When creating nutritious meals for individuals with dementia, taste is always the first priority. From there, be sure to plan meals at the same time every day. This helps create a consistent routine for the individual and reduces the likelihood of malnutrition or unwanted weight loss.
Smoothies made from fresh and delicious ingredients are a great way to start the day. It’s easy to create a nutritionally packed smoothie using fruits, vegetables, milk powder, nuts, and oils. By being creative, you can make a smoothie that will squeeze in healthy carbohydrates, low fat protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Whenever possible, incorporate memory-evoking foods into a snack or meal. For example, an orange at Christmas or stew on a cold winter day may trigger a positive memory for the diner. These types of food choices, especially those with pleasing aromas, can also support wonderful conversation and overall enjoyment of the meal.
The dining experience itself is also important. Often, a small intimate setting is better for a person with dementia. The right background music choice can also be helpful in supporting a relaxing environment during the meal.
Be sure your diners are screened for dysphagia by a Speech Therapist. Those with dysphagia have difficulty with swallowing, which is common in late-stage dementia. These individuals are at greater risk of dehydration and weight loss. A special diet will be necessary for those with this diagnosis.
Want to help people with dementia? Food might be the answer. #HealthStatus
- 1Having regular mealtimes is very beneficial and including others provides support.
- 2An excellent way to start the day is to have a smoothie.
- 3Having different types of food with smells and tastes can help bring memories from the past.