Tips to whet the appetite of our elders

How much and what should they eat? In what quantities and at what times? And most importantly, how do you make them feel cared for?

Our diet changes over the years. It varies depending on life stage, taste and other things. This means that as we age, we don’t eat as we did when we were children or adolescence, let alone as we age.

Diet often changes drastically in old age decreases metabolism and level of physical activity, but the same need for nutrients remains Therefore, it is important that the person eats properly.

The problem is, there’s usually a time when, for some reason older people lose their appetite. Sometimes it is due to an illness they are going through and they get it back as soon as they get well.

Other causes of poor appetite in the elderly may include lack of money to eat, sadness or depression because they are very lonely. It is also common for them not to taste or eat much of the food medicine who cause nausea or discomfort and therefore have no desire to eat.

Help restore appetite

It is very important to be vigilant to prevent this loss of appetite from persisting over time and causing malnutrition or other complications in our elderly.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to help them regain their appetite. For this I leave you some useful tips to keep in mind:

First, don’t blame them for not wanting to eat, and don’t force themIt is necessary to have patience and help them change this situation to avoid malnutrition, but with love and respect.

You can start by offering different alternatives, from splitting up your diet to making the right food choices to get the calories and nutrients you need.

It is a good idea to consult the referring doctor to discuss the situation, as it is possible that this loss of appetite is due to an illness or specific treatment may be required.

General guidelines to keep in mind to help our elders whet their appetites:

There are many ways to invite our elders to dinner.

Shutterstock | Alexander Ratten

Break up meals more, between 5 or 6 per day and in small portions. It doesn’t matter if he ate an hour ago and wants to eat something else: if he’s hungry at that moment, that’s it, I’ll give him something.

For example, it can be divided into:

A breakfast, with 1 cup of milk with bread with cheese, jam or quince.

Something in the morning: a fresh or baked fruit or a cream.

Having lunch: something with pasta, rice or legumes accompanied by some meat, chicken, fish and some vegetables. A raw or cooked fruit.

snack: plain yoghurt with biscuits or sponge cake or sponge cake with little sugar.

Dinner: Soup, noodles or vegetables with potatoes, some fish, egg or cheese. Raw or cooked fruit.

Something light for bedtime: It can simply be warm or hot milk.

two. Choose foods you like. As much as possible, stick to your personal habits and tastes, ie include in your diet the foods and dishes you feel like eating, even if you don’t have a big appetite.

3. Eat foods high in calories and nutrients. By consuming less amounts, it is necessary to include in your diet high-calorie and nutritious foods such as legumes, meat, fish, eggs, whole grains, dairy products, extra virgin olive oil.

Four. Varied diet: It’s a way to avoid getting bored of eating the same food over and over and we absorb more nutrients in return.

Favorite foods can be mixed with new ones. An example: the avocado, a food with vitamin E, antioxidants and high-quality fats (oleic acid). It’s also very versatile, it can be used both as a spread on toast and as a main ingredient. From a banana and avocado puree to a salad or as a dressing for a sandwich, meat (with avocado mayonnaise), some avocado gnocchi or a delicious avocado soup.

5. The presentation of the court It is very important to make it tastier.

Other Recommendations

6. Taste, Often this is the main cause of loss of appetite, since at this age they usually present with a pathology (such as hypertension or diabetes) and have limited salt or sugar intake.

Therefore, in these cases it is necessary to look for different strategies such as: B. Adding fresh herbs and spices that enhance the flavor of foods such as garlic, onion, parsley, basil, coriander, pepper and ginger, among others.


7. Avoid drinking the drink with meals. Although fluid intake is extremely important for the elderly (at least 3 glasses of water a day), drinking it with meals is discouraged. It’s a way to prevent them from getting full quickly, so it’s better to do it half an hour before or after meals.

8th. Look for a relaxed, pleasant and harmonious atmosphere when eating. In addition, it is better if they do not eat alone, but with company. Often, just eating alone takes away the desire to eat, but accompanied talking can help encourage them to eat more instead.

9. Food should be easy to chew and swallow. Simple and easy to prepare. That doesn’t mean you always have to make them purees or soups, but a variety of other foods. In addition, it can be added to soups, creams, broths, purees: grated cheese, whole and/or milk powder, vegetable oils, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), rice, minced meat, hard-boiled eggs.

10 Avoid foods that fill you up and have little nutritional value such as tea, coffee, mate, sugary drinks, defatted broths, salads, alcoholic beverages.

Having our parents or grandparents close by to take care of and pamper them is a blessing. It’s a way of giving them back a little bit of all the love they gave us.

Let us help our elderly with tenderness and respect. It is God’s command to “honor father and mother” that Pope Francis reminds us of in his beautiful catechesis for the elderly at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square on April 20 this year.