1. Angelmonkey

    Angelmonkey New member

    May 31, 2018
    I am a full time carer and my mums mixed dementia is getting worse. It’s making her difficult and child like. I try and cook her decent meals every day but she has a a couple of bites and leaves it. When I ask what was wrong with the food the reply is I don’t like it.
    She will eat sweet stuff no problem.
    What should I do? Make her something else or just let her eat rubbish?
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    People with dementia often develop a sweet tooth. If it is a choice between not eating anything or eating "rubbish" then let her eat sweet things. They may have empty calories, but at least they have calories. Have you tried fruit? Some are very sweet too.
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    People with dementia often lose their sense of taste, so things that they once liked seems very bland. Sweet things, though can still be tasted, so they tend to like and eat them.
    Have you tried Spicy food, some people develop a liking for this. Alternately, try sweet and sour food or things like trifles, which you can "hide" a lot of nutritious stuff.

    Ultimately, though, their appetite will wane and I used to just be grateful when mum ate anything.
  4. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    People with dementia start to lose their sense of taste, so food which tastes absolutely fine to you tastes unpleasant to them. Sweet food is one of the things which continues to taste pleasant.

    I can understand it, because several years ago I had a serious head injury and lost my sense of taste/smell. When it started returning there was a period of several months when sweet food tasted lovely but savoury food tasted either of nothing at all, or absolutely unpleasant. I would force myself to eat it because I knew it was fine despite what my tastebuds told me, but people with dementia don't have that insight - it tastes unpleasant or bland, full stop.

    I'd let her have whatever she likes to eat, it's one of her few remaining pleasures. She might like 'sweet' veg like peas/carrots/sweetcorn, and she will probably like some fruit. But there may also be a texture thing, she may want only quite soft food which is why stuff like cake is so popular. Go with the flow.
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Try and be imaginative about cakes and puddings. Most of them contain eggs and butter, which are both good for you.
    A bread and butter pudding (made with wholemeal bread) contains very similar ingredients to an egg sandwich.
    Cakes can be made with ground almonds, or ground hazelnuts instead of flour, chocolate with a high cocoa content is actually good for you and you can find recipes for cakes that contain bananas, carrots, courgette or beetroot. (Ive made them - they are nice!). Cream cheese frosting is nutritious too
    Try making mouses with fresh fruit. yoghurt, or smoothies.
    Lemon merengue pie is mostly pastry and eggs - rather like quiche, but with lemons rather than savoury.
    Sweet things dont have to be "rubbish" - it does need thinking about though
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi @Angelmonkey
    along with all the other suggestions, it may be worth considering whether your mum is forgetting how to manage eating a meal eg cutting up her food, what to do with cutlery ... even realising that she needs to have more than a couple of bites or to chew the food
    I realised that my dad needed to have me eat with him as he then could copy what I did ... and I cut up his food so that it was all in bite sized pieces, even putting out a spoon for him to use rather than a fork (I did the same for me so he saw my food was cut up too etc and didn't feel he was being treated differently)
    he also liked to have plenty of gravy or sauces so the food wasn't dry ... stews, soups etc went down well

    sometimes too, there was just too much food on his plate and it put him off

    and at times he would seem uninterested in the food but if I left him to take his time, he gradually ate it ... I'd tell him it was fine if he didn't fancy it right now and I was just going to have mine then I'd get pudding ... we always had a pudding (he loved the childhood kind with custard or cream or icecream) and some fruit

    and check your mum's oral health just in case
  7. silversea2020

    silversea2020 Registered User

    May 12, 2019
    It may be that your mum just cannot face eating very much at all and may need softer foods if she wears false teeth. Also, it’s a documented fact that as we age, swallowing can be difficult for the elderly. This happened with my late mum (swallowing) and her gums could become sore because of her false teeth and gum shrinking. . I found a constant supply of yoghurts, bananas, trifles and cake she could eat & enjoy alongside small frozen meals that I batch cooked every week (a variety) the carers would them heat up and she loved her daily porridge made with milk. It’s a question of trying to adapt foods that your mum can enjoy and don’t worry too much about ‘sweet stuff’...there comes a point that it doesn’t matter so much as long as she gets a little variety with her food. Mum also used to take vitamins in the form of syrup.

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