Alzheimer's Disease Frequently Asked Questions
3. I'm having trouble getting my loved one to eat. What can I do? continued...
- Talk to your loved one's doctor. Sometimes, poor appetite is due to depression, or other treatable problems.
- Don't force feed. Try to encourage the person to eat, and try to find out why they don't want to eat.
- Avoid serving non-nutritious beverages.
- Try to get your loved one to eat more protein and healthy fats and less simple sugars.
- Offer small, frequent meals and snacks.
- Encourage your loved one to walk or participate in other types of light activity to stimulate appetite.
- Consider serving finger foods that are easier for the person to handle and eat.
- Remember to treat the person as an adult, not a child. Don't punish the person for not eating.
- Serve beverages after a meal instead of before or during a meal so that your loved one doesn't feel full before beginning to eat.
- Plan meals to include your loved one's favorite foods.
- If insufficient calories is a problem, try getting your loved one to eat the high-calorie foods in the meal first.
- Use your imagination to increase the variety of food you're serving. Prepare meals that offer a variety of textures, colors, and temperatures.
- Don't serve foods that provide little or no nutritional value, such as potato chips, candy bars, colas, and other less healthy snack foods.
- Choose high-protein and high-calorie nutritious snacks.
- Make food preparation an easy task: choose foods that are easy to prepare and eat.
- Make eating a pleasurable experience, not a chore; for example, liven up your meals by using colorful place settings and/or play background music during meals.
- Try not to let your loved one eat alone. If you are unable to eat with your loved one, invite a guest.
- Use colorful garnishes such as parsley and red or yellow peppers to make food look more appealing.