Senior caregivers can now use an easy method to assist the seniors they are caring for to eat more. Just switch to a blue plate. Remember the Blue Plate Special? This was a term used by restaurants to showcase a discounted meal special that would change each day. Research conducted by multiple studies, as well as at nursing homes, have resulted in the discovery that seniors will eat anywhere from 20% to 35% more food when their meal is served on a blue plate.
What do you think? Which plate for this meal appeals to your appetite more? We have to say the blue plate wins for us - just don't tell our Grandma her china didn't win! Or
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This month (August, 2017) Le Creuset is offering their 12-inch blue plates at 50% off. Just a bit brighter perhaps than French blue and perfect for showcasing food effectively. You can start testing out the blue plate concept with a senior you care for by purchasing the nice plastic-ware plates from Amazon or a discount store near you ($3 to $5 for several plates).
Besides blue being a pleasing color, here are some of the facts behind why this concept seems to work for increasing calorie consumption at meal time for seniors.
- Visual Understanding Increases (No Design Competition)
- Seeing Food Clearly Stimulates Appetite
- Simplicity of Colors Makes Food Served Standout Better
- As There is No Blue Food, Makes it Easy to See Food Separate from Plate
- Blue Serves as Relaxing and Familiar Color
Weight loss impacts nearly half of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Any efforts a caregiver can make to assist the senior to increase consumption of healthy food will help with their overall health and happiness, even as they are losing their memory capabilities. The comfort of consuming a delicious and nutritious meal always brings joy, even for those with memory loss. The blue plates help them to realize it is meal time.
Blue, yellow, lime and red are also colors researches have experimented with and because food groups will contrast with the plate, it helps the senior to focus on the food and eating. Perhaps think about testing out brightly colored tablecloths as another option.
Remember, too, that this follows with drinking liquids. White milk in a white cup is hard to see and so is black coffee in a dark colored mug such as navy or dark brown or black. Remember that making the food and drink visually stimulating will continue to be important throughout the aging process.
Proper nutrition is important at all ages, but especially for seniors who are challenged by medical issues.
Bring in the blue plate and see if it helps at meal time.
Caregivers may obtain online caregiver training which will include these ready-to-implement tips and more at CaregiverTrainingUniversity.com or give us a call at 312-669-8820.