6 Tips for Boosting Your Senior Parent's Appetite

Posted by Jim Fuller on May 17, 2017 4:58:00 AM

6 Tips for Boosting Your Senior Parent's Appetite.jpgIf you're the primary caregiver of a senior parent you may be worried about their lack of appetite. Generally, we all tend to eat less as we age, however, you should be aware of a few danger signs. Such danger signs include  medication side effects, dehydration, dry mouth, and problems chewing or swallowing. If those aren't an issue here are seven tips you can use to boost your senior's appetite:

  1. Make a variety of foods and serve small portions. Concentrate on complex carbohydrates, high-fiber foods, and lean proteins as the main intake. To save time you can make larger amounts of food and freeze separate portions so they have great nutrition on hand if they feel like having a second helping.

  2. Keep favorites on hand. Half an avocado can make a great salad, and a small dish of berries can be a perfect snack. As long as they're getting a balanced variety of food let them choose their favorites as often as possible.

  3. Make meals sociable. Whether you eat out, eat with your parent, or invite company for dinner, having a social meal almost always makes to appetite better.

  4. Keep to a meal schedule. While you can have a bit of flexibility here it's always best to have set meal times. In the same strain, don't feel like you have to have three big meals a day for your parent. Three smaller meals work well with nutritious snacks in between or five small meals. Whatever works for your schedules and their appetite is the key to go by.

  5. Keep nutrition drinks on hand. If your parent isn't hungry they can sip on a vitamin shake instead of eating a full meal.

  6. Keep a dish of nuts or fruit on hand for snacking. Keep the fluids flowing. Always be aware of the risks of dehydration and make sure your senior gets enough to drink. Dry mouth, headaches, loss of appetite, and dizziness can all be signs of dehydration.

Bonus: Samples of nutritious foods you can choose to boost your elderly parent's appetite:

High-Fiber Foods

  • Apples

  • Almonds

  • Quinoa

  • Walnuts

Proteins

  • Eggs

  • Fish

  • Beans, such as garbanzo

  • Chicken

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Brown rice

  • Broccoli, Spinach, and many other vegetables

  • Whole grain pasta

  • Pears and similar fruits

Talk to your parent's doctor for other dietary suggestions that might help boost your parent's appetite, and always make sure they aren't taking a medication that might react with a certain food. Learn more about Senior Wellness and how to help your aging loved one stay healthy.

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