What can I make to feed my gran up?

Hoping you lovely people can give me some ideas!!

I'm going to visit my gran for 4 days tomorrow, and really want to feed her up as shes 91, not very well and the carers that come a few times a day aren't doing a very good job of giving her decent food so shes losing weight quite badly :(

Need to get ideas for what I can cook her thats nutritious, filling, and fairly cheap as I'm a bit skint currently due to house purchasing! Also, can only easily get to a co op once Im there, but can go past a morrisons on the way up if i plan what i need in advance.

Being 91, shes quite keen on typical english foods such as leek and potato soup, so I was thinking along the lines of steamed savoury puddings, pies, stews etc. She has a small appetite at the best of times due to her meds so what she does eat i want it to be the best for her! Oh shes also quite keen on ginger and fish, so I did steamed salmon with ginger last time which she quite liked.

Any ideas much appreciated, I know if anyone can help you OS guys can!!


  • ubamother
    ubamother Forumite Posts: 1,190 Forumite
    I have found with the very elderly that little and often is often more welcome than 'proper' meals.

    Does she have a freezer/microwave - and will carers heat things for her? Depending on those answers, you could make half-size portions of things like stews and buttery mash etc. which would reheat pretty well.

    Regardless of 'main' meals, if you made plenty of really nice biscuits - twinks' hobnobs etc. are healthyish with oats but calorific in butter and sugar and very tasty so might be nice for her to chomp on - maybe add some ginger as she likes it. If a cup of tea and a biscuit is a regular event two or three times a day you are adding liquid and calories which is great.
  • Bronnie
    Bronnie Forumite Posts: 4,161
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 28 April 2010 at 4:01PM
    Sitting down and enjoying meals together while you're there and making little rituals of elevenses, afternoon cup of tea and bit of cake, supper etc is a great encouragement to eating too! As does making things look nice on the plate and serving modest portions.
  • BitterAndTwisted
    BitterAndTwisted Forumite Posts: 22,492
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Yep, I'd be serving granny her meals on a tea/side plate as it's a lot less daunting than a piled-up dinner-plate.

    I think you've already got the right idea where her meals are concerned: a little and often. My own granny appeared to subsist only on cups of tea and Rich Tea biscuits for the last decade of her life.
  • kayjay1809
    kayjay1809 Forumite Posts: 200
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    edited 28 April 2010 at 4:47PM
    How about when you're there cooking a couple of meals along very traditional lines, and freezing the remainder into small meal size portions for your Gran eg, shepherd's pie and beef casserole. Trying to remember what my mum liked to eat when she was ill and lost her appetite, she could be tempted by smoked haddock and mash, gammon and chips and she enjoyed prawn sandwiches. Little and often meals might work well for your gran, such as a sandwich, soup, biscuits, rice pudding etc. Price wise, you can buy good quality steak mince for a good price if you look out for offers, and you don't need to buy much beef or fish etc for her as she won't eat large meals. The Co-Op have had some really good offers on lately for whole chickens and yummy meat balls.

    Have a nice break with your Gran :)
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  • Rikki
    Rikki Forumite Posts: 21,625 Forumite
    How about rice pudding, semolina, macaroni and tapioca puddings. Especially with a spoonful of jam. :drool:

    Streamed puddings take minutes in the microwave and nice served with custard.

    Fish pie with mashed potato with grated cheese on the top.
    Corn-beef and potato pie. Simple to make just need leaving in the oven for an hour or so, a little planning needed for that one.

    Good old fashioned shepherds / cottage pie.
    Sausage casserole as well as old fashioned bangers and mash.
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  • dronid
    dronid Forumite Posts: 599
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Do ask her about food. I was in a hospital a little while back sitting next to a family with the grandmother who they were scolding for not eating what they were providing. I got chatting with them and her about food she liked and she perked up and started talking about her favourite foods including things like corned beef hash and pease pudding. The family were suprised she could be enthusiastic about food and then looked at her like she was suggesting roast unicorn instead of corned beef so I put them in the direction of this site. Hopefully someone came on here or looked up the recipies to cook for her. I get the impression that they just kept trying out chicken nuggets on her! Not that I would suggest you would be doing that!

    Small versions of the kind of food she used to enjoy - see if she wants stronger flavours though, as you get older some food tastes like cardboard.

    I could make it better myself at home. All I need is a small aubergine...

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Forumite Posts: 0
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts
    My elderly parents enjoy 3 small main meals but in between they like tea and biscuits (and crisps!). I think the other posts havs some excellent ideas. But I couldn't see any mention of fruit (might have overlooked it). My parents also like to eat an orange or a banana whilst watching tv. A small piece of fruit can be tempting and nourishing and and is something she may not have very often if she lives alone.

    Hope you have an enjoyable time with your gran.
  • m_curiousity
    m_curiousity Forumite Posts: 127 Forumite
    Thanks for all the great ideas guys! Does anyone know where I can find recipes for things like savoury steamed puddings? I normally look on bbc food but couldnt find any on there....
  • morganlefay
    morganlefay Forumite Posts: 1,220
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    I agree with the good advice people have given on here. My elderly Mum at 94 developed a very sweet tooth, and the thing is that really it doesn't matter what our elderly rellies eat as long as they enjoy it. They don't need to be worrying about developing strong bones and teeth - like we worry about for our children, we just need to make sure that whatever they have is something they like (like the corned beef story above - I love the idea of roast unicorn) So my Mum liked ice cream (but we tried to make sure it was a 'real' one with eggs and milk in), and shepherd's pie with TONS of rich milk and butter in the mash and we slipped cheese into things to give a bit more protein. She loved biscuits and fudge (cream and sugar - just the thing for energy) and chocolate (very nourishing) and bananas and cream and tinned custard with prunes and nice thick home made soups - so we could slip cream in those for her. Many of these are things which, if you gave them to children, would be regarded as a dreadful diet. As Dronid says, if you get her to talk about the things she liked to eat when she was young you might get lots of ideas (and perhaps then have to cook things you'd never heard of !) but you do get a wonderful feeling of satisfaction when you give an old lady something to eat and she gobbles it all up. Good for you, you sound like a lovely granddaughter !
  • parsonswife8
    parsonswife8 Forumite Posts: 1,900 Forumite
    What about a nice rice pudding, or a bread pudding or Queen of puddings, or sliced bananas and custard.
    Chicken and veg broth, watercress soup, poached haddock and parsley sauce, toad in the hole, a beef casserole with herb dumplings, cod fish cakes, poached eggs and asparagus, scrambled eggs, an omelette, a nice quiche lorraine and a small side salad, macaroni cheese?
    My mum-in-law is 86 and she is finding that heavy meals and things like fried onions, can lead to an upset tummy.
    Good luck and give your nan a big, but gentle, hug.

    ;) Felines are my favourite ;)
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