The best foods for a person with dementia to eat are vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and lean proteins, states the Alzheimer's Association. Avoid foods with high saturated fat and cholesterol, and limit foods high in sodium and refined sugars.
Staying hydrated is often a problem for dementia patients, notes the Alzheimer's Association. Offering small cups of water and other fluids throughout the day may be helpful. Any type of healthy drink or food with high water content, such as a smoothie or soup, helps combat dehydration. Poor appetite is also a common issue that may be caused by the inability to recognize foods, dentures that do not fit properly or some types of medications. A decrease in sense of smell and taste may occur, which also leads to a poor appetite for many individuals with dementia. Getting enough exercise may help increase the appetite. When appetite and weight loss are a concern, supplements between meals are often recommended.
Moderate to severe dementia often makes mealtimes very challenging, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Keeping the table setting simple, limiting distractions and serving only one or two items of food at a time can make things easier for the person with dementia and the caregiver. Give the person with dementia enough time to eat and avoid using patterned dishes.