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, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Complete Care Strategies