Suggestions for Good Eating Habits:
Alleviate any diversions during meals, and be basic with your menus.
- Use only utensils that are needed.
- Have cups with lids to avoid a mess if spilled.
- If possible, use bowls instead of plate.
- Provide food that can easily be eaten. Serve food that is already cut, cooled, and easily recognizable to the person.
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, and 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 Those 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 his/her 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.
Mealtimes can be easy and loving by following these few simple steps. Bon appetit!
About the Author
Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Complete Care Strategies