Finger Food Meal Plan for Dementia (Free Download)

Meal plan for dementia with appetizing breakfast, lunch and dinner finger foods.

Are you looking for easy finger food ideas or a meal plan for a person with dementia? We’ve got a 3-day sample menu of meals and snacks that are nourishing and dementia-friendly.

Using a fork and spoon can become difficult and more confusing as dementia progresses. If you’re noticing a decrease in the ability of a person to feed themself, handheld foods could help improve overall food intake.

Finger foods allow a person to maintain independence at mealtime and reduce the confusion often caused by utensils. 

Dementia-friendly finger food including a blueberry muffin, peanut butter and crackers, granola bar, eggs, dried apricots and strawberries.

What are Finger Foods?

Finger foods are foods that can be easily picked up and eaten with one hand. Handheld foods can be of regular or soft textures and should not be overly messy to hold. If you are just getting started with finger foods, be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Finger Foods for Dementia.

How Can Finger Foods Help A Person with Dementia?

Increased Food Acceptance and Better Intake of Meals

Eating poorly at meals is a common struggle for people living with dementia. This often results from confusion with using utensils or the inability to grasp a fork or spoon. Handheld foods can simplify the process of eating, leading to an increased intake of meals and snacks, which is important to help prevent weight loss.

Maintaining Independence in Eating

Promoting independence in eating and drinking is important to consider in dementia care. Foods easily picked up with fingers allow the person to continue to feed themselves or have minimal assistance from caregivers. Some people with dementia are resistant to having someone assist them in eating, making handheld foods a good strategy.

Honoring Food Preferences

Handheld foods are often preferred by people with dementia. While the person may retain the ability to use a fork or spoon, they may simply prefer to eat foods with their hands. Observation at mealtime is the best way to determine the preference of certain foods and eating styles.

Portable Options for People On The Go

Finger foods are easy options for people who wander or find it difficult to sit at the table for long. Be sure to provide supervision for safety in eating while on the go.

Finger Food Meal Ideas

Easy Finger Foods – Breakfast

Dementia-friendly finger foods including mini waffles with blueberries, a cinnamon muffin with peanut butter and strawberries and warm toast with strawberry jelly and pear slices.
  • blueberries
  • boiled eggs
  • fruit and yogurt smoothie
  • mini muffin
  • mini waffles
  • pear slices
  • strawberry halves
  • toast with jelly or peanut butter
  • yogurt – drinkable or tube

Easy Finger Foods – Lunch

Finger foods for dementia including melted peanut butter on toasted bread,  creamy tomato soup in a mug with cheese and crackers and a tuna salad wrap with lettuce and tomato.
  • banana
  • cheese – cubes or slices
  • chocolate milk
  • cucumber slices
  • grapes – cut in half (choking hazard)
  • mandarin slices
  • soup in a mug
  • toast with peanut butter
  • whole grain crackers
  • wrap with tuna or chicken salad

Easy Finger Foods – Dinner

Dementia-friendly finger foods including crispy salmon patties with fresh green beans and juicy slider burgers with crispy lettuce and tomato.
  • broccoli
  • chicken sausage on bun
  • green beans
  • french fries
  • mini burger sliders
  • pasta salad
  • pineapple chunks
  • potato wedges
  • salmon patties

Easy Finger Foods – Snacks

Dementia-friendly finger food snack ideas including a creamy vanilla milkshake, soft cereal bar filled with sweet blueberries and a soft chocolate chip cookie with sliced strawberries.
  • apple slices
  • berries
  • cheese cubes
  • cookie
  • cutie orange
  • drinkable yogurt
  • fruit smoothie
  • granola bar
  • milk shake
  • peanut butter & helly sandwich
  • soft cereal bar

3 Day Finger Food Meal Plan for Dementia

This meal plan represents a balanced diet for the general population. It is important to note nutritional needs vary for each person.  For specific nutrition advice, seek the help of your primary care provider or a registered dietitian. 

Click here to download your FREE 3-Day Meal Plan

3-day sample menu of finger foods for dementia patients.

Key Takeaways: Finger Food Meal Plan for Dementia

Finger foods can increase meal and snack intake for people living with dementia. Benefits of finger foods include improved acceptance of foods, independence in eating, and portable options for people on the go.

Other Dementia-Friendly Finger Food Ideas

Looking for more information on finger foods? Check out this List of Finger Foods for Dementia.

Thanks for visiting Dementia Nutrition – you’re doing a great job, caregiver!

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