Meals For Adults And Seniors Losing Appetite
Food. What is there not to love? But some seniors lose their appetite. As we age, our bodies change in ways that can result in us losing our appetite. When we are young, it is sometimes difficult to stop eating. You just have to see or smell your favorite dish to get hungry!
A loss of appetite is a very common problem for adults and seniors. Yet it’s vitally important that they still receive the nutrition required to keep their bodies fit and healthy. Dealing with a lack of appetite needs to be done quickly to prevent serious conditions arising.
Why do seniors lose their appetite?
Appetite is an intricate process that activates our desire for food. Hormones, messages sent from the stomach, as well as taste, sight, and smell are all triggered to induce eating. As we get older, there are both psychological and medical reasons that can cause a loss of appetite.
Taste buds and our sense of smell alter as we age. That tasty meal you once loved becomes less desirable. Dental problems mean that eating can become a painful venture which ruins the enjoyment of solid foods. As we become less active and our metabolism slows down, we require fewer calories.
Loneliness, depression, grief, and sadness can all have a psychological effect on appetite. The prospect of cooking and eating alone makes some people think: “Why bother?”
Further to the above, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s may simply forget to eat.
Eat high calorie foods
Losing appetite is a problem for seniors which needs to be overcome. When preparing food for someone who has lost their appetite, try to make sure the meals are calorific. In this way, more calories and energy are delivered with each mouthful.
Vitamins and minerals still need to be consumed too. Make a habit of serving meals at the same time every day. Maybe try smaller portions of foods that are high in calories. Then the person will not need to eat too much, but will still be taking in the energy they need.
Meats, beans, sweet potatoes, fish, avocados and nuts are all high in calories. Dairy products like cheese and yoghurt are also a great way to increase your daily intake.
Walk and move in the fresh air
Research shows that walking outdoors in the fresh air can stimulate the desire to eat. Consider a brisk (or whatever pace is comfortable) 20-minute walk an hour or two before meal time.
This not only triggers appetite but means the body will be getting some exercise too.
Choose appealing foods
Seasons are great and allow us to choose appealing foods all year round. Menus can be varied so we will always find something interesting. In the spring and summer, try salads, cold soups. For the fall and winter, hot soups, goulash, and stews are all warming comfort foods for those cold days. Although you can also indulge yourself occasionally, try to choose healthy menu plans.
At Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home in Queens, NY, our dietician and kitchen staff are dedicated to providing quality, nutritious food. Our menu is glatt kosher and there is a wide and varied selection to choose from. Adults and seniors are sure to find the nutrition they need. If your senior loved one loses his or her appetite, we will help you find it again.
This article contains informational and educational materials and does not replace health or medical advice. For questions or concerns regarding your medical condition or health objectives, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
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