Poor appetite is a common issue for our patients and can be caused by a number of problems. Sometimes difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, taste changes, and depression can lead to poor intake. Here are some supportive tips for patients and families:
- Allow the patient to choose how much to eat. Do not force the patient to eat.
- Prepare smaller meals so as to not overwhelm the patient. Small, frequent meals are usually more accepted.
- Provide high calorie, easy to eat foods such as pudding, custards, jello, icecream, yogurt, milkshakes, eggnog, or high calorie nutritional supplements.
- Avoid greasy, spicy, overly sweet and dry salty foods.
- Serve food cold or at room temperature to decrease smell and taste.
- Set an attractive table.
- Serve beverages between meals instead of with meals.
- Provide good mouthcare.
- Do not show disappointment if the patient does not eat.
Source: Home Health and Hospice Care, Inc.
If you have a patient that could benefit from a nutrition consult, please contact your Hospice of Huntington dietitians: Amy McFann and Kellie Glass