Meals for my mum

I am struggling with my mum’s diet. She is 85 and can no longer cook or prepare meals for herself. She was managing with microwaveable meals from Waitrose and M&S but no longer wants to eat those. I booked meals on wheels for her for 3 days a week and after just 3 meals she doesn’t want those. She says she can manage on bread and soup. As I work and don’t live locally I can only visit once a week so she will only get one hot meal per week. She already has a one hour visit every day to help with her personal hygiene and does want a lunchtime visit. So I’m stuck for ideas on what to do…if anyone has had similar problems I would appreciate any suggestions.

Hi and welcome Francoise

I don’t think there is too much wrong with bread and soup. Depending on the type. You can get really good fresh soups and breads. I would be inclined to go along with the soup for now. Try introducing the fresh type and get different breads. Try a little experiment is it really a soup and break issue. Or an attention one you know your Mum. This age group don’t always need much food. Just tasty food and as you have already tried M&S and Waitrose. Who provide very good meals perhaps there is something else happening here. Has this situation be a slow burner or a rapid change.

personal hygiene and does want a lunchtime visit. are the agency unable to supply a lunch time call.

Do you think Mum lack or needs company. Rather than what is she going to eat.

I often say, if I lived alone I could live on soup and bread. I make all my own soups so I know exactly what’s in them, no salt or sugar, no E additives, no colourings etc.

Has your Mum tried Bisto frozen meals? I used to get a few of these in for my Mum for emergencies and she thought they were very nice. I used to get them at Tesco.

My mum lived on Mr. Kipling cakes for many years. She had digestive problems, long story, but could manage to eat Mr. Kiplings, a little and often.
I don’t know anywhere else that explains better how the digestive system ages, than articles I found when I googled “Signs of Dying” when mum was ill. I’m NOT saying your mum is dying! Just have a look at the articles about the body knowing how much it can cope with. It helped me understand so much better.

my Mum lives down south and she is in her 80’s. She has mobility problems but is mentally very with it. She probably could cook but it would take her longer as she uses a trolley inside to aid walking and a rollator for short distances outside. Her meals have become very idiosyncratic. My sister shops for her each week, but a lot doesn’t get eaten even though my sister buys the things on her list. She often has Complan for supper/dinner or Farleys rusks or cold baked beans. She sometimes has fish. She has always liked traditional meals but very plain and so doesn’t like ready meals.

I agree with BB, as older folk become less active, they need less calories and eat less.

A friend of mine prepares meals for an old man who lost his wife. She buys some ready meals and cooks small portions of fish/meat etc and divides them in half, she freezes them with a portion of veg on the side and instructions on how to reheat. He defrosts them and pops them in the microwave. They are less off putting because they are small portions, he can manage them all and doesn’t feel like he is wasting any.

Penny, I love homemade soup especially for lunch in the Winter.


Me too, a proper Chicken soup - aka Jewish Penicillin.

Thank you for all your suggestions. For some reason I had problems login in for a while….and other problems took over….so wasn’t ignoring anyone….
I’ve taken on care to cook mum’s meals….it’s sort of semi working ……but they just keep giving her big portions
that put her off eating….I’ve keep telling them small and tasty to no avail…but will keep trying.

re smaller portion sizes - a small plate worked for my Mum !

Tell those cooking for her to think “child portions” when dishing up her meals !

I am a carer for my 96 year old mother. She only eats small meals. What works very well for her are the ready meals from Wiltshire Farm Foods. They have a small portion range. It’s just a matter of putting them in the microwave. They are very nutritious

My mum is 88 and has a very small appetite, but she does really enjoy her food. She just can’t manage much in one go - I’m the opposite, so it was a bit alarming at first but I’ve realised she’s pretty stable weight-wise on small meals like soup and bread.

I get her the toddler meals from a well known supermarket and she usually manages most of one of those, they don’t overface her and I can add a little bit of broccoli or other greens to it.

I agree with all the previous comments - they are great. If mum can manage to put the straw in, then I’d recommend an individual carton of fruit juice a day too - bumps up the vitamin C