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Teen Looks For Meals To Help His Parents Suffering With Depression And The Internet Delivers

Teen Looks For Meals To Help His Parents Suffering With Depression And The Internet Delivers
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Redditor legaladvicethrowaway9 hit up his fellow Redditors and asked: "What foods can a teenager cook for his parents to help their depression?" a question which kicked off one of the most wholesome community responses on the internet.

"Literally anything."

Literally anything. Depression can be so draining that it's exhausting to do daily activities, like cooking dinner. Just simply supporting them in the way you are is bound to help. You sound like a great kid - I hope you're well and that your parents start feeling like themselves soon.


"It's different for everyone..."

Something they consider comfort food. It's different for everyone, but start with the classics. Chicken pot pie for instance.


"But I would also be a little bit worried..."

Ok, so, I'm a parent and I struggle with depression and mental health problems, and honestly, I think even if i just knew my kid had asked this question and was trying to think about how to take care of me, it would mean the world to me. (Well, at the moment he's only 13 months old so I would also be pretty astonished, but you know what I mean.)

But I would also be a little bit worried, and I would want my kid to know that it's not their job to fix, or even help, my mental illness. And I'd want to make sure that they were okay, and not taking on too many responsibilities that they weren't really old enough to cope with.

So, since you already have a bunch of good suggestions and recipes in this thread, I'm going to just suggest that you make sure you're looking after yourself as well as your parents, and that you ask for help if you need it. Good luck with everything.

(Also, pasta. It's easy, it's good comfort food, most people like it, and you can vary the sauce/sides to include protein and veg.)


"I wish I had an answer for you..."

This post breaks my heart. I wish I had an answer for you, but the truth is we can't fix someone else's depression at any age.

Good on you for trying (that's what humans do). But if it doesn't work, don't blame your chicken soup. Depression is a bear.


"Do you have a crock pot?"

Do you have a crock pot? Slow cooker recipes are really easy to make, and they can eat as much or little as they want. Some of my favorites are chicken tacos, chicken and biscuits, and chicken tortilla soup.

Chicken tacos are very simple. Buy your favorite salsa (mine is Newman's Own medium, for this particular recipe). Add salsa, taco seasoning (packet or make your own), chopped cilantro, and 1 lb boneles, skinless chicken breast. If you want it spicy, add jalapenos and/or cayenne pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours. After 4 hours, shred the chicken (you can use 2 forks to do this) and mix it all together. Put it in taco shells with some cheese and avocado and it's delicious!


"If they ever told you..."


If they ever told you about something their parents made for them. They would definitely appreciate you taking a stab at a family recipe.


"I'm gonna guess..."

I'm gonna guess you're not usually the one cooking? Honestly a nice slow cooker meal will help the house smell great! Also very easy prep if you're unfamiliar with cooking. I'd suggest something like pot roast: get a cheap roast (chuck is always tasty), potatoes, carrots, beef broth and throw them in the slow cooker. Super easy! You can always add more/different ingredients like mushrooms, onions, rosemary, etc if you want to get fancier


Greens, healthy fats and some lean meat. The link between gut flora and mental health is real.


"Depression is a hard thing."

Depression is a hard thing. I have had it in the past and it can be a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning. The fact you want to help and be there is strong. It is not easy to help provide for people in the first place let alone the change in power dynamic that depression can cause. It isn't what you make that matters. It is that you are willing to help them in anyway you can. Just be there to talk if they want to talk or just hang out with them and BS about the weather or about what the dog did today.

Your presence matter that most. You being able to go I want to help you because I care about you THAT is what matters. Make them anything and sit down and eat it with them because being there matters more than anything else. It might be weird at first but as time goes on it will become easier. Showing someone with depression that you consistently care is one of the strongest things you can do to help with the maintenance of depression. Best of luck and you can do this! If this is about you and you need someone to talk to about this PM me!


"With love..."

With love, it's not your job to care for your parents. Your job is to be a kid and have a childhood. Part of being a parent is taking good enough care of yourself so you can be an effective parent. Do you have enough support yourself? Do you have a family member/family friend/someone that is aware that you are parenting your parents? Source - am a mother myself and had a mother with more than a few mental health issues.

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Here are some easy recipes for you to have a look at, to round them out chuck in a side of garlic bread and a bag of salad (Taylor Farms do excellent bags o' salad with the crunchy toppings and dressing so it's dead easy and there's zero chopping). These are in regular rotation at our house and are easy and inexpensive to make.

  1. One pot mac n cheese -
  2. Carrot and coriander soup
    Take 500g of carrots and boil them. If you have a potato, you could chuck that in to boil as well. Fish the carrots out of the hot water and shove them in to the blender. Blitz until smooth, adding some of the water you used to boil the carrots if needed. Meanwhile, chop around 150g of cream cheese into cube and chuck in a mug. Add enough hot carrot cooking water to make the cheese soften and encourage this process with a fork. Chuck softened cheese and carrot water mixture in to blender and blitz. If you're feeling fancy chuck some garlic in to the mix. Chop up some fresh coriander and chuck in the blender and blitz - alternatively, a couple of pinches of dried coriander from a packet is grand. Optional - crispy bacon on top/ bacon sandwiches on the side. Nom nom nom.
  3. Fishcakes - you can sub out the maltzo meal for bog standard breadcrumbs and the salmon for tuna. They are a bit fiddly but yummy and they freeze well.
  4. Creamy mushroom herb pasta - this is delicious


"I hope this helps you..."

Fruit salad for breakfast, with yogurt and granola (I like grape nuts, personally, but whatever you/they like). Tea and lots of water. Maybe eggs if you're feeling up to it.

Lunch: sandwiches on wheat/multigrain bread - make sure to have veggies on there, lettuce and tomato for a traditional sandwich, but you can get creative here depending on your skill level, lots of water.

Dinner: a salad kit with the dressing inside makes a pre-dinner salad easy. I like to make Rice a Roni and throw in some chopped up spinach and roasted red peppers with some Italian sausage, but you can put literally anything in there. Load up on the veggies and pick you favorite protein (chicken/ground beef/sausage). SO easy and takes me less than 20 mins to make.

You got this. Keep it easy. For me and my depression, having a ritual (same breakfast every morning) was so helpful and became important, because it felt like I had something I could rely on.

I hope this helps you - both these comments as well as the ability to do this, and the ritual of it. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself. Keep it easy.


"I had psychotic depression."


I had psychotic depression. The idea is to boost your serotonin and dopamine production. You want protein which boosts the production of both dopamine and serotonin. This means meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, etc. The amino acids found in meats cannot be produced anywhere. You have to eat it to get it. I know I didn't offer any specific meals for depression but just looking at the ingredients offers a world of possibilities. All you have to do is make a dish with protein as the star of the show.


"Like a lot of other people said..."

Like a lot of other people said, they'd love anything. Get a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese and I bet they'd be happy with you!

I'll give some easy bare-bones ideas though if you wanna actually take time to cook. I recommend looking up actual recipes though if you wanna try these, because I don't wanna make a visually overwhelming post with super intricate instructions haha

Chicken Parmesan Boil a big pot of water. Bread and fry chicken breasts with Italian bread crumbs (I buy mine from target) in a separate on, pour your chosen spaghetti or marinara sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, put the fried chicken breasts in it, top with a bit more sauce and sprinkle lots of mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese. I like using mozz more. As that's baking, you should cook some spaghetti noodles. Drain the noodles and after the chicken is done, you serve the noodles, spoon out some of the sauce from the dish on top of the noodles, and top with the super crispy chicken breast that has all this melty cheese on top. It's super good and very easy if you're new to cooking!!

Beef Stew If you have a crockpot, this is even easier than the last. Go out and buy some beef stew tips (should be by the other packaged meat), carrots, red potatoes, and other veggies you like. Onions maybe! I don't like mine with onions lol. Campbell's makes pre-made beef stew sauce in packets like this and it literally has the instructions on this packet. It's really easy. Throw the beef in, top that with the veggies, and then pour this on top. 4h on high or 8h on slow :)

Potato Soup A vegetarian option if you or your family does not like meat, but this dish is super customizable where you can add in pretty much anything you want. Bacon, carrots, celery, onions, cheddar cheese, whatever you'd like. For the sake of being quick though I'll just explain with only potatoes.

Peel, dice to bite size chucks, and boil 5-7 golden potatoes. Put the potatoes in the water before you boil though so they can start to cook as the water temp gets hotter. Once the potatoes feel soft enough by poking with a fork (or even eating a bite), drain half of the water and add in your choice of milk. I grew up with regular 2% but my boyfriend is vegan so we use unsweetened almond milk. Add in instant mashed potato flakes slowly. I know this sounds bad but it makes the broth/soup part thicker and tastes better.

Just add in a bit and stir it, add in a bit more, and stir it until you're happy with the consistency so you don't end up with...well...mashed potatoes lol. I add in butter (again, your choice) and season with whatever I'm feeling that day. Usually salt and pepper, onion powder, celery salt, white pepper, and chives. My bf adds red pepper flakes and his vegan sour cream.

These should all be pretty easy! Otherwise, dude, just go out and get a rotisserie chicken and some Bob Evans mashed potatoes hahaha. They'll love the hell out of you. I think your parents raised you well and if I had a kid like you, I'd feel so so happy that they turned out so amazing and caring



Chicken noodle soup! You can buy chicken stock, egg noodles, a rotisserie chicken, and some frozen veggies, throw it all together in a big pot on medium high heat and let the noodles cook through. It turns into very comforting "homemade" soup and saves very easily in the fridge or freezer for leftovers.


"Common sense treatment aside..."

Common sense treatment aside (ie seeing a doctor), just pretty much avoid junk food. There might also be a benefit in trying either adding or cutting out certain foods to see if they're problematic or beneficial. Each body is different and will tolerate some foods better than others. Figuring that out for me helped with my depression.

Any changes you'll want to give at least a couple of weeks, so just be patient. Make sure the nutritional benefits are balanced out somewhere else too (ex. Dairy = calcium + vitamin D; research alternatives for those things)

Also, I'm sorry for the situation that led to this question. You're clearly doing your best. Please take care of yourself too.


"Lasagnas and pasta with meatballs..."

Lasagnas and pasta with meatballs or sliced sausage are simple recipes with great results. The resulting dish looks like you spent double the time and effort, it's filling, and toss a salad and a loaf of Italian bread in and it looks like a restaurant meal.


"Anything would be amazing..."

Anything would be amazing, I'm sure. Just, do the dishes when you're done lol.

I'm a mom and I suffer from depression, if my boys were old enough, and asked how they could help, I'd just say "do the dishes". Honestly a full sink or dirty kitchen is such a terrible thing to come home to, or wake up to. It literally defeats me. Yet it's so simple. But it's not.

You're awesome for just recognizing that she suffers, and amazing for wanting to help.


"Your parents..."

Your parents have done an excellent job for you to even ask this question!

As for my answer, its already been said; but stick to the classics and keep your meals filled with veggies and food with nutrients just for that little boost. Your effort alone will kick it out of the park and even if the first couple meals dont go well, you'll know how to improve time and time again.


"As a chef..."

As a chef, I can whole heartedly say that whatever it is, as long as you put effort and care into it, it should that your trying to help, not just dinner meals, something simple like a Roulade or lemon tarts as snacks between meals just makes people feel better because it proves your thinking of them and making things for them.


People Share Their Very Specific Dating Restrictions

Reddit user AceofSpadesYT asked: 'What is your most specific restriction when it comes to dating?'

silhouette photography of couple
Sean Stratton on Unsplash

When it comes to dating, I have my mental checklist. The guy must be kind, intelligent, funny, and a movie buff. He must be adventurous but also doesn't mind a Netflix and Chill date night.

Most of this is similar to the mental checklists other people have. Of course, I can be flexible. If someone is nice and I'm having fun with them, they don't necessarily have to check all the boxes.

However, I have one specific dating restriction that is a dealbreaker regardless of how many boxes the person checks, and that's religion. I've never been a fan, and now I'm an atheist, and I would want my partner to be as well. That's because I want kids, and the last thing I want is for us to argue about how to raise the kids when it comes to religion.

I'm not the only person who has one specific dating restriction. Everyone has that one thing that is a dealbreaker when it comes to a romantic relationship. Redditors certainly do, and they are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor AceofSpadesYT asked:

"What is your most specific restriction when it comes to dating?"

It's Just A Joke!

"No cruel or rude pranks."

– detective_kiara

"I saw a post by someone whose boyfriend "pranked" her by pretending to be dead on the kitchen floor. That is exactly how she had found her previous partner, dead on the kitchen floor, which her current boyfriend knew. He was surprised she dumped him and didn't think it was funny."

– innocuousspeculation

We're (Not) Gonna Party!

"No party people. Nothing wrong with it, I just ain't dealing with that sh*t."

– PlantBasedStangl

"True. I like planning weekend stuff, but it has to be something meaningful - visiting a different city, movie marathon, mountain hike, fancy lunch, all okay. But... clubbing and drinking? How f**king old are we, 19? No thank you, I'm old and have no energy for listening to music I don't like while being surrounded by 50 people that I don't give a single half of a sh*t about."

– PlantBasedStangl


"Same sense of humor. I have 0 interest sharing physical space with someone who doesn't laugh with me."

– Legendary_Lamb2020

My Ears Are Bleeding!

"I'm a light sleeper. I cannot date a snorer. I can hear snores through ear plugs AND a fan blowing. It's not you, it's me."

– YourLocalOrca

At that point, it does sound like them 😂

– CuriousRedditor98


"Have a f**king job."

– Cuss-Mustard

"Found this difficult when I was funemployed. Was fortunate enough to be able to live off savings for a bit."

"People reacted oddly to it. “But what do you do???”"

"Was dating at the same time and some girls had the same sentiment. “You don’t have a job?”"

"I had a good enough job that I didn’t need one anymore. And one lined up 8 months from then. But there were two girls specifically who treated it as a deal breaker."

– DigNitty

"I had a similar situation. I worked a high-paying job for a few years that demanded a ton of my time and had crazy hours. It burnt me out badly and I lived off of the savings from that job for a while and tried to date now that I actually had free time. I had more money in my bank account during that time than at any other point in my life but so many people were put off by me being funemployed and assumed I was looking to leech. But I guess there’s really no way to know someone's history and hard not to assume. Now I work full-time and have way less money overall but it looks better..."

– Pinsit

Just Breathe

"No smoking. Ever. I'm not kissing an ashtray, or smelling an ashtray. Instant turn off."


"100% I broke up with an old gf because she started smoking behind my back knowing I’ve got asthma and it was always a hard pass. She thought I was joking but it showed me that she was also untrustworthy."

– Jonowl89

That'll Do It

"I guess my husband restricts my dating."

– HeinousEncephalon

"My wife has the same rule. But the jokes on her, I get around it by dating her!"

– AuralRapist

Prehistoric Love

"Must like dinosaurs."

– Grungeceratops

"That goes without saying."

– Plain_Chacalaca

What's In A Name?

"Cannot have the same name as any of my relatives."

– Poorly-Drawn-Beagle

"My last ex had the same name as my Dad and I reeeeeeaally didn't like it. So, fair."

– severaltalkingducks

Be Polite

"If they’re rude to people they’ll never see again (Waitstaff, cashiers, etc) I’m out."

"I can’t respect anyone who doesn’t respect themselves, and when you’re not polite to people you’re disrespecting yourself."

– OctopusCandleCompany

God Only Knows

"When I was dating, you had to be an atheist. I don't mess with religion. And I genuinely just don't think atheists + religious people work out."

"And I know... There's going to be someone who comments (assuming there are enough upvotes) who says "I worked out with my spouse who's religious and I'm not!" but you're the exception. When it comes to making decisions long-term, how to spend your money, where you think you'll go after you die, not to mention basic morality (!), and if you have children - that's a huge hurdle."

– Lulu_42

"We worked it out. It's absolutely an exception and not the rule. Don't do it if you can avoid it."

– Alcoraiden

Let's Move Tonight (Literally)

"They need to be ok with cold weather."

"I grew up in the north, live in the south, and I'm tolerating it until I can move back north. If someone says they hate the cold it's an instant turn-off because I don't want to drag someone into a climate they hate."

"The same thing also applies to walkability. I want to move somewhere walkable, and I hope to meet someone with that same goal rather than try to talk them into it."

– ThePresidentCantSwim

"Let me know when you find this mythical northern walkable community."

– Partner-Elijah

My Purr-fect Match

"Cat has to approve."

– Possible-Source-2454


"They need to be male. Kind of important."

– RMHaney

"So weird, I want the complete opposite."

– eightvo

Yeah, the male thing is kind of important for me too!

Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments.

Life is full of shock and surprise.

Apparently, that is part of the fun.

Who hasn't been left stunned by life events?

We always think we're immune to way too many things.

Anything and everything is possible.

It's important to be ready.

Redditor Bob_the_peasant wanted to hear about the things that have left people SHOOK, so they asked:

"What 'That can’t happen to me' thing happened to you?'"

I haven't been left that shocked that often.

I'm always expecting the worst, so I'm prepared.

But you never know.

I'm Dead

Snakes Imacelebau GIF by I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! AustraliaGiphy

"A snake fell out of a tree and bit me on the head."

"ETA: I have always been more scared of snakes than anyone I know, so it’s just so ironic that this happened to me of all people."


Crash Into Me

"A car crashed through my kitchen last year."


"I woke up to a truck parking in my bathtub 2 weeks before Christmas a few years ago. I watched my sink roll past my bedroom door followed by a hubcap. The driver managed to cross a median, 3-lane road, up an embankment, through an iron fence and between trees. He'd been involved in an altercation nearby and was fleeing the scene."


Hot Air

Swinging Hot Air Balloon GIF by Red BullGiphy

"My family and I were in a hot air balloon crash."


"My friend had one crash into her pool when she was a kid."


This is why hot air balloons and skydiving are just a HELL no for me.

Always have. Always will.


Cat No GIF by Looney TunesGiphy

"My wife cheated on me with my best friend. They’re moving in together next month. I’m in a new city thousands of miles away. I found out a month ago."


Bad Penguin

"Everyone else’s stories are very sad so here’s something a bit lighter. I’ve mentioned this story before but I got bitten on the neck by a penguin."

"I was at an event where the local zoo had a penguin and owl sitting on tables with handlers so you could take a picture next to them. The penguin went for my glass of wine, I moved the wine, and it bit me on the neck hard enough to bruise. They removed the penguin after that. 😂."


All Gone

"Our house burned in a wildfire, we lost absolutely everything we owned and only salvaged a single coffee 3 cup."

"On the good side: There was a boy I crushed on all through high school. We went to summer camp together and I adored him. We ended up getting together in our 20s after reconnecting, and have now been together more than 20 years, married almost 17. We’re as madly in love as ever."


Good Luck

"Homelessness. It came swiftly and out of nowhere. had no savings and the landlord sold the house I was in. couldn’t afford a new place so lived in my car with my dog for a few months. ended up finding community assistance and got into an apartment."


"I can’t even imagine being in that situation. Hopefully, this is just the start of things turning around for you. Sending you good energy!"


Early Michael Myers

"About 10 years ago, I was stabbed in the arm with a flathead screwdriver. It was a coworker whom I had previously gotten along well with. He had stopped taking benzos and smoking weed a few days before and was on a hair trigger. I said something sarcastic, and he just snapped."


Bad Landing

Bad Day Seagull GIF by Sound FXGiphy

"I was lying on the beach and a seagull flying very high took a poop and it went straight in my mouth."


This is why I say... "Never trust a seagull!"

They are minions of the devil.

Collection of VHS tapes
Bruno Guerrero/Unsplash

What makes us all unique is our passions and the things we love, whether it's singing in the shower, reading books, or listening to specific music artists.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are judged for our various tastes and interests thanks to social media, and it makes us consciously selective about sharing the things we love on the internet.

Curious to hear about people's personal desires under anonymity, Redditor sweet_chick283 asked:

"What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?"

These aren't really chores for the following Redditors.

Good Clean Fun

"Mopping, im a janitor and generally hate my work... but damn mopping is so good."

– MrDDog06

"When you have a great rhythm going it is something special. I get the same feeling while I vacuum, but won’t let my wife know I enjoy it."

– Bogus_34

Act Of Unwrinkling

"Ironing clothes. A dozen of them. Can’t explain how it relaxes me. I told one person and they looked at me like I’m crazy."

– eerie_white_glow

"My mum misses the days when dad would be out on a Friday night, my brother out with friends and me upstairs quietly playing PS1. She would pour herself a Bacardi & Coke and do the ironing while watching her TV shows."

"I'm sure she doesn't really miss it now that we've moved out and they've retired but it was her wind-down after a busy working week so I can see how people can find it relaxing."

– xdq

Our solo actions can spark joy.

Big Brother Is Watching

"pretending to be on the Truman show and whenever im in my house i act all inconspicuous so they dont know that i know that they’re watching me."

– Bec_121

"C’mon man, you’re not supposed to let him know. You signed a contract when signing up for live views. I’m reporting you."

– doeswaspsmakehoney

The Multi-Tasker

"Playing video games naked at home while eating cheese."

– thickening_agent

Releasing The Kraken

"I love the feeling when you've eaten good fibre and let out a solid long train log in the toilet. That feeling is heavenly."

– therapoootic

"Even better when it’s a clean wipe and not a poo crayon."

– TheWarmestHugz

Ultimate Comfort

"My (male 41) weekend routine is coming home from work, make hot chocolate, start a fire, dress in a ugly pink nightgown made for old ladies and watch forensic files."

– crazyloomis

Some people are obsessed with collecting things.

So Kawai

"Sanrio stationery stores. All those different multicolor pens, a thousand kinds of erasers, spiral bound notebooks galore... my kids sadly have absolutely no appreciation for this wonderland..."

– HavingNotAttained

It's A Staple

"Office supplies have a weird, special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. They don't even have to be 'cute' necessarily."

"Japan's legendary stationery stores is unironically a reason I want to go."

– _CozyLavender_

Not Caring Anymore

"The older I get the shorter that list gets. Not because I love less things, but because I don't care about hiding it."

– Bi-Beast

"YES!! I'm 53 now. I'm working my first job in public since 2006. Today is Halloween and we're allowed to dress up so I am sitting here waiting to go to work dressed as a VERY bad Wednesday Addams. My bf said I'd 'look stupid' because no one else will probably dress up and I'm like, 'WHO CARES!' My makeup looks horrible and not like I practiced, but I DO NOT CARE! I'm having fun with it anyhow and I don't care if my coworkers dress up or not. I'm bein' ME! :)"

– deanie1970

Honorable mentions start here.

The Savior

"Picking up worms from the street and sidewalks when it rains and moving them into the dirt so they don’t burn in the sun, every time it rains I do this."

– sky_kitten89

Hero Of The Moment

"Yoooo I scoot SO many snails and worms. I work as a tech/mechanic at an automotive shop, I had a peoject car towed to my house the other day and it was covered in snails. I saw them when the tow guy/coworker was unloading and I was like, 'oh! It comes with free snails!' and began moving them. He laughed then realized and said, '... Oh, you're serious. Uh... Okay.'"

"I don't care who knows it. These little things barely can look out for themselves, why shouldn't we if we can take a moment to help? I don't care what happens next, it probably doesn't matter overall but I can help this moment."

– chris14020

Why should some of the hidden desires mentioned above have to be secret?

Redditors opening up about some of these would make them a hit at parties–no shaming.

As a matter of fact, I'll totally be down for a Forensic Files viewing party where we all make hot chocolate, light the fireplace, and cozy up together in our respective pink ugly nightgowns for old ladies.

historical reenactors
Sigmund on Unsplash

We've probably all heard some variation of the saying "Truth is stranger than fiction."

Real life isn't just strange, it can also be downright ridiculous.

History is riddled with moments of absurdity.

So ridiculous that people have a hard time believing real life is, well, really real.

Keep reading...Show less