Breakfast Every Meal

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Louise wasn’t much for sitting down and eating. In fact, she didn’t want to eat at all.

Louise spent her lunches following us to her seat, sitting, looking at her food, being fed a bite or two, protesting that she didn’t want more, and then getting back up. Anytime we offered her something, she would take a bite or two, and then push the plate away. Feeding Louise didn’t help, either.

Her daughter was distraught. “She doesn’t seem to want to eat anything,” she said, sadly. “The only meal she ever really liked was breakfast,” Louise’s daughter shrugged.

This gave me an idea. Louise was on a pureed foods diet, which meant that we needed to make her food very soft, kind of like pudding, to make it safe for her to eat. I asked our kitchen to send down some scrambled eggs for lunch.

The eggs arrived, and we sat Louise down at her table. Normally, she’d look at her food, try a bite (or be fed a bite) and say, “no more!”

I put the fork in and brought some scrambled eggs to Louise’s lips. She took a bite, thought for a moment, and then took the fork from me. I let it go and she began feeding herself with ease.

The kitchen began sending breakfast foods down for every meal. Scrambled eggs, pureed french toast, and pureed pancakes were all on the menu. Suddenly, Louise was sitting and eating.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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