When seniors begin to lose their sense of taste or smell, meal time can be challenging, because with aging comes decreased appetite, and when food lacks flavor or has a bad taste it becomes easy to neglect nutrition; opening the doors to all kinds of other health problems.
Of course, for seniors who are experiencing loss of the senses, like smell and taste, the first step towards improvement is to seek medical attention; however, that doesn’t mean they have to suffer through tasteless meals to remain healthy. Seniors with deficiencies with taste and smell may experience any combination of the following problems when it comes to tasting their meals: food may taste too sweet, too salty, or too metallic; meats might taste unusual; or the food may generally lack flavor.
Sauces, marinades and other ingredients added during food preparation and cooking can greatly enhance the flavor and make it more enjoyable. Whether a senior cooks for themselves or has someone provide elder care services in their home, including meal preparation, a few simple ingredients can easily be added to cooking at little cost, including:
• Barbeque sauce
• Meat marinades
• Salad dressing
• Soy sauce
• Spices and herbs
• Teriyaki sauce
• Extracts or other flavorings
Additional ingredients that can add flavor when added to ready-prepared foods are:
• Cheeses – especially the very flavorful, like sharp cheddars
• Chopped green pepper or other vegetables
• Chopped onion
• Nuts and seeks
• Bacon bits or ham strips
Meals prepared for seniors with declining senses should also focus upon other elements, like presentation, texture and color; because overall, an attractive meal is more appealing and texture adds diversity and interest to the food even if strong flavors are absent. Plastic utensils can also be used to limit metallic tastes, and drinking often or eating mints to clear any bad tastes from their mouths before a meal can also make it more enjoyable.
Age and good nutrition should go hand in hand for a long healthy life, so make sure all meals are enjoyed!
Source: Mayo clinic
Carol Marak Carebuzz