As a teenager, I used to eat like a horse. I could barely keep up with my appetite. It made it easy to meet my nutrition needs as I inhaled an impressive amount of food, daily. While “variety and abundance” worked for me then, decreasing energy needs and reduced appetite can make it more challenging to eat healthfully as we age.
Remember my co-worker Lara’s nan from the blog entry Tea with Nan - Part 1? She was challenged with getting enough fluids, while not wanting to “fill up” on beverages that would further reduce her appetite. In Part 2, we offer ideas from Dietitians Services at Health Link BC to stimulate Nan’s appetite and incorporate smaller amounts of food throughout the day to help meet her nutrition needs and keep her feeling her best.
What strategies have you found work to keep you or a loved one nibbling, even with a low appetite?
Table 2: Nan’s eating strategies for a few more nibbles, everyday
|Beat the Blah’s With Breakfast||It’s a good idea to have the biggest meal of the day in the morning when one has more energy and having solid foods for the start of the day can really help get things going…in a lot of ways.
Think about how in fancy restaurants they give you a tasty little starter, an amuse bouche, to stimulate your appetite. Think of breakfast as your “amuse bouche” for the day.
|Being tired and not wanting to cook just means we sometimes need to get creative to find foods that can easily kick-start the day
Try some familiar ones: Yogurt, fruit, toast, soft boiled egg, cold cereal, oatmeal or porridge
Or try a smoothie -make one with your favourite fruit and some yogurt
Leftovers from the night before might do the trick – try supper for breakfast!
|Get a move on||Keeping active. Physical activity not only helps to :
||Find an activity that works for you and your situation: The Physical Activity Line can help you find activities that work for you
|Make it social||It doesn’t have to be fancy, (although fancy can be fun) but it’s always better together.||Plan to dine with a friend once or twice a week|
|Jazz it up||Make your meal and place to eat inviting – you might just find you feel a little hungrier.||
|Graze||Small appetites mean small meals. Grazing on nourishing foods through the day adds up.
Make each bite count with nourishing foods.
|Snacks between meals and tips to ‘fortify,’ or boost a meal
Easy boosters for any snack or meal:
Try any of the tips below as snacks as well as meals
|There’s more to toast than toast||Here, it’s all about the toppings. Turn your bread, baguette and bagels into a satisfying snack or meal.
Quick, easy, and nourishing with the right toppings.
|One pot wonders||Not only time savers, but can be a satisfying comfort food – not to mention very sharable (who doesn’t love a hearty casserole showing up at their door?).
Casseroles can be a great way to still enjoy the flavours you like, but in a simple dish that takes less effort to make, less effort to clean up, and can stretch out over a few meals.