4 Ways to Soften an Aging Loved One’s Food

By , 9:00 am on

Living with conditions that make it difficult to swallow and chew can prevent seniors from getting the daily nutrients their bodies need to function. Family caregivers should do some research and find ways to make their aging loved ones feel comfortable when eating, such as softening their food. Here are some ways to soften meals when your parent faces difficulty eating solid foods.

1. Steaming

Raw foods, especially vegetables, may be difficult for seniors to swallow. However, you can steam these foods to make them easier to chew. Steaming the foods can also be good for an aging adult’s digestive system. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a wok or covered pan to soften the meals. Even after you’ve softened the foods for your parent, you should cut them into smaller pieces so he or she can eat with ease. 

Preparing soft foods for an elderly parent can be a challenging task, especially when you have other important duties to tend to. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Fairfield, CT, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

2. Pureeing

By pureeing the food, the texture of your loved one’s meals become soft and comforting. Your parent can continue to eat many of the meats, fruits, and vegetables he or she enjoyed prior to developing a condition that makes it difficult to consume solid foods. Pureed snacks and foods are easy to swallow, which can prevent seniors from becoming malnourished out of fear of swallowing solid foods. Prepare pureed meals for your loved one using a blender or food processor. 

Hiring a professional caregiver is a good way to make sure your parent receives help with daily tasks such as healthy meal prep. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Fairfield, CT, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

3. Blending Smoothies

Seniors can drink their meals instead of eating them. You can prepare thick smoothies for your loved one instead of thin liquids. The consistency and thickness of the smoothies will ultimately come down to your parent’s diet, as well as his or her preference of foods. Although the foods have been blended together to make a creamy consistency, smoothies still provide the antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins your loved one needs.

4. Preparing Broths

Moistening the foods may make it easier for your loved one to swallow and digest them. There are a variety of broths to choose from, such as vegetable, chicken, and beef broth. Aging adults with dental issues that affect the ability to swallow can also enjoy broths and soups with roasted ingredients. Use soups and broths as meal options that allow you to include more meats and vegetables in your loved one’s diet. When cooking the solid foods with broth, make sure the foods simmer for a long time, as this can soften the foods and make them easier to chew.

There are several health issues that can make it difficult for seniors to eat their foods and manage other simple tasks. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Fairfield elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, call us at 203-955-1915 today.