own, store it in the freezer for up to six months.
Butternut Squash Lentil Curry
If your loved one is interested in vegan meals for seniors, try this butternut squash lentil curry. Just like everything else made in a slow cooker, the prep is easy—just pour everything in and let the machine do its job. This recipe is full of great Indian spices, but it isn’t spicy, making it a great option for seniors with sensitive stomachs.
Meal prep assistance with home care
For some, being a caregiver is a full-time job. You are their support and their companion all at once, and you may even have your own career to manage. If you could use assistance caring for your loved one, consider home care.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our caregivers aid seniors with any non-medical activities of daily living you can think of—from personal care, to meal preparation. If you think your loved one could benefit from our support, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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