Social distancing and community quarantine have kept most senior adults away from the outside world, causing much anxiety and uncertainty in their lives. This may bring adverse effects to their mental and physical health, such as not getting enough nutrition due to loss of appetite. Here are some tips that can get their eating habits back to the way it was.
- CONVERSE WHILE EATING
- Set time to talk with them over their favorite food. Mealtimes provide a great opportunity to socialize, relax, and improve their mood. Seniors feel happy and contented when they eat and share meals with others.
- If some family members are not living in the same house, use the power of technology to connect with them and monitor their well-being.
- MAKE THE MEAL PLEASANT
- Prepare their favorite dishes as much as possible.
- Color their plate with a variety of well-liked vegetables or fruits.
- Serve hot foods hot, not lukewarm, to enhance the flavor. Hot temperature enhances the aroma of food, making it more enticing.
- Eat with them slowly. Seniors tend to eat longer and slower due to some difficulties in chewing.
- SERVE FOOD ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS
- Chop vegetables, fruits, and proteins into smaller pieces to ease swallowing and reduce the risk of choking.
- Serve soups in a cup so it can be drunk rather than spooned out.
- Four to six smaller meals are more tolerable than three big meals. Try to keep portions small so that they’re not overwhelmed by large servings. Let them take seconds if they’re still hungry.
- Perk up flavors with more herbs, spices, and seasonings. Use MAGGI MAGIC SARAP to season their food. It enhances the taste of any dish by providing umami, or the savory, “malinamnam” taste.
- Drinks can lessen appetite. Consume fluids after meals but not with them, which will help leave more room for food.
- EAT PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL
- Protein is important in keeping a strong immune system. It is essential in producing antibodies, which are molecules designed specifically to combat viruses and resist infection.
- Chewing protein-rich food like meats can be a problem for some. Try to chop or mince them to bite-sized pieces. Serve them with soups or sauces to soften the texture or select softer protein sources like fish and tofu.
- Milk is a source of high-quality protein. Add NESTLÉ Low-fat or Non-fat milk to soups, omelets, fruit shakes, or mashed potatoes. You can also mix a spoonful of BEAR BRAND ADULT PLUS instead of liquid milk.
- CONSIDER NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTATION
- To top off inadequate food intake, you can give Oral Nutrition Supplements, like BOOST in between meals. BOOST is a delicious and nutritious source of nutrients and can be easily incorporated into the daily diet.
Here are some comfort food and easy-to-eat recipes for them to try:
- Menudillo and Egg
Vegetable Salad with Fried Crispy Tokwa and Sweet Tangy Mustard
Along with these tips, make sure they are eating the kind of food that caters to their health needs. Being in quarantine can be isolating for some, so make mealtimes your way to connect and show your loved ones that you care.