In this video, dietitian, Christine Marquette, talks about how to cook for an elderly person since they have unique nutritional needs.
It is important to note the following about elderly people:
- Have a lower body water mass than a young adult so they are at a higher risk for dehydration.
- Have a diminished sense of thirst so they may not always be aware that they are not drinking enough fluids. So you really want to push fluids, you want to encourage your elderly friend or relative to drink fluids throughout the day in between meals and when serving meals you want to include items that do have a high fluid content such as soups or stews, lots of fruits and lots of vegetables.
- Some have special needs such as difficulty chewing or have dentures. In this case, you want to choose meats that are soft like ground meats, fish, or ground chicken. Also try finger foods for those people who may have trouble handling utensils, such as chicken tenders, string cheese, and sandwiches. If this person is still able to use utensils but they just still have a little bit of trouble say with their balance, choose some items that stick very easily to a utensil, things such as mashed potatoes, meatloaf, anything that is a very thick item and again make sure that you are really encouraging this person to drink fluids in between their meals.
- Some have a lack of appetite or getting full very quickly so often it is best to have fluid in between meals, not exactly with the meal because they may get full on their beverage and not actually eat their food.
To summarize, be sure to encourage them to have fluids in between their meals, emphasize the fruits and the vegetables and make sure that they are able to handle their foods properly.
Our home caregiving services in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky can keep a close watch on your seniors by helping them with meal preparations and encouraging them to keep hydrated. Contact us here for more information.