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Please help! Catering for tricky eaters over the holidays.

(5 Posts)
MissTeriName Sun 06-Dec-15 23:53:53

Please help me meal plan for the impending annual Christmas visit of elderly Mother! (Long - you'll see why in a mo)

We live abroad. Mum visits every year for about three weeks. Yes, it's hard work, and the meals are tricky but at least they are something I can deal with - the rest, not so much. Trying to please everyone is nigh on impossible. And I'm running out of inspiration.

I need around 20 dinners. Desserts are sorted thanks to another excellent MN thread.

Here's the problem: mum cannot eat the following...

Nuts: spicy food, even gentle: anything that required chewing ie meat, unless it's minced, and salads - no particularly usable teeth, you see confused :
She's also on a low salt, low fat diet (but is flexible for the time she's here, which helps). Oh, and the amount she eats wouldn't fill a sparrow.

She doesn't like lots of food either (argh!) ie pasta, rice, potatoes, mushrooms, vegetables. How she keeps going I don't know! She eats a lot of fish, but that's something we can't easily get here.

Add to this I have a DH who likes a 'proper meal' at lunch, but none of the rest of us do. And he will eat pretty much anything in the evening too.

DD is also pretty easy to cater for as long as it's not spicy.

For mum, Cottage pie would be the ideal meal. Followed by ice cream. But not every day! I will NOT make separate meals for everyone. I do force her to eat things she wouldn't normally eat, like risotto. Revenge for her making me eat swede as a kid wink

I can get most ingredients here but would have to plan a shopping route as I'd need to go to several different shops.

Oh, and we are in a very hot country. But she can't eat salads (wail!)

Please, please help. I'm already stressing out so I'm reaching out for some new ideas from the lovely MN collective. TIA.

whois Mon 07-Dec-15 15:36:06

Um, well I would probably ash her for a list of her top 10 favorite meals and start from there and adapt them into something the whole family would eat?

Or you can do big portions of her fav meals for her to eat over several days whilst the rest of you have something else?

Will she eat soup?

What carbs does she eat if she doens't like pasta rice or potatoes???

i think really she has to take the lead and provide you with a list of things she DOES like.

MissTeriName Mon 07-Dec-15 17:26:17

Thanks for replying.
Oh yes, she eats soup and I have some frozen ready for her - usually lunches.

She eats mostly M&S things like fish cakes or tiny portions of ready-cooked chicken and, of course, pre-prepared fish. She has watercress as her veg (can't get that here). And will be good when presented with a meal and eats what she's given wink

She's not that fussy in that she won't eat certain things, but the can't-eats make it tricky for me. We like a good steak or chops, but she literally can't chew them.

Carbs, I think she gets from bread.

Just trying to think of different meals to cook for everyone, really.

MissTeriName Mon 07-Dec-15 17:26:20

Thanks for replying.

10 fave dishes would be optimistic! By her own admission she just eats because she has to and doesn't enjoy food. I do!

Oh yes, she eats soup and I have some frozen ready for her - usually lunches.

She eats mostly M&S things like fish cakes or tiny portions of ready-cooked chicken and, of course, pre-prepared fish. She has watercress as her veg (can't get that here). And will be good when presented with a meal and eats what she's given wink

She's not that fussy in that she won't eat certain things, but the can't-eats make it tricky for me. We like a good steak or chops, but she literally can't chew them.

Carbs, I think she gets from bread.

Just trying to think of different meals to cook for everyone, really.

1frenchfoodie Tue 08-Dec-15 18:44:55

Tricky. As mince seems okay how about moussaka - you can make with sliced potato rather than aubergine as necessary.

Lasagnes could be made with minced chicken/turkey (in white sauce with herbs) rather than usual bolognese. I usually add spinach and ricotta layer, or finely chopped courgettes in with the chicken for colour and variety.

You could make pies and just cut filling finer in a single portion one for her. I usec to cook for a healthcare charity and many patients lacked teeth or had mouth ulcers/swallowing problems and cooking something saucy (stew/casserole) and cutting up the meat fine worked for many of them.

Fish cakes can be made with canned tuna/salmon if that is easier to get than fresh fish where you are. I do this delia one with tuna and no dill www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/fish-cakes/salmon-and-caper-fish-cakes.html

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