One of the problems that family caregivers often have is getting a senior parent to eat more food. Malnutrition is very common in seniors, and sometimes it can be a real challenge to get seniors to eat healthy meals that will give them the nutrients and calories they need to stay healthy. Seniors may not want to eat for a wide variety of reasons, including a lack of appetite caused by the medications that they need to take. If you’re struggling to get your senior parent to eat enough, consider hiring an in-home care provider.
Get In-Home Care
In-home care is great for seniors that are aging in place. In addition to helping seniors with things like home chores and cleaning in-home care providers encourage seniors to eat and drink water or juice throughout the day so that they are getting enough to eat and drink. Staying hydrated and getting enough to eat are essential to keep seniors healthy.
With in-home care seniors are much more likely to keep drinking throughout the day and eat all the food they should be eating. Sometimes just sharing a meal with a care provider is enough to get seniors to eat more because they won’t be eating alone.
Create Grazing Trays Instead Of Making Full Meals
A fantastic way to encourage seniors to eat more is to prepare grazing trays instead of meals. Seniors often don’t want to eat large or heavy meals three times a day, and there’s really no reason they can’t eat smaller amounts more often throughout the day. A tray full of healthy foods that is prepared in the morning and left in the fridge all day gives seniors the chance to eat small amounts whenever they are hungry.
On the tray include things like cheese and crackers, deli meats like turkey breast or ham, condiments, grapes, and other healthy foods. That way seniors can choose what they want to eat from a range of healthy options.
Portion Foods Into Handy Single Size Servings
Another surefire way to make sure that seniors eat is to portion foods into single serving sizes and leave them in the refrigerator. That way seniors can just grab items to make a meal. For example, put several cooked chicken breasts in the refrigerator individually wrapped. Then portion some rice into single service cups and put vegetables in single serve containers.
Your senior parent can grab a chicken breast, some rice, and whatever vegetables they want for a healthy meal that just needs to be heated in the microwave.
Keep Healthy Snacks Stocked
If your senior parent prefers to snack instead of having meals make sure there are always healthy snacks on hand. Single serve fruit cups or applesauce are great snacks. So are hard boiled eggs or individually wrapped portions of cheese. And pre-cut vegetables with dip or dressing are another great snack idea. Healthy snacks eaten throughout the day can be just as healthy for seniors as a full meal three times a day.