Preparing and Serving Food
Your goal in preparing food is to promote your loved one’s health. When you are preparing food, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed. Use cooking methods that will preserve color and taste, as well as vitamins and minerals. Do not add unnecessary ingredients such as large amounts of salt or fats.
Before serving the food, help your loved one to use the bathroom and wash his or her hands, this will help your loved one to have a nice mealtime. Serve foods at the desired temperature, make meals more appealing, pick foods with high nutrients and calories for better taste if the diet allows. Try to offer a variety of meals; no one wants to eat the same thing every day. Always keep your loved one company when they’re eating—it will help them feel more comfortable. Allow them as much time as needed to eat.
Feeding your Loved One
- Utensils: knife, fork, and spoon
- Dishes, bowls, cup, glass
- Napkins (2)
- Towel or bib
- Any other special utensils
- Explain what you are going to do.
- Wash your hands.
- Obtain materials listed above.
- Prepare your loved one for the meal:
- Offer to assist with going to the bathroom.
- Offer to assist your loved one with washing his or her hands.
- Position your loved one to sit up in the bed or in a chair.
- Place table or bed tray over your loved one’s lap so he or she can see and reach the food.
- Sit near them.
- Cut food, butter bread, pour and prepare liquids as needed.
- Ask them what he or she would like to eat first.
- Encourage them to do as much self-feeding as possible.
- Feed your loved one, one bite at a time. Use a spoon and fill only half-full and according to the ability to chew and swallow.
- Alternate solids and liquids. Use a straw for drinking.
- Talk pleasantly with your loved one and encourage them to eat. Offer praise.
- When your loved one is finished, remove their napkin or bib and wipe their mouth.
- Wash your loved ones’ hands and face.
- Offer oral hygiene.
- Make sure your loved one is safe and comfortable.
- Wash your hands.
- Wash all dishes used for the meal.
- Clean and straighten the kitchen.