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Home made frozen microwave meals - Carers UK Forum

Home made frozen microwave meals

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Please can anyone give me advice on making meals in advance for MIL that can be reheated from frozen in microwave.

Before you say it, we have tried Wiltshire Farm meals and she doesn't like them ... tried various supermarket ready meals with same response. I have sneaked the odd Fisherman's or Shepherd's Pie into her freezer, with mixed results ... sometimes depending on which of the homecarers prepares it for her as the sun shines out of some backsides, whilst others are a waste of space ... ;) Also tried meals delivered from local care home and they have been reported as too cold, veg too hard, meat too tough, amount too much, too spicy, had sauce which I didn't like ... and so on. MIL also has very conservative tastes ... no sauce, rice, pasta, garlic, herbs ... anything that is slightly "foreign" ... basically meat, veg, possibly gravy and potato based would probably be acceptable.

I cook a family meal most evenings, and happy to box/plate up a portion, chuck in the freezer and drop off when we do her weekly shop, but I have never batch cooked and frozen for my family, plus will need to leave instructions for the carers, some of whom can hardly find the kitchen never mind the microwave ...

Don't want to risk making her ill with something not properly reheated, so can anyone advise a couple of foolproof meals that would survive a quick blast straight from the freezer?

At the moment the lunchtime carer gets 30 mins to toilet, clean-up (sometimes involving change of clothes) and settle her again, so we find she is surviving on sandwiches and snacks, rather than having one decent hot meal a day.

Any advice much appreciated, thanks :)
My mum was just the same, said everything tasted the same, but sadly the truth was she was losing her sense of taste. Your mum doesn't need big nutritious meals, in fact they may be a struggle for her. Google "Signs of Dying" to find out how the body slows down. I'm NOT saying your mum is dying, it's just that's the best description I've ever read.
Thanks Bowling Bun, but she is actually asking us to get her something different. On today's shopping she wanted chips, but said "not those silly microwave ones, the type you cooking in the oven" ... Mmmm, 25 minutes plus 5-10 for oven to get to temperature is never going to work. Carers suggested tinned potatoes, which I will get next week but I doubt she will like them and tinned green beans ... "I loved my runner beans when I used to grow them" ... she is in for a disappointment there I think ... She won't even try soup, which would be a good meal a couple times a week ... "never had it in my life so why should I want it now" ... its so frustrating :(

She keeps telling us she is fed up with the limited foods she does eat within the restricted time the carers have, and saying "get me something different/tasty/nice for a change". Running out of ideas. I do sometimes plate up a roast and take down if we are going that way the following day, and she will eat the lot and almost lick the plate clean, so her appetite is still there, just that she is so reluctant to try anything new, and gets fed up with the same old/same old. I think even if we took her around the shop she still wouldn't come up with anything different herself, as everything she wants takes too long to prepare or cook.

Just had a Farm Foods store open locally so might give them a go and see if anything different, but is not easy.
I freeze a lot of meat-based casseroles. Single portions (in a Tupperware or similar) should be put in the microwave first on the "Defrost" setting until now longer frozen and then I find reheating on the "Medium" (rather than "High" setting) is much better.

You can also freeze portions of mashed potato and reheat as above - just fork through a knob of butter before serving!

We have a couple of local farmshops (and a garden centre) which all sell "home-cooked" frozen meals - may also be worth investigating this where you are.
It must be very frustrating for carees, depending on others for meals etc.
Chucking in a microwave meal, tipping on a plate, plonking it down, the carers grabs their coat and rush off leaving the elderly person sat eating on their own, we humans are sociable people like eating with others.

My friend used to hate that, microwave meals just aren't the same as a proper Sunday dinner or say sausage chips and beans cooked properly which the carers just haven't time to do.

And yes cooking him a proper dinner, yes he ate every morsel of food and pudding.

No wonder your mil is fed up, food is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, tastes, textures, nice crunchy roast potatoes.

It is just so unfair that elderly people just aren't given the time for a proper meal, just no dignity and no care.

I used to go to the local pub and they would provide a proper take away meal for £3.00.

My caree was very good friends with the owner and the pub was literally 100 metres away so that was easy, he got a proper meal and proper gravy.
Or fish and chips from the chip shop, again the carers just didn't have time to go to the chip shop for him, but now due to the corona you can get fish and chips delivered by volunteers who will serve up etc in our area.

A lot of pubs are doing proper meals to be taken away/or delivered due to the Corona so might be worth looking in the paper, asking around the local pubs near your mil.

It is very difficult your mil wants nice proper food not microwave mush as my friend used to call it.

And yes doesn't help with the carers who can barely find a kitchen let alone cook properly.

Has your mil got any kind of neighbourhood watch scheme, sometimes they can advise in situations like this especially with the corona virus, they might be able to help advice about meal delivery's.
As bowlingbun says many elderly people turn into elderly toddlers where nothing is right, the weathers too hot, its too cold, its always raining, the food isn't right, the coffee doesn't taste right, The carers aren't right, they are just never happy.
When my Dad was dying of cancer of oesophagus he could barely swallow but I made him homemade soups with loads of cream and butter to keep his calorie intake up. these froze very well.

I cook from scratch lots of stews, casseroles, spag bol, pasta dishes, cottage pie etc and sometimes I freeze an odd portion but I am never very happy with the taste and texture when they’re reheated.

I used to buy my Mum a few emergency frozen meals and I think the best ones were Bisto meals. Have you tried those? She used them on days when she didn’t have much energy. When she was well she cooked for herself but as she got more poorly and dementia set in she forgot how to use the microwave.
Just remembered ... our supermarket also stocks a small range of casserole-type meals that come in sturdy pouches. No refrigeration of freezing required and will reheat in the microwave (we used to use them when boating as there was severely-limited frig space!).
Yes, someone mentioned parsleybox.com - they seem to do the same kind of packaged meals, not frozen. I don't know what they're like, but the few meals in pouches I've had in the past were quite good.
I cannot wait for this series to start. Even though i am single I hate to cook and enjoy eating leftovers, so I hope to be able to enjoy some of your amazing recipes whenever the mood hits.

Thanks for all your hard work.
I have Appetto deliver my mum two meals a day...two course hot lunch which they can choose on a weekly/ monthly basis ( I can’t remember which as mums just keeps repeating over what ever the time period is ). The ladies who deliver are lovely and check she is ok also. At the same time she has a tea time pack also delivered ( sandwich, cake and fruit). This costs about £10 per day, used to be meals on wheels but now run by a private company. They have not failed to deliver ever any extra charge for bank holidays not even Christmas Day 🙂