If you are caring for an elderly loved one, you may have noticed some changes in their eating patterns. Eating less, eating the wrong kinds of foods, and a lack of motivation to cook, are some of the most common things the caregiver can observe over time. They may be struggling with an illness or condition that prohibits them from standing on their feet for too long, or they have dietary restrictions that make it difficult to accommodate. Whatever the case may be- this is an increasingly significant issue, because we know how important nutrition is as we age and how what we eat and how much affects our mood, energy levels and physical ability.
As a caregiver you might find yourself in a situation where you are trying to prepare meals and cook for an elderly loved one, but this isn’t always feasible. Some caregivers live too far away or have other family members and job responsibilities to juggle and find that some outside help is needed. If you have considered hiring a personal chef, you likely have some hesitations and pre-conceived notions. In this article, we will be discussing 5 common myths about hiring a personal chef.
It’s Too Expensive
Naturally, this is likely the first thing you think of when considering a personal chef: it’s too costly. Sure, there is a cost associated with having a professional do the grocery shopping and prepare meals in the home, but most of these services are actually more affordable than you would think. Many seniors rely on pre-packaged frozen meals, excessive un-healthy snack foods and take out from restaurants. This can add up significantly over time not only financially, but in terms of how it affects their overall health. Pre-packaged meals and takeout foods are often loaded with unnecessary amounts of sodium, artificial flavors, preservatives and inflammatory ingredients that do not provide the nutritional support that is needed as we age.
A personal chef is designed to work with your dietary needs and preferences, and prepare meals that are healthier than what you could buy in a grocery store. Since they are professional chefs, they are skilled in utilizing ingredients you already have and make multiple meals out of a select few ingredients- which saves you money on your grocery bill and promotes less waste. Many of these services offer custom pricing- typically dependent on dietary needs, preferences and how often they choose to use the service.
Personal Chefs Cannot Accommodate Special Diets
Most personal chefs are able to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions. Many seniors have specific dietary needs- such as diabetic-friendly, low sodium, gluten-free, etc., and this can be limiting if you feel like you can only eat certain foods. Professional chefs are trained in preparing a variety of cuisines and can use their culinary expertise to make your favorite dishes with any necessary substitutions. If you are working with a dietician or nutritionist, the chef can often follow their guidelines and be sure to omit restricted ingredients. Of course, this is something you would want to communicate with your chef at your consultation appointment to be sure they have the means to accommodate your specific needs.
A Personal Chef Service Will Take Too Long in The Home
Many people assume that hiring a personal chef to come to the home and cook meals for a week or two at a time will take a whole day, but most chefs are efficient enough to produce multiple meals within about 2-4 hours, depending on the dishes being prepared and quantity of meals. In this time, your grocery shopping is complete, your meals and made and packed in your refrigerator/freezer for easy re-heating and your kitchen is cleaned.
A Personal Chef Wouldn’t Want to Cook in My Kitchen
Don’t have a gourmet kitchen at home? Not to worry- most chefs will bring their own cooking supplies with them, such as pots, pans, knives and other cooking utensils. As long as you provide a working oven, sink and stove- they can take care of the rest. This way, you don’t need to worry about providing any equipment.
A Personal Chef Would Make Too Much Food
Most personal chefs will set up a consultation with you prior to signing a service agreement, which is a chance for the chef to get to know you or your loved one and discuss any dietary needs, preferences and their preferred frequency of service. Many chefs offer a weekly service date, bi-weekly or even monthly- and can customize your meal plan to fit your individual needs.