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What to Cook for a Caregiving Friend

How to cook for any caregiving friend

When someone is sick, you can feel pretty helpless and your natural instinct may be to cook something. As someone who’s been on the caregiving end, I know that food is always welcome. One less thing to think about! However, I threw away a lot of food when I emptied out my dad’s fridge because 1) it wasn’t something he liked, 2) it was too hard for him to prepare, or 3) there was just too much for him to eat by himself. Here are some helpful tips when deciding to show love through food.

Don’t forget breakfast and lunch. Muffins freeze well and are also easy to share with visitors. Sandwich meat, cheese and bread also go a long way— they don’t have to be heated and don’t spoil too quickly.

Bring snacks. Keep up a caregiver’s stamina and bring a variety of granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, hummus and crackers and juice. Are there kids in the house? Throw in fruit snacks, goldfish crackers and juice boxes.

Offer to buy staples. Keep the caregiver stocked in milk, bread, coffee, tea, orange juice and eggs. Think about other essentials, too, like toilet paper, tissue and soap.

Ask a third party about preferences. My girlfriends knew my food likes and dislikes and shared these with other friends who were looking to help. My father is particularly picky, so inquiring about his favorite foods would’ve saved some waste.

Keep it simple. Sticking to uncomplicated stuff is a good idea not only because someone may have allergies or a picky palate, but also because simple comfort food provides just that: comfort. Soups, lasagna, homemade pizza that can be popped in the oven, meatloaf, mac and cheese—they all taste pretty phenomenal when you’re stressed and tired.

What Meals Are Your Favorites to Share?

What kind of meals do you cook for your caregiving friends? What are some of your favorite shareable recipes? Everyone loves trying new recipes.

About the Author:

Amanda Fretheim Gates is a writer and editor living in Minneapolis.

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