As we age, it can become increasingly difficult to eat well. There are lots of reasons why an elderly person might lose their appetite, this can range from various health conditions, to taking medications and even depression or loneliness.
If you’re looking after an older relative, friend or neighbour, then we have put together some top tips on encouraging them to eat well.
It’s important first to rule out any health conditions or dental problems that might be causing them to not want to eat.
If these are all ruled out, then here are some small changes you can start by making:
Have a meal plan
You should have a plan of meals that the older person will eat through the week and at what times. Having a schedule helps their body ready itself to eat.
Have snacks on-hand
If your loved-one prefers to snack through the day rather than having big meals, make sure you have lots of healthy snacks ready to reach for. These can include berries, nuts and dried fruits as well as fresh fruit, crackers and cereal bars.
You can also slice up carrots, cucumber or peppers for snacking on.
Blend it up
Some older people find it difficult to chew or swallow big pieces of food, so you could opt for making something smoother.
You can whip up a nutritious soup full of veggies or blend fruit to make healthy smoothies.
Serve smaller portions
Large amounts of food can be overwhelming, so serving smaller portions can really help. Instead of three large meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, why not make the meals smaller and opt for serving them more often, perhaps five times per day.
You can also batch cook big meals and serve up small portions as and when needed. We have some top freezer hacks for you to read about here.