Nutrition for Seniors & How To Help Someone With Appetite Loss

A balanced diet is important at any age, but appetite loss can sometimes prevent proper nutrition for seniors. However, there are some things you can do to help a loved one with appetite loss.

Lack of appetite is quite common among seniors and can be due to several causes. Some common reasons include medication distorting the taste of food, depression, a slower metabolism, diminishing sense of smell or taste, or even certain foods becoming too strenuous to eat.

Ensuring a balanced amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, and oil are key to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, one should seek to lower their intake of foods with added sugar and solid fats, which tend to be high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.

A balanced diet not only provides physical benefits but also helps promote mental health. Read more about diet’s role in mental health here. Remember, when making any changes to your diet, it’s always recommended to speak with your physician to help determine the correct amount of each food group and nutritional needs. 

3 Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Appetite Loss

1.) Make Food Easy to Eat: It may sound intuitive, but simply making food easier to eat can help ensure your loved one is getting enough nutrients. Certain foods may be too difficult to chew or cut, so cutting food into smaller pieces, or even pureeing meals is a way to help ensure eating is not strenuous. Similarly, opting for a nutrient-rich soup or smoothie instead of a solid meal might be a good alternative. 

2.) Give In To Cravings: If your main concern is that your loved one isn’t eating enough, it’s okay to offer foods they are craving, even if it isn’t the most healthy choice. Offering a small portion of a craving may help stimulate the appetite and is okay in moderation. 

3.) Try Smaller Meals: While you may have heard that eating three square meals a day is ideal, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, having several smaller meals throughout the day can be beneficial to those with appetite loss. What’s most important is that nutritional needs are being met. 

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