This is the 2nd blog post in support of Malnutrition Awareness Week 2020 and aims to provide more information about the treatment of malnutrition and some practical tips to follow if you or a loved one is experiencing malnutrition.
As we get older there can be the expectation that losing weight is normal and part of the ageing process. This is not true. Any unintentional weight loss should be taken seriously.
It is not uncommon for our appetites to change as we get older therefore it is important to manage these changes so that it does not result in an inadequate nutritional intake and unintentional weight loss.
10 tips that can help to address a small appetite
- Introduce small snacks in-between your meals such as cheese and crackers
- Choose higher fat containing foods such as full fat milk, butter, as these will provide more energy
- Add butter, cream or cheese to meals and sauces as this will increase the energy content without increasing the volume of food
- Have a nourishing drink before bed such as a hot chocolate made with full fat milk
- Have regular meals and snacks – aim for 6 small meals and snacks instead of 3 big meals a day
- Don’t forget about fluid – aim to have 6-8 drinks a day. This can include tea and coffee, glasses of milk and fruit juice.
- Avoid not eating at all, even if its only something small
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help with cooking and food shopping
- Tinned foods such as rice pudding or tinned fruit are useful staple cupboard foods
- If you continue to struggle with your appetite and are losing weight, please discuss with your GP or a healthcare professional
This advice is intended to provide general advice on treating malnutrition. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one in regards to unintentional weight loss and changes in appetite, please speak with a healthcare professional.
Dietitians play a key role in the identification, management and treatment of malnutrition. Following specialist nutritional assessment, a tailored nutritional care plan will be provided. Ongoing monitoring of the care plan will ensure that the intervention is working and whether any adjustments to the plan are required. Dietitians will work with the wider multidisciplinary team to ensure implementation of the nutritional care plan.
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