Sometimes older adults suffer from low appetite. There are lots of things that can cause this, but whatever the reason, it’s important to find ways to get your aging relative to eat more. Without the proper nutrients, they could become weak and ill. They may even suffer from malnutrition because of low appetite. There are many things you can do to help the older adult eat more. Below are some tips for dealing with low appetite in seniors.

Look for the Cause

If possible, try to figure out what is keeping the senior from eating. Once you know the cause, it’s easier to come up with strategies to change things. For example, perhaps arthritic hands are making it difficult for the older adult to cook for themselves. Or, maybe a medication side effect is causing them to have an upset stomach. It may be necessary to get a doctor involved as medical tests may be necessary.

Stick to a Regular Eating Schedule

Older adults don’t feel hunger as acutely as younger people did. This means they may not feel hungry even when they need to eat. Try setting up a regular schedule of meals and snacks so that the senior eats at the same times each day. This can help to trigger them to feel hungry when it is time to eat.

Make Food That is Easier to Eat

Some conditions can make it hard for seniors to hold a fork or spoon. Preparing foods that can be eaten with the hands may make mealtimes easier. Some ideas for foods are:

  • Sandwiches.
  • Chicken strips.
  • Fish sticks.
  • Raw or steamed vegetables.

Serve More Protein

Protein helps to stave off weakness and muscle loss in seniors. Keep plenty of protein rich foods on hand and include some protein in every meal and snack. Make adding protein easy by stocking up on foods that don’t require a lot of preparation, such as:

  • Peanut butter.
  • Yogurt.
  • Hard-boiled eggs.
  • Cheese.
  • Tuna.

Serve Foods the Senior Likes

You may know that spinach is good for your older family member, but if they don’t like it, they aren’t likely to eat it. Stick to foods the person likes and listen when they say they don’t want something. Also, remember that the taste buds are less effective with age, making some foods taste bland. Try adding flavor to foods with herbs and spices but skip the salt since it can affect blood pressure.

Elderly care can work with you to ensure your aging relative eats more. An elderly care provider can assist with keeping the older adult on their meal and snack schedule. Elderly care providers can also cook with the older adult, which may make them more likely to eat since they had a hand in making the meal.


If you or an aging loved-one is considering elderly care in Manteca, CA, please contact the caring staff at Provident Care Home Care today at (209) 578-1210.