Feeding : Good Morning all , I am finding it... - Care Community

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Good Morning all ,

I am finding it quite stressful feeding my husband now , it is really difficult each day as each day he changes in what he will eat . He has many food supplements due to disease malnutrition , so meals are an issue . I have all the paperwork from the dietician he sees 3 monthly , and that’s fine , but it isn’t things I can now implement when his eating is so erratic .

He simply cannot finish an evening meal whatever I have tried , so I tried snacks during the day , then he went off things , I cooked fresh smaller portions adding taste , nope ! Now I have come to the conclusion that the Big Soups for his main meal are the only alternative , which he did have before . I make sure he has his cereal at breakfast , and try to do a variety at lunchtimes , ie scrambled egg on toast . When you have tried everything , it does become stressful .

So I think it will be a ready meal for me in the evening and the big soup for him .

19 Replies

Hello Daisy, it does sound to me that you’ve tried just about everything to feed your husband so Big Soup it is. You do sound exhausted so the odd ready meal is fine but please do try and eat well if you can. Keep your strength and nutrition up.

Thinking of you, take care xxxxx

Daisy55 in reply to sassy59

Thank you , yes you are right, it has been exhausting . He agrees to having the soup , so will get some more of those in and see what I can sort for myself . Thank you xx

Gh how I sympathise with you.

sometimes there is nothing you can do. and as Sassy says you seem to have tried everything.

if he has supplements they may be sarisfying his appetite and although not REAL food they can mean you can be a bit more relaxed about the nutritional content of what he does eat.

Sassy is so right about your ready meals. they can vary hugely in quality so make sure you have good quality ones. a bit of time spent with a magnifying glass on the labels will be a good investment. The way manufacturers make crap ingredients taste better is to add fat,salt and sugar even to things like shepherds pie. learn the terms for hiding sugar like lactose. beware of extracts and flavourings . if it is too cheap it is not good enough for someone with your demands on you

my husband reached the point where he could eat nothing more than a teaspoon or two . with not much to drink either. we tried a tube but he took it out twice a day at least.He was in hospital after a fall and they would only replace it under X ray. Even if he was willing to tolerate it he would have glowed in the dark. and he was desperate to come home so as he had little time left and no quality of life we decided together that the time had come to accept what was happening.

good luck you are obviously doing a good job


Daisy55 in reply to FredaE

Thank you , that must have been so stressful for you , yes accepting what is happening sounds very familiar , when things are so busy it’s easy to not realise what changes are occurring , so stopping for a minute and seeing the reality , helps to see where things are at . If my husband didn’t have all the prescribed food supplements , he would have a tube too . When there is nothing you can do , it is difficult isn’t it .

Thank you for your support , I am really grateful xx


Hi Daisy55, It can become a real stress to provide meals for someone who isn't too keen on eating. I sort of understand a bit as although I don't have any major health issues, there seems to be a new thing every day that I don't care to eat any more.

So, thinking of your husband's foods in terms of how I manage, I'd say please don't stress yourself unduly trying to find exactly the right thing. If 'Big Soups' work for now, then offer those. Keep it simple and I'd say definitely cut work and waste for yourself by not buying too much at a time and opting for frozen and canned to save your time and energy. Main meals don't have to all be meat and three veg or anything near that. I'll quite often have beans on toast or some scrambled eggs when I don't feel like a full meal.

If anything I'd say make sure your own nutrition doesn't suffer through trying to get your husband to eat.

Don't be browbeaten by dieticians who always point out the ideal diet but would all struggle to actually make their 'victims' eat what they prescribe!

Take care! 🙏🌈

Thank you so much, that does make so much sense . I have been bombarded with diets from the dietician , from the Gp , and it just got so stressful feeling I’m not able to achieve what they gave me . My husband has been the same with going off certain foods , so it had become so difficult knowing what to give him . Yes the pressure that a meal is supposed to be meat and veg and that not being possible for him , I now see is not the case , it can be a meal in a different form . He has a lot of food supplements so yes, he is getting what he needs from that mostly .

For myself yes easy but nutritious I need to think about as by the end of the day energy is depleted , so will see what I fancy .

That all helps so much , thank you xx

CallendersgalModerator in reply to Daisy55

You are very welcome Daisy55. I hope it gives you some inspiration!

Hi Daisy. I’m currently in a similar boat to you although my husband has no issues with malnutrition his likes and dislikes are erratic to say the least His appetite changes on a daily basis and I understand how frustrating and exhausting it becomes over time Spending hours in the kitchen to see your efforts end up in the bin becomes soul destroying. I agree with everyone else , we have to accept the situation, acknowledge that we re doing the best we can and keep ourselves fit and healthy in order to continue to care for them . Try not to stress too much about his diet -the only thing my husband rarely goes off is cake ( which is odd because he never had a sweet tooth) so if he chooses to have a large slice of cake for a meal so be it -I’ve learned the hard way that a slice of cake does more good inside him than a healthy meal inside the bin does ! I worked in a care home for many years and I know that dieticians will provide you with an ideal diet unfortunately the reality is we re not in an ideal situation !! Stay strong ,eat well and look after yourself xxx

Beautifully put. A slice of cake does more good inside him than a meal inside the bin. so true. Bit like a dinner of herbs but I have forgotten the rest of it


Thank you , yes that was exactly it with what was going in the bin, we seem to have got things right tonight thank goodness , he had his soup and I cooked myself a nice meal . For the first time in a long time I relaxed eating , not concerned I had cooked and he had left most of it , and not feeling guilt at him not having what I have as he was happy .

I am just so grateful to have had this understanding today and support as it had become really lonely and tiring with the problem , and how to sort it all .

Thank you xxx

CallendersgalModerator in reply to Thepainterswife

Absolutely Thepainterswife! Very well put! Couldn't agree more! 👍

I’m so pleased you’re feeling better 😊 it’s not easy being a carer is it ? Just tonight my husband told me I should wake him in the mornings if I put the heating on otherwise he wakes up gasping for breath it’s so frustrating because he complains of being cold during the night and earlier today he had the house so warm I actually felt sick ! I must admit I was a bit snappy I said I can’t do right for doing wrong and then felt a bit guilty lol but I don’t beat myself up anymore We re only human -if we know we re doing our best we can’t do anymore we just have to take it as it comes , deal with it and find time for ourselves. My lifesaver is the garden and my two dogs at the end of the day I know I have to stay sane and reasonably fit for his sake as much as mine You re the same so Be kind to yourself 😊 xxx ps in the morning I won’t put the heating on I’ll put the electric fire on in the room I’m in - sometimes the solutions are so simple - but he may complain of being cold or the price of electricity 🙄😂

CallendersgalModerator in reply to Thepainterswife

Such a tough row to hoe Thepainterswife, but you have a great attitude. And only a plaster saint wouldn't get exasperated with their lot once in a while! 👍

Thank you , I will take care , you take care too , it’s a tough road, and I understand all you say xx

oh dear,i understand completely as i had to hand feed my husband and often he would barely eat a thing,and it is very exhausting.

CallendersgalModerator in reply to secrets22

I remember how stressed you'd be sometimes secrets22. You were absolutely marvellous with your husband, but that doesn't detract from the fact that caring is exhausting and generally comes with little reward, and almost inevitably has to end in a sad outcome.

Daisy55 in reply to secrets22

Thank you , I think things change and it’s not realising how far things have progressed and we have flowed along with it , and there is only forwards . I am sorry to hear of your distressing time , the changes along the road are exhausting aren’t they , on so many levels . Hugs xx

Another of my beloved proverbs - if it does not kill you, it will make you stronger. That is true I emerged at the other end not toast as I had feared but more confident and so much better at dealing with nonsense from medical people.

Re reading this convesation a thought struck me. The painterswife mentioned spending hours in the kitchen.. After preparing a special meal or guests I often did not feel like eating because I was exhausted by the smell..... does that perhaps apply to someone with a fickle appetite if they have already "eaten"the smell of it cooking? Easy to find out.. Cook and freeze and serve another day???? Are we perhaps trying too hard?

CallendersgalModerator in reply to FredaE

Hi FredaE, I think you make a really excellent point about trying too hard in lots of situations. We try to give our best to what can seem like, quite ungrateful recipients.

They aren't really being ungrateful, but because we are there on the frontline, doing the job, they will naturally lash out at us with their frustrations. It's really easy to forget, when we're giving so much of ourselves, that the cared-for are still people with opinions and feelings, and if they've lost cognition too, the frustration must be immense. I often found that just stepping back and letting things be for a while was the answer. It de-stressed whatever the issue was, instead of starting a battle.

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