Offer high caloric drink foods such as ice cream,
milk shakes, or eggnog. Offer familiar foods. Favorite foods can stimulate
the appetite. Try making the main meal of the day at lunch when the
appetite is larger. Sit directly in front of the person and show each
spoonful to help them orient.
Allow time between bites and check mouth periodically for food in the
cheek. You may need to remind the person to swallow. Gently stroking the
throat will help to stimulate swallowing. Observe what food textures cause
the most difficulty. Liquids can be thickened with gelatin or applesauce.
Solids can be moistened or pureed for easier swallowing.
Keep a food diary to enhance nutrition dialogue with the personís
doctor. Include what foods they have problems or complications digesting
and record their daily food menus. Review it with their doctor or
dietician for feedback. They may be experiencing digestive problems or
irritable bowl syndrome due to their menu.
Presentation is key so serve appetizing looking meals by accenting
plates with a garnish (i.e. strawberry, coconut flakes or melon). Make the
dining experience pleasant for the person you are caring for by playing
soft music, lighting candles or talking to them about the dayís events
while they are eating to take their minds off not feeling well.
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