As our bodies age, our body’s needs and habits can shift. One common change for many is their appetite. While it may not be something you think about, aging and loss of appetite are often linked to each other.
While a change or loss of appetite in older adults is a natural part of aging, it can prevent us from leading a healthy and happy lifestyle. Appetite changes can lead to poor food choices because of changing tastes, improper caloric intake, and unnecessary or unhealthy weight loss.
At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, we know that adjusting to the changes in our bodies as we age can be difficult for some. We want to help you or the senior in your life achieve the ideal retirement and frame of health. Here are a few simple tips to help improve appetite in older adults!
1. Create a Routine
Dealing with the loss of appetite in older adults poses a unique obstacle. A great way to help combat the loss of appetite is by creating a routine. Building a meal routine can allow you to train the mind and body when it is time to eat and can help you look forward to the next meal.
2. Focus on Nutrient-Dense Meals
When we experience appetite loss, we can remain healthy by making our meals count. While sweets and fatty foods tend to be the most alluring to someone lacking an appetite, these meals don’t do much good for our body. In fact, it can cause nutrient deficiencies in the long run. We can still eat healthy, smaller portions that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that keep our bodies and minds healthy.
Even if you’re eating in smaller portions, try introducing foods like fatty fish, nuts, avocados, and dairy into your diet to help maintain a healthy diet. At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, our active adult communities throughout Alberta and British Columbia serve nutritious and delicious meals that can help our community members live healthier, happier lives. We understand the power of nutrient-dense food, especially for older adults.
3. Make Mealtime a Social Event
For some older adults, finding the time or desire to cook, sit down, and eat is the struggle, especially if their appetite is lacking or if he/she lives alone. In these cases, make your meals a way to socialize with others. Eating or sharing a meal with others doesn’t need to be saved for special events or holidays. Consider inviting family, friends, or neighbours over a few times a week to cook, eat, and connect.
Enjoying meals with others will allow you to focus on things beyond the food itself while reaping the benefits of socialization!
4. Consider Liquid Meals
For some older adults, drinking fluids is easier and may seem more appealing than eating a full meal. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from. From healthy soups to milkshakes and smoothies, liquid meals are a great way to help combat the loss of appetite in older adults while still receiving the vitamins, nutrients, and calories our bodies need.
5. Try to Increase Your Appetite Through Exercise
Exercise is another excellent way to help combat the loss of appetite in older adults. Doing light or moderate exercise or going for a walk before mealtime, in fresh air if possible, can help trigger appetite. Increased activity just before eating and fresh air both help to stimulate the appetite.
It’s no secret that exercise is important for older adults. Leading an active lifestyle can provide many health benefits, including increased energy levels, decreased feelings of stress, and helping to reduce the risk of certain health conditions.
If you would like to learn more about active living, we invite you to find an Origin Active Lifestyle community near and schedule a visit. It’s time to experience the Origin way!