A good diet can improve illness and health for your loved one, and a poor diet can cause more health problems. But if you already feel swamped with your caregiving responsibilities, how can you make the time to cook tasty and healthy meals for your loved one?

Chicken noodle soup is easy to make, healthy, and keeps her hydrated.

The best way to do this is to keep everything simple. You do not need to be Martha Stewart in the kitchen to prepare good food for your loved one. Here are 8 simple tips that will help you to cook good food quickly for your loved one:

  1. Go over any diet or fluid restrictions from her doctor or dietician, as well as any food allergies. Use them to guide you as you choose simple recipes. 
  2. If you have an old chicken noodle soup recipe, this can be a great choice for your loved one. Soup keeps us hydrated, and depending upon what you put in it, the soup can be beneficial for the immune system.
  3. Do an Internet search of your loved one's condition, plus the word 'nutrition' to find information about a good diet for someone with that illness. An example would be 'diabetes nutrition' or 'Alzheimer's nutrition.'
  4. Purchase a simple cookbook or food magazine with plenty of colorful pictures that help your loved one select recipes that appeal to her.
  5. The slow cooker is your friend. You can quickly prepare a meal in a slow cooker in the morning, and allow it to cook all day. Choose recipes that have little prep time and plenty of ingredients, such as veggies.
  6. The smoothie is a smart way to make sure your loved one is getting fruit and veggies in her diet.
  7. Make large quantities of some meals, and freeze them to be used later.
  8. Note any changes in your loved one's diet or fluid intake, including difficulty swallowing. Tell her doctor right away. This could be a sign of a medication side effect or another medical problem.

Please try some of these tips when you are prepping meals for your loved one. Let us know how they work for you, and also tell us what you do in the kitchen to make meal prep easier and more nutritious.