As much as you don’t want it to happen, no living being can get away from aging. The physical changes brought by time can be a real struggle. And, what’s even more excruciating is when you see this happen right before your eyes, particularly when caring for an elderly loved one.
But. instead of leaving such negativities to fester, use these as a driving force to take care of them better. Since you’re much more physically sound, your elderly loved one needs you now more than ever. And, you preparing them food will make all the difference to their health. Here’s how you can prepare food for them to ensure variety:
1. Make It Colorful
Whether it’s because of their declining health or emotional turmoil, elderly people are prone to inconsistent appetites. Admittedly, between these two causes, emotional problems are much more challenging to deal with. Without knowing the fine line between firmness and gentleness, you’re bound to create friction, especially considering how most of the elderly population already have delicate health.
However, there’s one way to attract people, and that’s by using colors to your advantage.
Generally, color expresses a wide spectrum of meanings. But, many would agree that the more vibrant something is, the more ‘energetic’ one feels. Luckily, a lot of food with vibrant colors is best found in fresh produce. Therefore, if your patient’s been going through something, offering them this kind of food could pick up their appetites.
Generally, color expresses a wide spectrum of meanings. But, many would agree that the more vibrant the color of something is, the more energized one would feel upon looking at it. Luckily, a lot of food with vibrant colors is best found in fresh produce.
2. Focus On The Content
The more people age, the more likely they are to succumb to introspection, especially after a death of a loved one. By allowing them succumb to this line of thought even further, they’re bound to show signs of mental health problems, which can affect the rest of their bodies—and by extension, their appetite. So, you may click for source and find some ways to help them cope better.
But, admittedly, it doesn’t help that many elderly people are far too stubborn to accept help. So, what you might see them doing often is only eating a small amount from your planned meal for them, or, even worse, rejecting it completely. But, as mentioned earlier, it’s pointless getting yourself all worked up against them. Hence, you need to reevaluate your strategy.
One way to have peace and quiet while eating is to give them what they want. They’re almost like children in that regard. So, while you cut down their serving, what you need to do to compensate is make sure that small amount of food is packed full of nutrients. Think of it as if you’re cooking fine cuisine—little the serving may be, yet it’s still filling.
3. Rotate Different Food Groups
If you want variety, you need to be vigilant in making constant changes to the plan. After all, your elderly loved one deserves something new each day. Lucky for you, food has such a diverse well of flavors and nutrients that it’s unlikely you’ve explored every corner of the food pyramid. Because of this, if you’re fond of broadening your taste buds, this should be perfect for you.
However, as exciting as it is to explore, you need to remember that your ‘customers’ are elderly people. Therefore, what tastes amazing to you might gather different feedback from them since the older you get, the more likely your taste buds will change. But, it doesn’t hurt to put some spice in their food to make their meals exciting.
What you should focus on is the nutritional content senior citizens need to be fulfilled regularly. Omega-3 would be vital to keep their brain alert while slowing down their vision from degenerating. Vitamin B12 is perfect for retaining nerve function to absorb nutrients better. Potassium helps strengthen bone health while lowering blood pressure. These nutrients are only some of what elderly people need, so you’re not short on freedom, that’s for sure.
4. Schedule Small Meals Often
As mentioned earlier, many elderly people prefer to consume a serving each meal that’s much too small to be filling. So, to avoid any conflict, one idea suggested earlier is to disregard quantity and go full-out with its nutritional content instead.
However, if you’re not comfortable with how little your elderly loved one is eating, it’s highly recommended that you incorporate a meal plan that allows them to eat more often in a day. Ideally, they should eat around five to six times per day since smaller meals are preferred.
This way, they’re encouraged to take more calories and lower the risk of any congestion after having a huge meal. And, it doesn’t hurt that eating many times a day is a much bigger opportunity for them to have variety in their diet, while you get to explore your cooking more.
5. Add Different Textures
Other than a decline in taste buds, one other thing you should be concerned with is elderly people’s teeth problems. Many of them have teeth falling out once they’re closing into old age, while others simply have trouble chewing or swallowing. Therefore, it’s recommended that you shred up meat or boil up veggie sticks to make it easier to eat.
6. Take Suggestions
Although it’s great that you’re looking up different strategies to make your meal prep more appealing to your elderly, always bear in mind that what works for others might not apply to you. So, besides doing research, you still need to communicate with them.
Ask them if they have preferences for the day or if they have health conditions you need to take into account. This way, they could air out any grievance they have about food. In doing so, you can note what you need to do to make their meal experience better.
Meal Prep And Seniors: Why You Need To Be Careful
In some aspects, many senior citizens almost act like children. Because as they get older and their relationships all have faded away in time, they’re bound to have different health conditions that demand attention. Under the stress of their declining health, tantrums and miscommunication are inevitable.
But, regardless of how they perceive you, they need you now more than ever, especially in prepping their food. Since they might have no idea what nutrients they need, having you there to study different nutritional content and food groups could improve their health. Hence, you have to be careful when handling this task.