If you’ve watched a loved one with Alzheimer’s struggle trying to eat applesauce with a fork, hotdogs with a spoon, or beverages with silverware, you’re not alone. As food gets spilled rather than swallowed, frustrations rise and meals get abandoned.
What can you do to help those you care for eat more independently? Two words: finger foods. Studies show that seven out of ten dementia patients improve their food intake and gain weight when they don’t have to use silverware.
According to a Canadian research team from University of Guelph, finger foods “designed for people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease could help those suffering with the condition to eat more and improve their nutritional status.”
Start with one “finger food only” meal a day to see if it helps. Some ideas:
- French toast cut into bite-size squares
- Silver dollar pancakes with jam
- Waffle with cream cheese and jam
- Graham crackers
- Cheese cubes
- Cooked carrot coins and vegetable strips slightly steamed to soften texture
- Small meatballs, sliced turkey, or meatloaf pieces
- Banana slices, fresh peach bites, or tangerine sections
- Boiled egg pieces
- Finger Jell-O
- Angel food cake pieces
- Muffin pieces
- A strawberry or chocolate EAT Bar
Finger foods can be a game-changer. That’s why we developed the EAT Bar, a portable finger food, to help Alzheimer’s patients to rediscover the pleasure of eating on their own and promote an increase in food consumption.
P.s. Everyone is different. Please consult your healthcare team for recommendations on suitable products for your eating and nutritional plans.
Ford, Ginger, RN. Putting Feeding Back into the Hands of Patients.Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 1996, Vol. 34 (5).https://doi.org/10.3928/0279-3695-19960501-16
Gray, Nathan. (2014, Jan 15). Finger foods may be the best for people with Alzheimer’s.FoodNavigator.com. https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2014/01/15/Finger-foods-may-be-best-for-people-with-Alzheimer-s
Resource for finger food recipes: Lansky, Vicki. (2004) Feed Me! I’m Yours!. Meadowbrook Press.