Eating Guidelines for Seniors

A berry good smoothie!

A berry good smoothie!

A while back I wrote several  mini articles on considerations to keep in mind when providing meals for seniors.  The series was titled "Rules For How To Feed A Senior" and identified four areas of concern that caregivers should be mindful of when assembling meals for seniors. Those individual articles are still available on this site however I thought I would kick-off the New Year with a summary of those details in a single article for easy reference.  An easy trick for remembering these guidelines is the acronym "HATS".  

HATS stands for:

  1. Hydration- Dehydration causes all sorts of issues from blood pressure complications, UTI's, fallinging, etc. Keeping seniors hydrated should be a top priority!
  2. Appearance- As the expression goes "you eat with your eyes" so why not go the extra mile and make your gesture count. Presentation can go a long way when it comes to lifting spirits.
  3. Texture- Diffuculty swallowing and poor teeth are common concerns for seniors. Keep this in mind when preparing meals. Tough, crunchy and chewy foods can be problematic.
  4. Size- Seniors likely don't eat as much as they used to however balanced nutrition is still critical for optimal health. As portion sizes become smaller, caregivers should strive to uphold a well-rounded diet for those they are caring for.

Hopefully this posts is helpful for those of you managing a senior kitchen.  I look forward to sharing many new culinary crafts with you in 2016 and I would love to hear about things you are cookin' up!  Have a Happy New Year!