Health issues can make eating difficult as people age, and eating problems can make it difficult to get the right vitamins and nutrients. Luckily, the Food and Drug Administration offers some solutions to several common problems that keep seniors from eating a balanced diet.
For seniors who cannot chew food well, meats and fresh fruits and vegetables can be a problem. The FDA suggests the following substitutions:
- Canned fruits and fruit juices instead of fresh fruit
- Mashed or cooked vegetables instead of raw veggies
- Ground meat, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products as opposed to hard-to-chew steaks or chicken breasts
- Cooked cereals, rice, bread pudding and soft cookies as opposed to sliced bread
Stomach issues may cause older adults to stay away from certain foods and can cause them to miss out on important nutrients. If a senior is complaining of an upset stomach after eating certain foods, try the following substitutions:
- Cream soups, pudding, yogurt and cheese instead of milk
- Vegetable juices, green beans, carrots or potatoes instead of cabbage or broccoli
- Fruit juice or soft canned fruits instead of fresh fruit
Lack of Appetite:
Older seniors who live alone sometimes feel lonely at mealtimes, which can lead to a loss of appetite. They may also not feel up to making a meal just for themselves, or the medication that they take might make food taste bad. For these issues, the FDA suggests:
- Eating with family and friends
- Joining group meal programs offered through local senior citizens programs
- Talking to a doctor about whether or not medication might be a problem
- Contacting a local home care agency to have a companion prepare and participate in making meal time a social activity
Eating problems are common with age, which is why it is important to ensure that your loved ones are getting the proper nutrition. If you need help planning and preparing meals for a friend or family member, contact Partners in HealthCare in Orlando, FL at 407-788-9393 for information about our home care services. We will make a positive difference in the life of your loved one.
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