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Advice re prepared meals

(17 Posts)
Batbear Thu 13-Feb-14 15:49:37

I'm looking for some suggestions from those with some better knowledge than my ploughing through google. My apologies for the essay!

My Gran (94) has suffered another stroke which has affected her short term memory. She is unable to cook for herself and my mother does not have the modification at home (stairlift etc) to have her there.

There are now carers going in to her 3 times a day who will microwave ready meals and so far we have bought supermarket meals.

Are any of the meals available from frozen meal suppliers (like Wiltshire Farm Foods) better than the supermarkets? Gran has simple tastes so it is harder for my mother to modify her meals.

Thanks for your help.

hufflebottom Thu 13-Feb-14 16:05:42

Could you get some microwaveable dishes and make some meals yourself such as a shepherds pie or a simple lasagne? May also be cheaper in the long run

CMOTDibbler Thu 13-Feb-14 16:06:40

If your gran has simple tastes, then the Wiltshire Farm ones will suit her. I bought a load for my parents and dad liked them plus they are sized for older people as a complete meal.
I haven't tried the other ones as dad can make it to (and round) the supermarket on the scooter currently.

drspouse Thu 13-Feb-14 16:11:18

Yes, the suppliers do bring what an elderly relative will like - my late DMIL had them from a similar supplier. They bring a variety, a lot of it is meat and two veg, there are usually puddings, and usually you can request not to have something you don't like. DMIL found rhubarb didn't agree with her so we took away the rhubarb crumbles and told them not to bring it any more.

They are also quite high calorie which is usually helpful for the elderly. We had to split the one-person crumble between two of us, no idea what extra they'd put in it but it was very filling! And they are very reasonably priced. We were quite impressed.

cathpip Thu 13-Feb-14 16:20:38

We were recommended Marks and Spencer ready meals, purely based on the high calorie count in them for my grandpa after his final stay in hospital.

dobby2001 Thu 13-Feb-14 16:24:03

We looked at the wilstshire meals and similar company and to be honest, the cost seemed ridiculous, considering they were frozen ready meals, just the same as the supermarkets do for a lot less. My sister and I are going to batch cook a load of meals and put them in her freezer, but agreed of stuck, we would have ordered a batch to be delivered from Iceland, as you can do a months worth there for the price of a weeks Wiltshire foods.

CocktailQueen Thu 13-Feb-14 16:32:09

What about meals on wheels? We have this once a day for my MIL and it seems to work well.

drspouse Thu 13-Feb-14 16:35:40

Maybe we had a different company then dobby (I think it was Oakhouse Foods), because they seemed very reasonable. But perhaps there are special Social Services prices as they came through them.

They also seemed to work better as heated up microwave meals than a lot of the things you or I would cook.

I have a feeling we were originally told it would be Meals on Wheels but they didn't bring hot food, they just heated up this kind of stuff.

Batbear Thu 13-Feb-14 17:36:02

Thanks everyone. Meals on wheels seem to be Wiltshire foods under a different name in our area.

It is nice to hear other peoples positive experiences - hopefully we can do some cooking for her in tandem with some ready meals. She doesn't even seem to remember what to do if she is hungry now, so I'm glad someone will be around to put meals in front of her.

whataboutbob Thu 13-Feb-14 19:42:21

Hi batbear I am a dietitian. As others have pointed out WFF' s USP is customer friendliness. They know their market and are very elderly friendly. You can pay cash in hand at the door. Also, if you need modified textures eg soft/ puréed, they can provide that. But the quality of the finished product in my opinion is no better than tesco/ sainsbury's. If the elderly person has someone who can help with shopping and stocking the freezer up the I can t really see the advantage of WFF.

Batbear Thu 13-Feb-14 20:04:01

Thanks whataboutbob - that was something
I had wondered too. It's a shame that we are going t

Batbear Thu 13-Feb-14 20:06:49

Argh stupid iPhone

Thanks whataboutbob it was something I had wondered too!

It's a shame that we have to have microwave dinners. Mum will do what she can but she is 70 and I am 150 miles away so am trying to get some reasonable options for them.

Twighlightsparkle Thu 13-Feb-14 20:09:06

My gran tried Wiltshire, the quality wasn't good for everyday meals, ok now and again.

whataboutbob Thu 13-Feb-14 21:32:22

I know what you mean. Dad used to be a great cook and now can just about manage to fry some bacon, and has quite a few microwave meals, but the way I see it that is infinitely better to going without and losing more and more weight.

ChishandFips33 Thu 13-Feb-14 22:07:16

I can't speak highly enough about WFF

I use them for my mam and dad and although probably not as tasty as home cooked, I really can't fault the service.

Slightly pricier than supermarket ready meals but mam says the veg seems to 'travel' better than the supermarket ones

We don't bother with puddings, found better priced in shops but as a treat now and again if they fancy something but making it fresh is a faff

It's the same delivery guy (which gives me peace of mind that they're not opening doors to random people or may get duped into opening the door thinking it's the delivery guy)

I've forgotten to order (mam likes to choose something different every week!) on time and contacted them very last minute (a few hrs before the delivery! Bad daughter!) and they've been kind enough to ensure they still had their order

Nothing is a trouble and I have peace of mind that they are having a hot meal every day. I cook for them once a week when I can so they still get something fresh

There's no minimum order (that I'm aware of) or commitment, so it might be worth ordering a few to try, which takes the pressure off you a little

ChishandFips33 Thu 13-Feb-14 22:10:08

The brochure makes them very appealing which is good when mam's appetite wains ; she flicks through and something usually takes her fancy!

twentyten Thu 13-Feb-14 22:29:38

Marks and spencer ready meals are very good. My mum prefers them to wf.

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