As dietitians we are always asking patients what they are eating to assess whether they are getting too much or not enough and helping them adjust what they eat to get the right balance of nutrients. This is challenging enough on it’s own, but when a patient doesn’t feel like eating, it can seem impossible to make any progress. I wanted to create a handout that helps the dietitian, as well as the patient or caregiver, think through the contributing factors to a poor appetite. This makes it more likely for interventions to be successful because they are addressing the root issue.
This handout will help:
- Provide practical, realistic, and healthy solutions to optimize intake
- Share ways to add healthy calories, healthy fats, and protein to foods without adding extra sugar or empty calories
- Show how calories AND nutrients matter
- Give options for mouth rinses for those experiencing taste changes
I also felt it was important to remind patients WHY it is important to try to eat without making them feel guilty or scared. Focusing on negative reasons- like you will get sick, or have to move to a nursing home if you can’t take care of yourself- can be motivating, but also more stressful and the motivation seems to be short-lived. Focusing on the positive outcomes of trying some of these ideas helps them to set a goal, see progress, and help the patient feel hope that they can enjoy their food and feel better by trying out some of these ideas.
Available in both English and Spanish– get them today!