Once upon a time my mother was someone who ate very healthy food. My father was a health nut and my mother tended to follow suit. Most of her life while I have known her, she ate a lot of salad and vegetables, lean meats, healthful cereal.
Then, she got dementia and things changed.
The other day I came home late and asked what I should make for dinner. (I do all the cooking for her now.) Mom told me she had already eaten dinner and I asked what she had. “Ice cream.” Apparently, the ice cream had filled her up and she was not interested in regular food.
Sometime this past year, ice cream has become Mom’s staple food of choice. If she goes to the grocery store alone, she will come home with at least two cartons of ice cream and usually a lot of fruit. When I worry aloud to her about her food choices, she tells me that ice cream is good for her, usually while laughing and smiling. I know it makes her happy which is of course a good thing. But it also worries me that daily consumption of a carton of ice cream is certainly not ideal for someone whose brain has been impacted by cholesterol. And with the short term memory problems, sometimes I realize that she has eaten ice cream multiple times per day. I learned rather quickly NOT to buy ice cream at Costco. The huge boxes would disappear in a few days!
My newest effort to cut down on the ice cream is with cookies. I am baking them myself and bringing them to her hot out of the oven. Cookies seem to be about as satisfying as the ice cream but it’s easier to keep the portion size in check by baking just a few at a time. But it does seem that in her ideal world, we would eat both on a regular basis.
For now, we seem to have reached a happy medium of some ice cream, some cookies, some worrying daughter and a lot of chocolate induced smiles from Mom.