Eat Dessert First

I love ice cream. I love cake too.  And cookies…all kinds of cookies! Needless to say, I don’t discriminate when it comes to desserts.  At my favorite little Italian restaurant, the specialty dessert is creamy ricotta donuts (I love donuts too!).  But after a well-balanced meal of soup, salad, and an entrée, I rarely can squeeze in room for this delicious, one-of-a-kind treat. My solution was simple – eat dessert first!

Sure, the waitress looked at me a little funny the first time I ordered dessert first, but it was well worth the confused glare as she wrote down my order.

At this point, are your re-reading my credentials? This Dietitian is telling you she eats dessert first! My philosophy is simple, as I age, I am not planning to change my sweet-toothed ways. Maybe our residents feel the same way.

In the current environment of long term care foodservice, all too often we are preoccupied with following a one-size-fits-all approach to dining that would likely not endorse dessert first. But why not? The outcome should not come as a shock – honoring resident preference may prevent weight loss and increase satisfaction. Additionally, as caregivers and practitioners, we have the opportunity to suggest dessert first as an intervention for poor appetite, weight loss, or even depression.

Dessert may not be the first or only intervention, but it’s a simple idea that can create a spoonful of joy and satisfaction.

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