A list of finger foods for Dementia patients is key to increase intake when you notice increased pacing, increased agitation, decreased food and fluid intake, and weight loss. Malnutrition can result if you aren’t on top of their nutrition care plan.
You can find a list of all the food categories to help prevent malnutrition in your patients!
Don’t forget to download the Top 10 List of Finger Foods for Dementia Patients PDF!
Finger Foods for Dementia Patients:
Why We Need Them
Dementia can cause increased pacing, agitation, limited focus, all affecting meal time presence.
The Dietitian needs to adjust the nutrition care plan constantly with a patient with Dementia. If a patient is constantly pacing and won’t sit down during a meal, having a list of finger foods for a dementia patient can really help.
Dementia can also cause limited attention span during meals. Having finger foods readily available can make meal times shorter. If you have a patient that needs quick items, look at this list and add it to their nutrition care plan!
If the patient has decreased intake, you want to look at liberalising their diet to allow for a greater variety of items.
If you want to learn how to liberalise a patient’s diet, check out this article.
Liberalising diets in the elderly can really help to reduce malnutrition, increase intake, prevent weight loss, and more. It helps to honour their preferences, increase quality of life, and limit unnecessary restrictions.
As we have ageing patients, quality of life and preventing malnutrition is of much more concern then strict blood sugar monitoring for example.
If you need to learn to advocate for liberalising a patient’s diet with a stubborn Doctor, I highly recommend reading the article above.
List of Finger Foods for Dementia Patients by Category
Look through the categories below to have a variety of foods available!
Protein Finger Foods
Egg Salad Sandwich
Tuna Salad Sandwich
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Deli Meat Sandwich
Deli Meat Slices
Egg Bites (Baked in muffin cups)
ChickPea Pattie Pieces
Meatballs (Without sauce coating)
Handheld Burger (Can be the patty or in a bun)
Peanut Butter Sandwich
Fruits and Vegetables
Smoothies (Check out this post with some great high protein high calorie recipes!)
Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Slices
Any fruit that can be cut into slices, that is not a high choking risk food
I would avoid vegetable slices, unless the patient is very cognitively aware and not at high choking risk
Milk in a Cup with a Lid and Straw
Smoothies (See recipes in the above linked article!)
Hand Held Sandwiches
Pancakes Cut Into Strips
Sweet Dessert Bars
Baked Loaves (Banana Bread)
Pita Bread (Spread Hummus on it)
Nutrition Supplement Drinks
Dessert Bars (Brownies, Pastries)
Things to Consider When Building a Finger Food Meal Plan
A few things that need to be considered when building a meal plan for finger foods for dementia patients are:
Dentition: Safety with chewing, soft foods, dentures are in/out.
Monitoring: They should be in an area where they can be continually monitored to reduce risk of choking.
Chewing/Swallowing: Only build a meal plan with the foods that are within the diet texture they can have.
Serving Style: Reduce risk of spilling drinks by having lids and straws on all liquids being served. Serving with a cup with a handle can help with comfort.
Serving Location: Leave foods in a familiar place every single meal. The patient can come and go as they please, but they will know where to come back to.
Encouragement: Encourage the patient to sit down, but if they choose to leave, allow them. Provide encouragement to continue to come back.
List of Finger Foods for Dementia Patients PDF
Download your free copy of the list of finger foods for dementia patients pdf by joining our list! You’ll be notified of all the new freebies and resources that come out!
You can also check out this article that has snacks for elderly for various categories including high protein and soft foods!