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!

 

Lois Young-Tulin

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