Eating healthy and nutritious meals helps to keep the body strong, besides enhancing its ability to fight diseases. Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for people of all ages. Even so, many older adults struggle to eat right. It is a problem that is associated with chewing difficulties as well as a poor appetite that stems from taking medications regularly. Poor eating habits among residents of a nursing home in Collin County, TX could be linked to picky eating. Picky eating may develop at an advanced stage or begin at a young age. However, there are several ways in which caregivers can get finicky eaters to consume different nutritious foods for the sake of their well-being.
Proper Meal Planning
A large number of picky eaters are driven by the lack of control in deciding their meal preferences. One way nursing homes help to contain this problem is by creating meal plans in good time and involving picky eaters in the process. An ideal meal plan should include healthy foods and not every dish suggested by the fussy eater.
Providing Multivitamins Occasionally
Older adults need a constant supply of healthy and nutritionally balanced meals to keep their bodies healthy and keep ailments at bay. However, picky eaters can create a tricky situation whereby their meals do not incorporate a balanced diet.
Being critical about what they eat means that they will miss out on essential nutrients. That can expose them to diseases which is not great at an advanced age. Therefore, caregivers should be on the lookout for such eaters and utilize multivitamins or supplements to help substitute the nutrients that are lacking in the diets of choosy diners.
Embracing Ready-to-Eat Snacks
It is always great for aging individuals to be served freshly prepared food to meet their nutritional requirements in the best way possible. However, there are exceptional cases where finicky eaters have to be provided with pre-packaged snacks to substitute their meals. Snacks such as oatmeal, yogurt, unsalted nuts and cottage cheese are nutritious and healthy for such elders.
Introducing New Meals through Familiar Foods
Eaters who are not open-minded in terms of their food choices will quickly find a new plate of food unappetizing and intimidating to them. Even so, caregivers in nursing homes can trick choosy diners into eating new meals by serving them alongside their favorite ones. Of course, the new dish should be of significant nutritional value.
Offering New Foods in Small Portions
Picky eaters in retirement communities are not so compromising when it comes to trying out new dishes. However, there is a way to make them like new dishes. The secret is to introduce them to new meals in small portions. Smaller food portions are easier to eat and swallow. The food portions can be increased gradually as time goes by until they are used to a new culinary experience.
Encouraging Social or Group Dining
Another trick to get picky eaters to enjoy new meals is encouraging them to eat in a social setting. Fortunately, that is not a problem for nursing homes which often incorporate shared dining areas. Finicky eaters are likelier to try out new types of meals when they eat alongside their family members or friends. Loneliness and isolation tend to suppress the appetite of older adults. However, the meals will be more delicious in the presence of some company.