How to Make Mealtime More Enjoyable for Seniors
When it comes to mealtimes, we all require certain things as we age. As toddlers, it can be more engaging for us to eat in different places around the home, be given choices as to what we can eat at dinner, or incorporate some sort of game (like counting) into mealtimes. As we go through our stages of life, these requirements change, and by the time we reach our senior years, we yet again need to look at what can be done to make mealtimes more enjoyable. This includes looking into easy meals for seniors.
If you’re a career or family member looking for ways to bring joy back into mealtimes for someone older in your life, here are a few things you can try to change things up.
Make Mealtimes Sociable Again
As we get older, we inevitably begin to experience a range of losses that can deeply impact our sense of connection to other people and the world around us. Loneliness is a complex issue, but it can be helped with interactions from loved ones – and this can be as simple as sitting down at a table together and enjoying a meal.
Eating together is an important part of social relationships. It encourages conversation, engagement, and a sense of companionship, which is why so many of us were asked to sit at the table for family mealtimes when growing up! If you want to make mealtimes more sociable, consider involving family members, friends, or even volunteers to join seniors during meals.
Offer Up Some Delicious Food
No matter your age, there are few things more enjoyable than a delicious, hearty meal. Unfortunately, as we get older, health experts tend to emphasise avoiding certain ingredients, such as sugar and salt, which can lead to bland food.
The solution? Offer up delicious food flavoured with herbs, spices and more! You can jazz up your mealtimes with a medley of vibrant flavours including zesty pepper, tangy mustard, aromatic garlic and ginger, invigorating citrus, and a flurry of spices. You can also look at easy meals for seniors, including delivered meals that have been balanced for not only flavour but also health. They can be far more affordable than you think, and are a convenient way to swap up dishes at mealtimes to keep seniors interested and excited for mealtimes.
Pay Attention To Portion Size And Hydration
Many of us underestimate just how badly dehydration can impact our hunger as well as our overall mood. If someone you care for is finding it difficult to drink water throughout the day, you can try and make it more interesting by adding slices of lemon, lime, orange or cucumber. A few fresh mint leaves could be included, or maybe even a few crushed raspberries. This will make it much easier to consume some very important hydration.
In addition to this, it’s also good to know that our appetite can fluctuate as we get older. When appetite lowers, a plate piled high with food tends to look less appetising. Instead, opt for smaller, thoughtful servings that provide a balance of essential nutrients and great taste. By focusing on this, you can ensure an individual is still eating in a way that supports them.
Take Into Consideration A Person’s Needs
We’re not all cut from the same cloth, so we all have different requirements when it comes to mealtimes. Once you’ve found the right easy meals for seniors, you can focus on other individual requirements. Some seniors may have difficulty chewing or swallowing – in such cases, it may be best to offer softer or pureed food options. You might also need to provide utensils that are easy to grip and use, or consider adaptive dining aids such as non-slip placements if needed. Respecting cultural and dietary preferences can also help to ensure seniors feel valued and understood, rather than spoken over by a carer.
Counter Cotton Mouth
Certain medications that are prescribed to the elderly can impede saliva production, leading to a dry mouth that can impact appetite and make chewing more challenging. You can help with cotton mouth by encouraging your loved one to chew gum, use a toothbrush moistened with water to gently stimulate their gums and activate saliva production, or recommend using specialised oral rinses or mouthwashes formulated to combat dry mouth symptoms. This can go a low way towards making mealtimes more comfortable and enjoyable.
If you’re looking for easy meals for seniors that are affordable and, most importantly, delicious, then look no further than Top Nosh Meals! We offer senior meal delivery across the Sunshine Coast and Northern Brisbane to ensure nobody misses out on our carefully made, home-style meals!