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Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:27 pm
by Green Aura
Not mine!!!

My mother (85) who lives with us is quickly developing a taste for junk food! :shock:

Throughout her working life she was a professional cook (not trained as a chef but very good) and I was brought up on home cooked food, homegrown veg, anything the local poacher brought us. She regularly dipped into her Cordon Bleu books and we really did eat fantastically well. Even after Dad died she continued to cook for herself until the last few weeks before she moved in with us when I think the stress of her moving just got on top of her (some of you'll maybe remember she had a heart attack shortly after).

She goes out 3-4 times a week to a luncheon club with the "oldies" (her term :lol: ) so for her evening meal she'll have a sandwich and/ or soup - on those nights we eat spicy or other meals she doesn't really like. The rest of the time I keep our diet fairly simple - chops, sausage and mash, fish pie and stuff that I know she enjoys. But her expression at the table has got more and more pained of late, like it's a real chore for her to eat my food.

Anyway, at our last T£sc0 trip in exasperation I got her some ready meals (£1 each out of the freezer) - last night she had the fish pie and declared it the nicest fish pie she'd had in years! Hastily followed by "but yours is nice too" :lol: The thing was I licked the spoon after I dished it up and it was almost tasteless and I certainly didn't find any fish!

I really am a good cook (she used to relish my food) and I'm really bewildered - I can only think her tastebuds must have altered in some way I can't fathom. I don't really know how to deal with it - these ready meals can't be good for her health and even though they're only £1 - that's still quite expensive for one meal for one person.

It's not just that - getting her to eat veg is becoming increasingly hard (she'll eat them if I dish up but if we put out a dish of veg or salad to help yourself she'll ignore it unless reminded) and she insists on tinned soups and sugary breakfast cereals! I'm fully expecting an order for spaghetti hoops and fish fingers soon :lol: It very much feels like I'm starting to feed a picky child.

That's it, just wanted to offload :roll: :lol:

Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:58 pm
by oldfella
I have the same problem as your Mum, with the exception that the shop bought meals taste even worse than ever. Over the past year the taste of fresh veg, eggs, home produced meats, and even my OH's Grandmas Apple Cake with fresh cream, is beginning to loose its taste. At the moment it is only food, but if every the day comes when Wine and Beer starts down that route, I shall quietly sit in my corner and say to myself its been a Good life.

So GA I'm sure your Mum appreciates all that you do for her.


Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:55 pm
by bonniethomas06
Perhaps it is because the ready meals are very very salty, and so the taste is more intense for those 'elderly' tastebuds?

Yuk though, what a shame!

Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:19 pm
by jampot
my grandma(81) is the same she was a pastry chef and always cooked from scratch but now insists on frozen sh1t from icel**d and the like :pukeright: even if offerd a home cooked meal without needing to lift a finger , im assuming its just a degrading of the tastebuds along with everything else :(

Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:24 pm
by Silver Ether
Same here I care for my in-laws 89/90 and have found that curries do well as they are strong flavoured and veggi as mum-in-law has trouble chewing ... and they love :pukeright: :pukeright: ready made meals I assume because of the salt and msg ... and those horrid burgers and subs that just go in the micro... they do fend for themselves to a degree so these foods they can taste and manage to sort their own meals without me and that gives them some independence ... and if you cant eat what you fancy at that age when the hell are you going to be able to ...

Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:58 pm
by oldjerry
I'm sure it must be the salt.Funnily I find that as I've got older I've found that I cant handle any processed food,it makes me really sick (though that may have something to do with the damn Crohn's).I find that fresh fruit is the one thing I can always eat.

Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:49 am
by Marmalady
Does sound like she is losing her sense of taste -- my father at 88 complains everything tastes like cardboard with no flavour to it at all. He will go for the over-sweet sugary things if he can get one without mum seeing (he is diabetic so shouldnt have them at all)

If its the salt that she likes in her ready meals - have you tried adding extra salt to your home-cooked versions?
tho if she has other health problems, you will have to watch her salt intake!

Re: Elderly tastebuds

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:12 am
by Cligereen
It may be that they think that you are doing the normal healthy meals just for them and they don't want to put you to the bother. Remember that if you are their son/daughter, then you are still a child to them, even though you may be 60! They may think that all the hip young things eat from McD's and that you are suffering by eating 'normally'.

Of course they must just be rebelling, something I'm planning on in a few years! A they say, 'Youth is wasted on the young'.