Preparing and serving food for optimum nutritional intake
- Serve 5-6 small meals rather than three large meals.
- Chop or cut the food into bite-size pieces.
- Serve the most nutritious foods first.
- Allow the patient enough time to chew and swallow each bite.
- If necessary for swallowing difficulties, puree the food first in a food processor or blender before serving it.
- Combine foods into one dish: i.e. eggs combined with bacon, potatoes, and spinach in an omelet.
- Make sure that all food is within the visual range of the patient.
Positioning of body during eating
- Use a chair that supports posture.
- Make sure the patient is positioned at 90 degrees for safe and easy swallowing
- Provide comfortable cushioning for the patient’s seat
- Position the patient at a comfortable distance from table
Eating and drinking utensils that help with limited dexterity
- Built up handles reduce the need for fine pinch to hold the utensil and instead only requires a full hand grasp
- Bendable handles can be adjusted to the needs of the patient
- Weighted handles reduce the amount of movement in a shaking hand.
- Swivel utensils for unwanted hand movements (shaking) to decrease spilling food between the plate and one’s mouth.
- Universal cuff for limited hand movements including pinch or grasp.
- Cup with lid and straw to reduce the risk of spilling or dribbling liquids out of the cup when drinking.
- Weighted cup to reduce spilling from unwanted shaking movements.