Mom is pushing away all the foods she loved before.

Started by

I don't know what else to feed her anymore. I had a limited choice to begin with because she lost the taste for so many foods she used to love. But now the ones I could always count on..she is losing interest in now. I don't know what else to feed her. Any suggestions?

12 Comments

Hi MsDaizy, before my father's stroke last year, his taste buds changed. Like your mom, what he used to love eating, he no longer liked it. But he did Not complain that it had no taste. He just kept saying that he needed to add Salt to it. When we would eat a food, I would find it soooo salty, but he just loved it and ate it all. Then he would say that he's craving sauer kraut. (I remember eating this all the time while growing up. Now, I don't care for it.). So, I would buy a regular size jar of it and he would put it in every thing. Ugh!!!

He had a stroke and now the limited food that he liked, has narrowed down more. He now doesn't like sweetened food like barbecued sauce meat, etc...Our main staple food is not potatoes but rice. He would complain that the rice is too dry and he might choke on it.

I have found this past year to mix his food with variety. I still give rice but I now mix it with a creamy soup. I still won't salt our food but I would counter the blandness by adding some pickled asparagus (he still loves it), spinach and whatever meat I'm serving. On the side, I put a large amount of catsup for him. He dips his asparagus in this, and I've also seen him spoon the catsup and put it in his soup. I try not to watch him eat because I'm not crazy about catsup.

What I'm trying to say is that since our tastes buds are different from our parents, you will need to try New food. Concentrate on sour (adds a zing to the taste buds) and sweet (the catsup). Unfortunately, you're going to have to do this by trial and error since your mom's taste buds has changed. I've also found that if I present his food in a nice pretty way (not dumped in) and is pleasing to the look, he will eat it. I once was in a hurry and dumped it all in. He looked at it and said that it was slop - for the dog - and he's not eating it. Sigh....Oh, by the way, I tried grinding his food, but he didn't like it either because it was too boring to eat it that way. So: Contrasting Flavor of Food, Presentation, and Different Texture of the food. Hope this helps, book
I have to smile thinking of book's description of what her father eats. But, hey, it works!

msdaizy, since your mother is in her nineties and has dementia, I think I wouldn't be overly concerned about balanced nutrition. Sweet and salty are two flavors that elders can still taste. Unless she has congestive heart failure or high blood pressure I'd offer her salty things. What my husband enjoyed even when he was "not hungry" was milkshakes. I added a Carnation Breakfast envelope for more calories and some nutrients and often I'd add fruit (canned peaches were welcome) or something else. Peanut butter and banana are nice added to chocolate shakes. Toward the end his favorite food was soft scrambled eggs topped with salsa and nacho cheese sauce. Small portions tend to be more successful than an amount that seems reasonable to us but overwhelming to them.

Bookworm had some helpful tips. Keep experimenting until you find something she likes. And don't worry if she eats it every day.

One other consideration -- is she possibly in the final stage? When life is drawing to a close and the body is beginning to shut down it doesn't need food and insisting on feeding someone in that situation is not helpful. If your mother is in this state I highly recommend hospice care.

But assuming that she is just losing interest in food, keep experimenting to find something she'll tolerate.
She is close to her last stage in Dementia. She eats still but I am finding that things she used to like she isn't liking any longer. She loves her egg sandwich for breakfast and so she is still getting some proteins. But if I feed that to her all day long..she will lose interest in it also. We do have hospice and she has been on them for nearing 60 days. I see that she swallows sometime with some difficulty and has choked on her drinks at times. I know she is getting close to her end of life. I only want to make her happy and comfortable. So I will keep trying different foods. Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I so appreciate everyone in this site. Blessings to all.
Msdaizy, when mom was at that stage of choking on her fluids - she's basically forgetting to swallow. The fluid remains in her mouth, and then I guess she was breathing and swallowing at the same time(?) and then choked on it. It's part of the disease in which the patient forgets to swallow. With fluid, I think because it's so easy to flow down the throat, that they forget to Not breathe in when swallowing. Mom would also choke on her saliva that gathered in her mouth because she doesn't remember to Swallow. So sorry...I know it's difficult to watch while they choke...and feel helpless as they turn red in the face. HUGS!!!
msdaizy, I'm sure hospice has told you to offer food but not to "push" it. If she is getting an egg sandwich that may be all she needs for the day.

While my husband was on hospice some days he ate almost normally and other days all he ate was half a grape Popsicle and some ginger ale. If you haven't already, discuss her needs with the hospice nurse.

Hugs to you.
Thanks I do understand this is part of her dementia..and I am prepared for it to get worst..I just was trying to figure out something else to offer her. I don't push and often times if she doesn't like it I will replace it with something she might like. She still eats and for that I am grateful..because I know there will be a time where she won't at all. Thanks everyone for your input it means so much to me. Blessings
My grandma was 84 and put catsup on everything. She took a taste of very mild salsa and was hooked. She didn't eat catsup on everything it was the salsa. She said it wasn't as bland as the catsup.
Thanks, Yogi. I think I will check if my father would like the mild salsa. He's just sooo limited on what he wants to eat.
I'd also go with basically giving your mother foods she likes. My own Mother is like that, she may talk about trying this or that, but there's a few favorites she always comes back to. She tells me how important vegetables are, but never eats them now, so I concentrate on fruit. Another good idea is some some variety. you did mention your mother would lose interest in egg sandwiches if she ate them too much. Does she like things like tuna salad, or grilled cheese?
The other thing is don't force feed. It's an example on the opposite end, but I still remember my ex complaining that I didn't make our kids completely clean their plates.
My mom has become unable to swallow solid foods, so we are giving her creamed soup, gelatin, mashed sweet potatoes, and of course liquids like fruit juice and nutritional supplement drink. I am going to try some baby food. Any suggestions? Also, it seems that she is too tired to want to exert herself to eat at night. I feel like I should give her something, so sometimes she will have applesauce or yogurt. I guess she really doesn't need that much to eat now because she will sometimes say to the aide "no more food".

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support