Did you know that a loss of appetite in older adults is a normal part of aging? This might be caused by a slower metabolism, side effects from medication, sensory changes or even dental problems. Whatever the reason, it’s important to monitor and address this with your doctor if necessary. A lack of appetite might lead to unnecessary weight loss or nutritional deficiencies and that could mean a lower energy level and may even impact your medication dosage. Plus, some medications must be taken with food to reduce side effects of stomach irritation, such as indigestion, stomach inflammation or ulcers.
Here are some things you can do to keep your belly full even if you don’t feel like eating.(1)
- Watch the clock. Have a regular meal and snack schedule to train your body to eat at those times.
- Eat smaller. Instead of a big plate, serve smaller portions. Or, try eating five small meals instead of three larger ones.
- Boost healthy calories. Add foods like avocado, olive oil, soft cheeses, peanut butter or eggs to your menu.
- Enjoy finger foods. Don’t worry about that knife and fork, especially if arthritis in your hands make them difficult to use. Just grab a carrot stick, chicken tender, meatball or sandwich and chow down.
- Graze if you want to. All-day snacking instead of full meals is okay too. Keep plenty of healthy, delicious and easy-to-eat snacks available. Foods like cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese, chocolate or whole milk, peanut butter and crackers can be good options.
- Make it smooth. If chewing is difficult or tiring, consider serving softer or more liquid-y foods like soup, smoothies, milkshakes or a glass of full-fat milk.
Depending on your diet, overall health and your appetite, choose which of the above work best for you.
- DailyCaring 6 Way to Get Senior With No Appetite to Eat. Retrieved on May 12, 2023 from https://dailycaring.com/6-ways-to-get-seniors-with-no-appetite-to-eat/