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I've learned that some things you cannot change, and it will drive you crazy trying.

Honey has been a God send for us. Things that Mom once loved and now pushes away saying she doesn't want it, she will eat all of when I mix in some honey...

Peanut butter and honey mixed and spread between 2 graham crackers is one of our daily snacks. Mom loves it because it's sweet and I figure she is getting fiber from the graham cracker and protein from the peanut butter.

I also . . . mix flavored yogurt with her bran flakes to sweeten the cereal
use ketchup with brown sugar on sandwiches and in caseroles
replace morning orange juice with a vegetable based fruit juice

It's a daily challenge that can be quite frustrating when you spend the time to make a nice meal and end up throwing it away un-eaten. At those times I break out the peanut butter and say que sera, sera :)

Ideas : sweetened cream cheese and mint on choc covered graham crackers
chocolate protein drink with mint flavoring
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For quick and convenient, some rich ice creams come readymade as 'chocolate mint chip'. Perhaps including eggs already. Ben and Jerry's? Haagen Das?
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Have you tried a chocolate-mint milk shake? Maybe a scoop of chocolate ice cream, an envelope of Carnation Breakfast essentials (vanilla or chocolate) OR a bottle of Boost or Ensure, enough milk to make it drinkable. Blend well. Add choc/mint candy and blend again. Not an ideal meal but at least he is getting more calories and some nutrition.

I wonder if cottage cheese with the candies mixed in would appeal to him?
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Sometimes chocolate mint stuff is all I will eat either! Mint is good for the digestion. Mint candy with sweet insides and chocolate covering is a traditional after dinner digestive aid.

Maybe he has got some digestive malfunction which is relieved by the chocolate mint. When I don't feel like eating anything else, dark chocolate with some sweet is what gives me enough energy to get through the day.
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As long as it is DARK chocolate, it is beneficial. NO, not really. He has a chemical imbalance, plus his taste buds are deadened to the five other taste senses. Call in the doctor and he/she can prescribe an appetite encouraging medication, and you keep encouraging fruits, veggies, protein and other foods. This sounds like Pica, which is a disorder when people eat non-food items I.e. clay, dirt, ice chips, chalk. Have him evaluated ASAP. Chocolate is a stimulant, can create diarrhea, dehydration, and his electrolytes will be thrown off even more. Do not think he is just being "stubborn". He is in medical crisis.
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I agree with Emartin, let him do what he wants, hes 84. People with dementia lose their sense of smell and taste. My Mom used to not even go to bed without sweet candy under her pillow. One Stroke later and she has no idea what candy is, so dont worry, be happy. I so wish my Mom could eat candy but now with her swallowing issues she chokes on sweets too much.One cna told me they used to put maple syrup all over one patients meals or he wouldnt eat it. Good luck making his foods sweeter!!
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My feeling is that their life has so little joy - why take away the one thing that gives them pleasure. The diabetes issue makes it difficult, but if there is no health problem with sugar, a reasonable amount of sweets should do no harm. Might give them something to brighten the day.
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These comments are interesting because my husband with dementia (entering the later stage) drinks a regular size cup of coffee with 5 or 6 sweetener packs and says it still is not sweet enough. In the evening he gorges on ice cream and brownies. He does eat actually overeats well balanced meals also. He is not gaining weight!
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BarbKirby, since your husband has dementia, I'm inclined to agree with your brother.
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My husband is also 84 and has diabetes2. Every time he goes out, he buys pies, cookies, crackers, cake, etc. Since he is very forgetful, I get rid of some the food or pretend I've eaten part of it. He keeps agreeing to watch his diet but never does. My older brother thinks I should just leave him alone and let him eat what he enjoys.
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My mother has to have her donut and coffee every morning. At first I tried to change it up with oatmeal or egg burritos but she doesn't want those anymore. I figure why fight it. If she wants donuts and coffee for breakfast, let her have them. She isn't losing weight. She eats really well. I give her a turkey sandwich for lunch eat day and she does like a piece of cake or pie afterword. I give her a well balanced dinner and then dessert. As long as she continues to eat I'm okay with whatever she wants to eat.
She does eat very slowly though. It can take a half hour to eat a sandwich. I'm thinking it is because she is always looking outside and gets distracted.
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There are some nutritional "bars" available that have protien and other nutrients in them. I know Slim Fast makes a chocolate covered mint "snack" bar that I think is very good tasting. That may be a bit better than plain candy. I do have trouble finding them in stores though. I know there are some other chocolate mint bars available, but forgot who makes them.
I agree their taste buds change. My dad craved ice cream and hot chocolate coffee.
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When my Mom was first diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's I did a lot of reading and there was an article that addressed weight loss due to the brains inability to regulate it, the article also mentioned that the diseased brain craves and needs sugar.

I think that article must be true because I do not care what we eat, breakfast, lunch or dinner, Mom HAS to have something sweet right after it. As a snack it is a cappuccino sweet coffee drink and cookies and at nighttime snack of ice cream and cookies. At breakfast she wants sugar coated mini shredded wheats and then puts sugar on top of it, finished off with cookies or a muffin. You would think she would gain weight but she is a mighty 96 pounds!

I truly believe this may be part of the disease and functioning of the brain that makes them crave the sugar.
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We went shopping the other day and my Mom bought 2 cakes an apple pie and 2 packages of oreos.. She's 91 and I say let her eat what she wants. But she does eat cereal for lunch and dinner every night.. If she changes it up and eats pie for lunch or cake for dinner I don't care. She isn't loosing weight and she would be fighting with me if I said no desserts..
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Sometimes I'm not sure it's the taste that makes them so picky. My mom had this whole rationale about why she would not eat any of the recipes that she used to make us when she was the cook. Turns out they were her mother's recipe and "Mom is a bad cook." Moreover, she said that "women only cook because men demand it." But don't they cook because they are hungry? No, she replied firmly. So she had this whole resentment thing ready as a reason for not eating. Other times she needs no reason, just refuses to eat. All you can do is cover the food and put it away for later. I finally stopped serving oatmeal because she'd dump a half-cup of brown sugar on it, and switched to a sweetened granola, which she always ate.
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My husband got so he would not eat his oatmeal without a tablespoon full of blackstrap molasses. Sounds horrible but with sugar added, and sometimes it was 3-4 teaspoons, it tastes like shoe fly pie! Then he would eat a blueberry muffin. I tried to get as many calories into him at breakfast because he would not be able to eat later in the day. He had Parkinson's disease and swallowing became a serious issue toward the end so he was not able to eat even this. So we went to soft scrambled eggs, when he could tolerate it. I purchased readymade breakfast sausage flavored with maple syrup, had to run it through the food processor to grind it up, and then mixed it in with the scrambled eggs while they were cooking.. Ensure brand vitamin juice is pretty sweet. Pumpkin pie made without the crust, comes out like pumpkin custard. Sweet potatoes cooked in honey and ginger, same with carrots (though he did not care for them as much).
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Maybe try some mint in a few dishes as well since mint is rather strong.. How about just other spices in general? Was there things that he used to like but doesn't like anymore because he can't taste it? Put more seasoning in it and see how he feels about it.
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I don't think that is so much stubborn as his taste buds begin to fade and one of the last taste senses remaining is sweetness. So he is satisfying that one level of taste. My mother is the same way. She picks at her meal like a child, but eats every bite of her dessert. It seems that she gets enough nutrition because she's healthy enough for an 87 year old with ALZ.
You might try things like sweet potatoes or food items with sweet notes to catch his attention. Good luck my friend.
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