Fort Myers Senior Living: Tips to Help Your Loved One Eat More

As we age, our appetite changes and evolves. If you or a loved one has recently experienced a decrease in appetite, you should consult a medical professional to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing it. At Cypress Cove, we put together some tips to help you or your loved ones eat more while staying in a Fort Myers senior living community.

  1. Schedule it out.

    • If you eat your meals and snacks at the same time each day, it can retrain your body to become hungry at those times. This will allow you to stay on a routine and make sure that nutritional needs are being met throughout the day, every day.
  2. Smaller portions and higher nutrients.

    • If the idea of eating a lot at once is overwhelming, try 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones. You can still cook or order the normal portions you are accustomed to, and store the leftovers in a container to eat later. Then, consider mixing in some of these items below to increase the number of healthy calories & nutrient density in your smaller portion.
      • Avocado
      • Meats
      • Soft cheeses
      • Eggs
      • Olive Oil
      • Nut Butters
  1. Say goodbye to utensils.

    • If you or your loved one is finding it harder or frustrating to use utensils, try having meals where they are not needed to overcome that hurdle. For example:
      • Chicken strips, wings, and nuggets
      • Fish sticks
      • Steamed or raw vegetables
      • Pizza
      • Tacos
      • Chips with a vegetable dip
      • Wraps and sandwiches
  1. Prepared Snacks.

    • If you or a loved one are on the go, it’s easy to forget to eat throughout the day. Bring some snacks in little bags, that way there is no excuse to skip your healthy snacks.
  2. Smoothies and Milkshakes.

    • If chewing is one of the main obstacles to getting the nutrients needed, try to mix up some of the meals and desserts with smoothies and milkshakes to give the jaw a break. You can also try to mix in softer foods into each meal to help balance it out and reduce overall chewing.
  3. Adapt to medication side effects.

    • Certain medications can cause everyday items you used to love to taste funny. For example, if meat now tastes metallic, try other sources of protein. If the silverware is causing a funny taste, try plastic or a different material. If water no longer tastes good, try adding in some flavoring to balance it out.
  4. Control the temperature.

    • Sometimes the temperature of a dish could be unappealing. If room temperature or cooler meals are preferred, maybe let the dish sit for a few before enjoying it. Or if warm food is preferred, continue to check on it and make sure it stays at that ideal temperature throughout the meal.
  5. If you’re hungry, eat!

    • It’s important to let someone with a decrease in appetite indulge when they are finally feeling hungry. If they want another helping, then go for it!
  6. Eat with others.

    • If eating becomes more of a social activity, then it could be more enjoyable and encourage more overall food consumption.

In a Fort Myers senior living community like Cypress Cove, they offer a unique and delicious dining experience that allows you to dine in or take out at your convenience. This helps remove any barriers for individuals who have trouble cooking or simply don’t feel like it. If you have questions about how you can help your loved one obtain more nutrients through food daily at Cypress Cove, we are happy to help answer any questions!