According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans spend a little more than two hours per day on household chores. Take that average of two hours and add it to your workday, commute times, and physical care of a child or pet. If you take out the hours of sleep you need, there just never seems to be enough time.
If you’re also providing care to an aging parent, it’s likely that you have to rely on a lot of quick and easy recipes to make sure everyone eats at a reasonable time. Quick and easy doesn’t always make for healthy options, however. How do you create meals that meet your parents’ nutritional meals without spending a lot of time?
Prep on Weekends or Days Off
If possible, do as much of your meal preparation on days off. Make a big pot of brown rice or another whole grain on a weekend afternoon. Divide it into freezer containers or bags and place them in the freezer. On days you need that ingredient, thaw it in the refrigerator while you’re at work.
You can do the same with meats and vegetables. Chop or slice them as needed on your days off and store in the refrigerator or freezer until they’re needed. When it’s time to make dinner, you have all of the prep work done.
Plan in Advance
Many online recipe sites have entire meal plans that provide a month of meals. They often include the shopping list you can take to the store. If you have a menu plan and have bought all the ingredients, you’ll skip trips to the store for last-minute items. You have everything you need and can get out of work, get home, and start cooking.
Use a Pressure Cooker or Cast Iron Pot
If you’re in a real hurry, a pressure cooker can save a lot of time. You can also use a heavy cast iron pot with a lid for one-pot meals that don’t have to be watched. While you have a casserole, stew, soup, or one-pot meal in the oven, you can focus on other tasks like cleaning, laundry, and pet care.
Hire Home Care
Make sure your parents get a variety of dishes by hiring home care aides to cook their meals. Caregivers can help your parents with menu planning. They can drive them to grocery stores to get items on the list. They can prepare meals for your parents. You are free to worry about your own household’s meals, and your parents benefit from companionship and healthy meals.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from Senior Care in Walnut Creek, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.