Busy family caregivers are always looking for ways to save time. When you have children, a senior parent who relies on your help, and a job, it’s important to find shortcuts. Try these five ways to speed up meal preparation and reduce time in the kitchen.
Create a Weekly Menu
Work with your parent to create a weekly menu. Your dad knows what he’d like throughout the week. Use that to come up with a list of ingredients you need each day. If there are ingredients missing, put them on a grocery list and order groceries for delivery or have someone pick them up.
Prep Foods Once a Week
Now, take the weekly menu and pay attention to what’s needed for each day. If you know there are three meals where diced onions are needed, dice enough onions for those meals. Put them in storage containers and move them to the refrigerator until needed.
Prepare ingredients in bulk once a week to save time. You can shred cabbage, slice peppers, and marinate meats in advance. When meats need marinating, you get a better flavor if you add the meats to the marinade before putting them in the freezer.
Invest in Helpful Tools
Some kitchen tools can speed up preparation times. If your dad has a stand mixer, attachments like a shredder allow you to grate vegetables and cheese in little time. A food processor helps you slice carrots and vegetables in seconds.
There are attachments that can help you grind meats, dice vegetables, and puree ingredients. With the right appliances, you can quickly take care of prep.
Create One-Pot Meals and Freeze Them
Some meals can be packaged and stored in the freezer. On the morning that meal is needed, move the prepped ingredients to a slow cooker. You’ll have dinner cooking all day without having to do much that day.
A stew is one of many one-pot meals. Cube beef and add some frozen stew vegetables. Sprinkle in seasonings and toss it all with cornstarch or flour. When you need to cook it, move it to the slow cooker, add some beef broth, and turn it on.
Do the same with broken spaghetti, frozen turkey meatballs, a jar of pasta sauce, and a jar of water. The pasta absorbs the sauce and water as it cooks. By the end of the day, you’ll have spaghetti and meatballs without much fuss.
Arrange Senior Home Care
Senior home care can help your parent with meal preparation and improving their nutrition. Instead of rushing to get your kids from school, help them with homework, and get back to your dad’s house for dinner, hire home care aides to prepare his meals.
Senior home care services help your dad with meals, but there are other services that help him age at home. He can have caregivers assist with housekeeping, errands, and laundry. Call a specialist in home care to learn more.