List of Finger Foods for Dementia Patients

Dementia impacts memory, language, and social skills. Your loved one might not remember your face or know how to wash their hands properly. To help with this you want to prepare the kind of food they will eat without hesitation. Finger foods are popular among folks who find eating regular food cumbersome. Finger foods are easy to pick, chew, and swallow. 

If you’ve looked into finger food for dementia patients, you know there are a lot of them out there. Between easy finger foods, finger foods for dementia patients, and more, it’s hard to sift through the research and the recommendations to find what works. That’s where I come in. 

I looked into what people said worked and what didn’t. In more than a decade of working with people who suffer from dementia and their caretakers, I have gathered up what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to finger food for Dementia patients.

Here’s the list of finger foods for Dementia patients

Cracker

Crackers are a type of baked food typically made from dough that is enriched with fat, salt, and leavening agents. They are often used as snacks or finger food, commonly served at room temperature, but can also be served hot (typically warm) and are sometimes used as an accompaniment to dishes. Crackers are similar to cookies in shape and size, but they tend to be hard and crisp rather than soft and chewy.

Most crackers contain little or no fat. Unlike bread or cakes, crackers do not raise blood sugar levels because they are low in carbohydrates. They are a good source of fiber. Sodium is the primary benefit of eating crackers.

Limit the Dementia patient to 3 to 6 servings per day. Opt for whole-grain varieties which contain more fiber than their refined counterparts. Choose crackers with lower fat content (around 1 gram per serving). Caregivers should avoid feeding saltine crackers with processed meats like ham or salami because the sodium content is very high. Serve them instead with vegetables like cucumbers or tomatoes.

Yoyos 

yoyo biscuits

Yo-yo biscuits are often made as a gift for children at Christmas time. These delicious biscuits are bite-sized, round, and typically have a small hole in the middle. Some people call them “yodeling” biscuits due to the hole in the middle. They are coated in either sugar or cinnamon and are popularly eaten with tea or coffee. 

Yo-yo biscuits are baked with whole-wheat flour and pecans, which makes them a good source of fiber, vitamins B1, B2, and E, essential minerals such as copper, magnesium, and zinc. They are particularly rich in the antioxidant selenium.

Yo-yo biscuits contain no trans or saturated fats that can increase cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of yo-yo biscuits can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as lowering blood pressure.

The high protein content in yo-yo biscuits is also beneficial to weight loss since it stimulates the body to burn more calories. Yo-yo biscuits keep the Dementia patient fuller for longer making them a good snack option if they have a tendency to skip meals or binge eat between meals.

Cut-up veggies

cut up veggies

Vegetables can be a healthy part of a Dementia patient’s diet. Cut up the vegetables at lunchtime or breakfast time and serve them to your loved one. They are tasty, delicious and can make them feel really good. They are good for the patient’s overall health as well. [1]

Cutting up vegetables is a healthy way to prepare them because it makes them easier to eat. When vegetables are cut up, they cook faster. This saves energy and prevents the loss of nutrients caused by overcooking. It also allows seniors who do not like the taste of vegetables to eat them because the cutting makes them easier to chew.

The more active your loved one is, the more likely they are to benefit from eating cut-up vegetables because they provide a lot of energy. Vegetables also keep the body hydrated.

Eating cut-up vegetables is one of the best ways to get the fiber that the person with Dementia needs. Fiber helps control weight and reduces cholesterol levels in the senior person’s body. [2]

Dried fruit

Dried fruits are the perfect snack for folks with Dementia. They’re full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Not only are they delicious, but they can help seniors with their memory, concentration, and even bodyweight.

Dried fruits are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help kill free radicals in our bodies that cause rapid aging and also slow down cell damage that can lead to cancer. They’re also high in fiber, which helps keep your body regular and lowers cholesterol levels. Dried fruits are a great source of Vitamins A, C, and E as well as magnesium and potassium. [3]

They contain powerful antioxidants that can help fight against the damaging effects of free radicals on the brain. Most Dementia-affected folks have existing memory problems. Eating dried fruit can help improve memory and concentration over time. [4]

Dried fruits, especially raisins can help the Dementia patient maintain a healthy immune system because they are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can fight off free radicals. Free radicals present in the body can weaken the immune system, making the person living with Dementia more susceptible to diseases such as cancer and even heart diseases.

Cut-up Cantaloupe

cut up Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe has many health benefits that are ideal for seniors, in fact, a cut-up Cantaloupe is one of the best finger foods for Dementia patients. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are essential for healthy tissue regeneration and repair. Vitamin C also helps reduce the effects of aging, while vitamin A keeps the eyes healthy and reduces the risk of cataracts. Cantaloupe also contains high amounts of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and heart health. It also contains a high amount of fiber which helps with digestion.

Cantaloupes contain an anti-inflammatory ingredient called beta-cryptoxanthin. This substance protects against eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts by reducing the risk of free radicals causing damage to cells in the eyes. Vitamins A and C also help prevent inflammation in the body, keeping the immune system strong and preventing disease. [5]

Furthermore, Cantaloupe helps to fight free radicals that are produced by the body. Free radicals are known to damage your cells, tissues, and DNA which is one of the main causes of cancer. Eating cantaloupe will help to protect the body of the Dementia patient from these harmful substances. The antioxidants that are found in cantaloupe help to eliminate these free radicals which help protect the body from disease and illness. Eating cantaloupe can boost the immune system which makes the Dementia patient less susceptible to getting sick.

Lastly, Cantaloupes are available in many varieties, but the most common are muskmelons and honeydews. They have smooth outer skin, sweet and juicy flesh, and a large seed cavity. A medium-sized cantaloupe weighs about 5 pounds and provides around 100 calories. While most varieties are orange or pink on the outside, some are white with green spots inside.

Summary 

Before serving any of the finger foods mentioned in this post, make sure to run them through a geriatrician. Dementia patients in the later stages of the condition can have difficulty chewing and swallowing. Care must be taken to avoid accidents involving choking on food. Dementia affects the part of the brain that is responsible for swallowing. If you notice your loved one having difficulty swallowing the finger foods, put them on a semi-solid food diet. See what the doctor has to say. [6]

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