Eating Tips to Improve Your Loved One's Mood
Last updated: August 2023
If you're a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's, you know that one of the most common challenges is trying to keep your loved one in a good mood.
There are lots of things you can do to help, like providing activities and social interaction, but did you know that what you feed them can also make a difference? Here are some eating tips that will improve your loved one's mood.
Set the tone for your day with the most important meal
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important for everyone, but it's especially important if you have Alzheimer's.
The foods you eat can affect your mood and overall health. That said, one of the best ways to set the tone for the day would be to start with breakfast. A piece of fruit, some toast, or hot cereal are all good options. Serving balanced and healthy meals will help your loved one stay excited about mealtime.
It's also helpful to make sure the food is appealing. Brighten the cereal with some berries, or top the toast with some tasty nut butter or preserves. You can also try making a small snack to give them after their first meal of the day. This will help boost their mood and make them more likely to cooperate with you on other activities for the day.
Make sure your loved one snacks throughout the day
The challenging thing about Alzheimer's is that you can't always trust that your loved ones will eat when they're hungry, and their ability to self-regulate their food intake may be affected.
It's very important to make sure they get enough to eat. Make sure there are healthy options like fruits and vegetables available all day long, and maybe even include some small treats for them whenever possible. This will help improve their mood because it'll show them you care about what goes into their body.
Caregiver Tip: What you eat matters too!
It might seem like a no-brainer, but providing food for your loved one should go hand in hand with making sure that you are taking care of yourself.
If you don't take the time to eat, you may find it more challenging to stay focused on helping your loved one.
When you're caring for someone at home with Alzheimer's, mealtimes are often among the most challenging moments of the day. By practicing good eating habits, being mindful about what goes into your body, and making sure your loved one has access to healthy foods throughout their day - you'll set them up for success while also showing them that you care.
Additional tips for eating a healthy and nutritious diet
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. The different colors provide different nutrients and benefits.
Include plenty of healthy protein in your diet, such as fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, beans, and nuts. Avoid processed foods, junk food, and foods high in sugar or salt. Drink plenty of water each day.
A clean and clutter-free Environment
Keeping these eating tips in mind is a great start for your loved one but another tip to be mindful of is their environment.
Making sure the space is clean and clutter-free, has bright lighting, and is well organized will help improve their mood. I would also recommend going a step further by enhancing an environment with the use of color.
For example, my mom's favorite color is red so I would make sure to use red bowls or a red placemat for her around mealtimes.
I'd also recommend that you use music for a mood-boosting experience! This can help your loved one feel excited and happy during meal times.
All in all, caregivers, when it comes to eating tips for improving the mood of your loved ones with Alzheimer's, the more nutrition provided in a clear and clutter-free environment - the better.
Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with Mild cognitive impairment?