By Yelena Sapin | Art by Jillian Jones
PROBLEM: It’s not unusual for appetites to decrease and mealtime enthusiasm to wane as we get older. In fact, encouraging our aging loved ones to eat enough to maintain their health and well-being is one of the biggest challenges caretakers face on a daily basis. But you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make food more enticing. In addition to using seasonal produce, fresh herbs, and spices that appeal to the sense of smell as well as taste, try these simple solutions to help whet the appetite of everyone at your table.
SOLUTION: Edible Garnishes
Jordan Holcomb, food service director at Magnolia Springs Louisville, knows that people eat with their eyes first. “If it looks good on the plate, you’ve pretty much already won them over,” he says. Holcomb suggests using edible garnishes to add fresh, vibrant colors and interest to your dishes. Arugula, edible flowers, and baby vegetable plants known as microgreens can be sprinkled on salads, put in sandwiches, or mounded atop a main course. And like other brightly colored produce, these edible garnishes provide an additional boost of nutrients.
Where to get them: If your local supermarket doesn’t carry them, you can find them in upscale grocery stores or online.
Price: Varies, a container with 2-4 servings is typically $3-$5