Finding ways to overcome poor appetite in the elderly can be challenging. Often the reason why residents are not consuming adequate nutrition is because they simply do not have the appetite to do so. This can be due to a multitude of reasons including taste changes, decreased enjoyment of food or not burning up as much energy as they used to.
When more conventional ways of stimulating appetite have been trialed such as offering favourite foods and creating the right dining environment, it is worth exploring the benefits of simple herbal therapies. Cinnamon, ginger and peppermint can be used to reduce any queasiness, relieve indigestion and to stimulate the appetite.
Here are some ideas on how these can be used:
CINNAMON – add to dishes such as cereals and puddings or simply simmer cinnamon sticks on a stove to release the fragrance of cinnamon
GINGER – helps with nausea and indigestion. Chew a ¼ inch piece of ginger root, offer ginger ale before meal times or with meals, or use a garlic press to squeeze out the juice of fresh ginger root to mix with water.
PEPPERMINT – make tea using 1-2 teabags to be consumed as desired
Your facility Dietitian is available to help you to implement strategies to improve appetite.