Many clients prefer vegetables cooked soft, like canned, although some do enjoy today’s more popular steamed/crunchy style. The sense of smell can stimulate the appetite. Hot foods create aroma. Don’t easily accept “no” when a client says they aren’t hungry. Keep offering suggestions, and thinking of new creative ways to encourage nutrition.
The following are some helpful suggestions for Common Nutritional Problems:
- Nausea – Cold food is least apt to provide odor which often triggers nausea. Offer small portions, frequently. Eating slowly may be helpful.
- Depression – Client has lost interest in life and gives up eating.
- Pain – Serve food when pain relieving medication is most effective.
- Loneliness -Provide companionship at mealtime.
- Fatigue – Rest before meals may be beneficial.
- Small appetites -The client may need five or six small feedings of high quality foods. High protein and high calorie beverages may be easier to consume than large amounts of food.
- Decrease insenseoftasteandsmell – Serve meals that look, taste, and srnel1 good.
- Constipationmaylowerappetite – Correct by including fluids and fiber in diet.
- Chewing problems related to lack of teeth or poorly fitting dentures – Use tender cooked meats, ground meats like beef, lamb, fresh pork, ham, and veal. Serve meals of fish, eggs, cheese, and legumes. Use moist cooking methods or cook at low temperatures.
- Muscle control – Loss of muscle control may lead to changes in eating habits where. Clients avoid foods that may be difficult to cut or may be easily spilled.
- Improper mouth care – A bad taste in the mouth detracts from enjoyment of food.
- Economic situation – Living on a fixed or limited income limits food expenditures. Very often, less expensive foods are often selected which may be higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein.
- Transportation – Lack of adequate transportation may make shopping for bargains difficult and carrying bundles of groceries impossible.
- Social climate – Clients living alone may lack desire to prepare and eat regular meals. Snack foods may be used instead.
Everything the care recipient eats and drinks in a day should be included in the planning. This food may be eaten at the three regular meals and/or in the form of snacks during the day. It is important to plan meals as close as possible to the care recipient’s usual eating habits. When the care recipient’s diet is changed, take special care to try to keep this new diet as close to the diet of the other family members as possible. For example, when your client has a salt-free diet, separate this food from that of the other family members before salt is added. In other words, care recipients may have the same food as their family. They often will not keep to a prescribed diet, but will eat foods with which they are more familiar. In this case, encourage the care recipient to stay on a therapeutic diet.