Quick and Easy Meals for Caregivers

The finite nature of time is painfully apparent to all of us—but for caregivers, this is especially true. Working a job, caring for an elderly loved one, and also caring for oneself can feel like an impossible task. But finding the time to tend to one’s personal needs, such as their physical health, is crucial to their ability to care for their loved ones. This kind of self-care includes meal preparation.

For those who care for an elderly loved one, spending hours preparing meals isn’t exactly feasible. Creating a list of quick and easy meals for caregivers will not only make their lives simpler, but help them feel better. Each of these meals is designed to be prepared in half an hour or even less, so you can focus on what’s most important to you—caring for your elderly loved one.

Quick and Easy Meals for Caregivers

Quick and easy breakfasts for caregivers

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! In eating a healthy breakfast, you replenish the glucose levels that boost your alertness and help you get through the day. Start the day off right with a healthy, filling meal.

Overnight oats

Oatmeal is already easy enough to prepare in the morning, but overnight oats make it even simpler. There are two primary ways one can prepare overnight oats—the first is to throw everything in a slow cooker overnight so it’s ready and warm first thing. Another option is to put all the ingredients in a Tupperware container in the fridge overnight. This will yield similar results and uses up fewer dishes.

One of the best parts about oatmeal is how it can be endlessly customized. Add whatever fruits, nuts, seeds, and sweeteners you like for a breakfast you’ll look forward to day after day.

Yogurt parfait

For a similarly simple and customizable dish, a yogurt parfait is a great option. Purchase a tub of Greek yogurt (this is the best option because it has more protein and calcium, and less sugar) and whatever toppings you’d like. Some great options include granola, berries, and nuts. If you’d like a little more sweetness, use a small amount of honey or even jam.

Just like you can with oatmeal, you could even make a large serving at the beginning of the week so you don’t have to worry about getting up and making breakfast every morning.

Quick and easy lunches for caregivers

Partway through the day, you likely find your energy sags. Instead of relying on another cup of your caffeinated beverage of choice, it may be time to pick up lunch. In eating a quality meal, you should have the energy you need to move on with the second half of the day

Cooked quinoa salad

In recent years, the U.S. has seen a rise in popularity of this little whole grain. Quinoa is high in fiber, protein, and is gluten-free. This makes it a great addition to meals in place of rice or even toast.

Quinoa salad can all be cooked in one pan with your favorite ingredients (but a great place to start is with mushrooms, onions, and peppers). It is great warm or cold, depending on your preferences, and could be served over a bed of lettuce.

Southwest chicken salad

Southwest chicken salad is as easy as it is flavorful. Cook your chicken in olive oil (which is heart-healthy!) and whatever spices you prefer. Let it cool slightly, then chop it up and toss it in salsa, beans, and whatever other ingredients you enjoy that help bring the southwestern flavor to life.

To make this meal even simpler, purchase a rotisserie chicken. This eliminates the need to do any cooking—all you have to do is shred the chicken and mix the ingredients together.

Make yourself healthy and easy meals

Quick and easy dinners for caregivers

At the end of a long day, cooking dinner may be the last thing you want to do. However, a healthy dinner is shown to lead to better sleep and even better meal choices the following day.

One-pan salmon and vegetables

Sheet-pan dinners are some of the fastest ways to get a healthy meal on your plate in a limited amount of time. Season salmon, zucchini, and tomatoes with your spices of choice. Then, roast them all in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes. It’s really that easy!

If you don’t have zucchini or squash, it doesn’t matter. You can utilize any vegetable you like in this recipe, just know you may have to adjust the cooking time slightly.

Slow-cooker salsa chili

For busy people, slow-cooker recipes are a life safer. In the morning before you get started on your tasks for the day, throw together all the necessary ingredients for salsa chili in your slow cooker. You could even make the process easier by chopping up any necessary ingredients the night before.

At the end of the day, you’ll come home to a satisfying chili recipe that is as delicious as it is simple. What’s more, you’ll end up with leftovers for a few days, making this recipe all the better.

For assistance with meal preparation, consider an at-home caregiver

If preparing meals for your elderly loved one feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. Many family caregivers struggle to keep up with the wide array of activities of daily living they have to support their loved one. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, get help.

At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our trained caregivers proudly provide seniors the assistance they need to age comfortably at home. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 773-274-9262.

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