In later life, it’s not uncommon to have a smaller appetite than when you were younger. But it’s still important to make sure you eat enough to stay strong and healthy. This week, we share our five top tips for maintaining a healthy appetite.

From less sensitive taste buds to badly fitting dentures and medication side effects, there’s a whole range of things that can affect our appetite as we get older. Most of us know how difficult it can be to eat when you don’t feel hungry. But with our simple tips, you can make sure you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy – and find your way back to truly enjoying meals again.

1. Eat smaller meals more often

When you’ve lost interest in food, a full plate can be a bit daunting. But instead of relying on unhealthy snacks like cakes and crisps, try and prepare yourself small, healthy dishes. You could try one of our Hearty Soups – just right for lunch or dinner. Or prepare a stock of nutritious nibbles, such as carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus or dip.

At dinner, only serve up half of a meal at a time – that way the rest will stay hot if you want a second helping. If you want to make things even simpler, our range of home delivered meals includes over 60 Mini Meals. Including classic recipes to suit all tastes and plenty of desserts, these frozen ready meals mean you can enjoy your favourite dishes without worrying about leftovers.

2. Treat your senses

People say we eat with our eyes first – so even the most delicious meal can put you off if it doesn’t look appealing. When cooking, use plenty of colourful ingredients to stimulate the senses. Or perhaps just add a small garnish, like fresh basil, parsley or coriander to a dish before serving.

Smell is just as important as taste for enjoying food. Which means that giving yourself time to take in the aromas of a dish before sitting down at the table can really help build up your appetite.

3. Make mealtimes more social

If possible, sharing a meal with friends or family can help lift the spirits and improve your appetite. When eating alone, even simple things such as having the radio or TV on in the background can make mealtimes more relaxing and enjoyable.

If you’re caring for an older friend or relative, occasionally encourage them to help prepare meals with you. This can help increase their interest in making – and hopefully eating – nutritious dinners.

4. Get a little exercise

Stretching your legs by going for a walk can help you work up a bit of an appetite. Because a loss of interest in food is sometimes linked to feeling down, light exercise can also help you feel happier by releasing endorphins into your bloodstream.

5. Easy to prepare puréed meals

If loss of appetite is linked to problems such as a sore mouth or uncomfortable dentures, our range of puréed, reshaped ready meals could make dinner times easier and more enjoyable. Each meal has a smooth, consistent texture that’s also suitable for those with dysphagia – or anyone who requires a Category C diet.

There’s a choice of dishes and desserts to suit different tastes, with some also available in a smaller portion. Why not browse our full range or request your free brochure to look through at home?