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Nutrition for Older Adults: Taste, Smell and Nutrition

Taste and Smell

Good nutrition can help keep the body healthy. However, many factors such as changes in taste and smell can get in the way of good nutrition.

Taste and smell tend to decline with age. Many medicines older adults use can also affect taste.

Changes in taste and smell can decrease appetite and food intake.

 

Tips if Taste and Smell Changes Affect Food Intake

  • Using herbs, spices and lemon juice unless they are not handled to increase the flavor of foods. For added enjoyment try growing herbs in a garden or windowsill pot.
  • Serve foods with a variety of flavors, colors, shapes, textures and temperatures to increase appetite.
  • Remember flavors are not as easy to notice in very cold and very hot foods.

Sources

Whitney, E.N. & Rolfes, S.R. (2015). Understanding Nutrition, 14th ed., Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA.

 

Bernstein, M., & Munoz, N. (2016). Nutrition for the Older Adult, 2nd ed., Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA.

 

Brown, J.E. (2014) Nutrition through the Life Cycle, 5th ed., Cengage Learning, Stamford, CT.

 

Janice Hermann

Extension Nutrition Specialist

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