Aim for a variety of healthy foods. Provide plenty of fruits,
vegetables, and whole gains. Also include low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products
and healthy protein foods such as lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, and beans.
Offer small cups of water and other drinks throughout the day. Foods
that contain a lot of water can also help meet fluid needs. Examples are milkshakes,
smoothies, soups, and fruits.
If chewing and swallowing are issues, your loved one may need to eat
soft foods. They should be soft enough to smash easily with a fork. Examples are
applesauce, soft-cooked veggies, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, soft fish, and tender
chopped meat. Cut large chunks of food into pieces no bigger than ½ inch per side.
with a dietitian for more tips on preparing soft foods.
If the person is at risk for accidentally inhaling food or liquid
(aspiration), you may need to use thickened liquids. Ask the speech-language
pathologist if this is a concern for your loved one.