Eating Problem #4: Declining Sense of Taste
If you find that food just doesn’t taste as good as it used to, you’re not alone. “Our sense of taste dulls with age,” says Zelman. “And because our sense of smell is also not as sharp, it can mean that food just doesn’t seem to have as much flavor.”
Although many people reach for the salt shaker to add more flavor to food, that’s not the best solution. “Most people already have too much sodium in their diet,” says Zelman. “A better choice is to use flavor enhancers to help foods come alive. Try adding flavor with herbs, pepper, spices, vinegars, mustards, lemon juice, or garlic.” Spicing up the flavor of your food will often help increase your enjoyment.
Adult children can often reintroduce old favorites to their parents in new, spicier ways. "Many older people's diets -- my parents included -- are really missing greens, except for salad in the summer," Coste says. "Sauté kale or spinach with olive oil and garlic," Coste suggests. "It's got a lot of taste. Serve it when your parent comes over for dinner and then give them some to take home that's ready to microwave."
Don’t Give Up
If you’ve tried different options and you’re still having problems eating, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your doctor or a registered dietician may be able to offer you additional help for your particular problem or help you come up with an eating plan that works for you.