3. Make Food Appealing continued...
If you're preparing food for your parent, adding a touch of sweetness can often make food more appealing because many people develop a sweet tooth in their senior years. Coste suggests putting a bit of fruit preserve on cream cheese and whole grain bread or whipping up a blender drink of lemonade, soda, and a scoop of lemon sherbet. "It's almost like having a cocktail," she says.
Your sense of smell also plays a role in appetite. "In some cases, warming food will make it more fragrant, and may make you feel hungrier," says Palmer. "Though for some people, cold food is more appetizing. It’s really up to the individual, so you need to decide what’s most appetizing you to."
Because our sense of smell and taste often dull with age, you may also find food may not taste as good as it used to. Punching up the flavors can help. Try adding spices or herbs to add to the natural flavors of foods. Other flavor enhancers like vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard can also add a kick. Don't add extra salt -- most people already have too much sodium in their diet.
4. Keep It Simple
Make mealtime as easy for yourself as possible. "Having a meal doesn’t have to be a big production," says Zelman. "Stock your refrigerator and pantry with foods you enjoy so you always have something on hand." When you cook, make enough for a few days, or trade extras with a friend. It may also be helpful to keep a few of your favorite easy meal ideas in a notebook, so you can look through it when you need a meal in a pinch.
5. Don’t Fill Up on Fluids
It can be easy to fill up on fluids -- such as water, juice, coffee, or tea -- before you're done eating. If this is the case for you, don't drink until after your meal. "Enjoy your meal first, and then have your coffee, tea, or other beverage," says Palmer. "You want to be sure to get all of the nutrients from your food before having drinks that are not so nutrient-dense."