A healthy diet is important for everyone no matter what your age. However, getting seniors to adopt a healthy and balanced diet can be challenging. From difficulty chewing to changes in taste from medications, there are many reasons why seniors don’t eat properly — including just being plain picky!
Whether your favorite senior has been a picky eater since they were a kid or they’ve recently become finicky about their food, here are some tips to get them to willingly and happily eat nutritious foods!
One reason you may have a picky eater on your hands could be because they don’t feel in control of making decisions for themselves. Try planning meals ahead of time and let them be involved. Make a list of healthy options and ask them which ones they would like for you to make for them. You can even have them assist you in making the meals so that they also feel independent and will be proud to eat what they have prepared.
Ready to Eat Snacks
While it’s always best to have fresh food prepared, you can still give your elderly loved one nutrition in pre-packaged snacks. Try some of the following:
- Cottage cheese
- Canned fruit (avoid heavy syrups, it’s best to offer fruits packed in their own juice.)
- Unsalted nuts
- Peanut butter snack packs
- Low-sodium canned soup
- Steam-in-the-bag vegetables
One way you can coax your picky eater to be more nutritious is to have friends and family join them for meals. Seniors who eat by themselves may feel lonely, thus suppressing a senior’s appetite. Having company during meals can be a two-fold benefit — they have a chance to socialize and get a nutritious meal in. You can also try taking them to places that offer events that involve meals — for example, church luncheons or community center luncheons.
The Arbors Assisted Living community encourages and supports healthy eating habits and food choices for our senior residents. We provide a variety of nutritious meals that foster a healthful lifestyle. Contact us to learn more!