Mealtimes with your elderly loved ones can be easy and loving by following these few simple steps. Bon appetit!


How to Promote Good Eating Habits for Seniors

  • Alleviate any diversions during meals
  • Keep the menu basic
  • Use only the utensils that are needed
  • Have cups with lids to avoid a mess if spilled
  • If possible, use bowls instead of plates
  • Provide food that can easily be eaten
  • Serve food that is already cut, cooled, and easily recognizable


Ideas for Those with Swallowing or Chewing Problems

  • Use simple spoken commands to guide them when to swallow and when to chew
  • Do not serve food that breaks apart easily or foods that tend to be messy
  • Serve food in small amounts
  • Make sure food is cut up so they can chew and swallow with little effort
  • Allow them time to swallow and then prepare for their next bite
  • Check to see that food is not too hot for them, and have it moistened if possible.


Caring for Seniors Who Eat Too Much or Too Little

  • Allow for healthy snacks throughout the day to offset eating only at mealtime
  • Ensure the person receives enough exercise to justify their food intake
  • Serve foods that they like most to maintain a good appetite
  • Provide a style of cooking that supplies proper nutrition and is easy to digest



About the Author

Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Complete Care Strategies

Complete Care Strategies consists of care managers, specialized human service professionals, who advocate and direct the care of seniors and others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, its expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Along with its licensed home care division, it can help clients safely remain at home under the watchful eye of skilled professionals. Families are afforded an integrated model of care that, with guidance and advocacy, lead them to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love