son, wife, dad at christmas dinner

This season is a time filled with tradition, but sometimes, as time passes, those traditions change. An aging family member can change the way you approach the holiday, but that doesn’t mean you give up on your favorite dishes.

There are some things you should know about preparing meals for seniors. The first thing is that seniors do not metabolize food in the same way that they once did. And what’s more, their taste buds might not be as sensitive to flavors as in years past. Don’t be surprised or offended when your loved one doesn’t attack your casserole like he or she used to. In fact, you might want to think about preparing something special for your loved one, to cater to his or her changing dietary habits and needs.  Here are some tips taken from

  1. Make food that is easy to chew and swallow. Dentures and reduced saliva production might make tough and dry foods difficult.
  2. Use less salt. You don’t want to cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure or worsen water retention. Remember, you can always salt the food on your own plate later.
  3. Add more seasoning. To make up for the lower salt, aging taste buds and the dulling effect of some prescription medications, use savory, but not spicy, seasonings to provide more flavor.
  4. Use recipes rich with nutrition.  Seniors need to eat food that is high in nutritional content and calories to make up for their reduced appetites. is a good source for information on the nutritional and caloric content of food.
  5. Choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and fiber and cut down on sugar and refined carbs. While our senses of taste and smell diminish with age, we retain the ability to distinguish sweet tastes the longest, leading many older people to consume more sugar and refined carbs than is healthy.