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Make-Ahead Jar Meals to Simplify Good Nutrition for Your Loved One

Eating a healthy diet is vital to maintaining good health, functioning, and well-being. As a family caregiver, you know it’s important to encourage your parent to get the nutrition their body needs on a daily basis, but many seniors do not prepare healthy meals for themselves. It can be challenging for you to prepare meals for your parent on a regular basis, but creating make-ahead meals can be a fantastic way to give your parent a few days’ worth of meals quickly and easily. Jar meals are instant portion control, fast and delicious, and easy to make in bulk so you can prepare some for your parent and some for the rest of your family at the same time.

Elder Care in Sonoma CA: Make-Ahead Jar Meals

Elder Care in Sonoma CA: Make-Ahead Jar Meals

Try some of these make-ahead jar meals to simplify good nutrition for your loved one:

  • Colorful salad. Encourage your parent to eat plenty of vegetables by preparing their salad for them. Chopped small, these ingredients are easy to eat and wonderful for their body. Include chopped leafy greens, cucumbers, colorful peppers, carrots, and other vegetables they enjoy. Add some protein with beans such as kidney beans or chickpeas and seal tightly. Your parent can add dressing before enjoying.
  • Overnight oatmeal. Give your parent a delicious start to their day with overnight oats. Pour milk or plant-based milk over oatmeal and add embellishments such as dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Leave them overnight and then enjoy.
  • Noodle salads. Create tasty and simple noodle salads for delicious and healthy meals. Add cooked noodles, salad dressing or sauce such as Thai peanut sauce, and chopped vegetables to the jar and let sit for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to meld. The flavor combinations are limitless, so get creative!
  • Portioned leftovers. Rather than going through the effort of making large versions of favorite meals to be portioned out later, portion jar versions out for easier enjoyment. For example, put a scoop of your favorite pasta sauce or meat sauce in the bottom of the jar, followed by ricotta cheese, followed by a layer of cooked pasta. Repeat and then top with a sprinkle of mozzarella. Microwave for a delicious dinner.


Being an effective family caregiver means doing what’s best for your aging parent. An extremely important part of that is making sure you are taking care of yourself as well. Making elder care a part of your care approach for your parent enables you to do just that. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent to offer valuable companionship, assistance with personal care needs, transportation, medication reminders, assistance with activities of daily living, and more. Not only does this give you more time and flexibility in your schedule, but it also provides a sense of independence and autonomy for your parent. This boosts mental and emotional health, reduces stress, and promotes a higher quality of life for both your aging parent and for you.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Sonoma, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.

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