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Meals for someone coming home from hospital

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My SO's mother has been in the hospital and has had 2 partial colectomies (colon removal) in the last week. I'd like to have some meals waiting for her in her freezer when she gets home. She's in a lot of pain so I want her to do nothing more than hit the buttons on the microwave and eat.

The meals have got to be really really easy on her tummy so I'm thinking not too many veggies, nothing too acidic, not too much dairy....so basically I'm stumped.

I was going to make a big pot of some chicken rice soup and freeze in individual portions, have some bananas for snacks, peppermint or ginger tea to help with the nausea....maybe something with egg noodles?

I know shes going to have a hard time eating for a while, but I am really stumped on what else I can leave for food. Anyone been through or done something similar?

Thanks in advance for any advice & help.

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  1. Think BRAT diet, bananas, rice (make it with chicken broth and put it in individual portions so she can heat and eat), apples (apple sauce) and a selection of teas. All herbal and soothing. I would also give her some good quality yogurt. The chicken soup idea is wonderful. Egg noodles can get mushy, but if you slighty undercook them, they will soak up any liquid they are in and be perfect.

    1. Sorry to hear about your family member. I had some stomach surgery in 2007 and had lots of issues with strongly flavored veggies, hard time digesting protein, etc. Your suggestion of individual serving soup is wonderful. Perhaps because the weather was already warm, I developed a taste for sugar free gelatin, sugar free popsicles. Depending on her dietary needs, you might want to stock up on items that can be thrown into a blender and made into smoothies. I like frozen bananas, strawberries, kiwis, mangoes, etc. swirled up with skim milk, yogurt, some kind of dairy. If she needs it, you can also buy protein powder and add that. But do be careful, lactose intolerance would not be good in this situation especially. Ask her DR if she will have a "progression" diet from liquid to solid food, so you understand how long on liquids, how long on pureed foods, when she can move to regular food. Also ask if there is nutritionist or someone who can provide consultation on foods. Good Luck!

      1. Am currently recovering from surgery myself, although not from colectomy, which always adds a significant factor to post-op eating.

        Things I am digging: Soups are great! Tasty, warming, filling but easy to eat, very invigorating. Chicken rice soup is perfect. Some chunks of soft chicken in the soup add the option for solid food that is easy to digest but can be left if one doesn't have the energy to chew. Always nice to have some saltine crackers, again, easy to digest, good source of salt, fills you up, easy to chew. Surprising how tiring it is to chew bread. Crackers go down easy. Any soups, beef broths, pork broths are great. Even if you don't eat the solid stuff, you still feel like you are getting nutirents.

        Egg noodles good. Small size, no need to wind up, good texture. Not tiring to eat.

        Stews as she gets more energy. One utensil, nothing to cut up, all in one.

        Fibre Fibre Fibre! in some form or another. Stewed prunes good, prune juice good. I have even agreed to drink some of the Chinese dieting tea my parents have tried to force on me. what a relief it was! But then again, if your family member has a colostomy bag, it may be less of an issue. Check with the doctor or nurse and see if constipation is an issue or not. If it can be an issue, then fibre fiber fiber. it can be incredibly upsetting.

        Some fresh fruit may be a welcome item. Someone gave me some beautiful crisp Fuji apples, not at all acidic, and so refreshing. I felt like Digory's mother in "The Magician's Nephew" when she ate the fruit from the magical tree. Papaya is not so acidic, melons if they are nice, grapes. I am actually enjoying citrus too, but it might be too acidic for some. But it smells so great.

        Ginger great. Ginger ale, ginger candies, pork and cabbage and ginger soup, all good.

        Rice gruel, puddings, congee, any soft rice product is easy to eat and satisfying.

        Puddings are nice and soothing. So is jello. there is a reason people like them when they are sick. No chewing.

        Good luck, and here is to a speedy recovery! She is lucky to have you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: moh

          Thank you all so much! And Moh, thank you for your kind words. You all have given me some really good easy ideas that went onto my list.
          As she gets closer to being released, we'll have a better idea on the more solid foods she can eat - but for now a great start on "staples" to have in the house. Thanks to you all so much again.

        2. Could you also do chicken and dumplings or a potato/watercress soup?

          1. When I came home from the hospital after abdominal/gb surgery, the first thing I wanted was fresh veggies - and lots of them. Cooked, plain veggies should be ok. You'll need to keep her fiber quota up, as some of the medicines she will be taking for pain management may also cause irregularity. But might want to limit or even omit citrus fruits or fruit juices for awhile. Lots of soft foods, such as applesauce, mashed potatoes (no butter), oatmeal, white rice, plain egg noodles (maybe cooked in and served with chicken broth to add some flavor), and yogurt (with live cultures). Good call on the herbal teas too, those should help. And of course lots of water. Hope all goes well with her recovery.