My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14 NASB
In this scripture, Solomon explains the pleasure of wisdom. Honey is pleasant to taste, but knowledge is candy for the soul.
Gerontologists say taste is the last sense to go, and sweetness is the last of the flavors we lose. It’s why many elderly enjoy only sweet things. Mom refuses many foods at mealtime, but she’ll seldom reject a dessert.
She loves chocolate-chip cookies. Now wheelchair bound, I give her a chewy one in the evening to prevent weight loss, and it makes her happy.
The speech-therapist helps me understand the need for sweets in my mother’s diet. She says, sometimes, it’s the only way to get the elderly to eat. She tells of one patient who only eats food drizzled with maple syrup. For the impaired lady, the four food groups are syrup, sugar, candy, and cookies.
They instruct me to sweeten the food my mother refuses to eat. For instance, after pureeing pork with barbeques sauce, she rejects it if the BBQ is vinegar sour. But, after adding brown sugar, she consumes it and enjoys it with super-sweet, baked beans. I’m familiar with brown-sugar BBQ sauce, but it was hard for me to sweeten foods not typically served sugary.
For instance, if she refuses meatloaf, even if pureed, I add brown sugar, and she gobbles it. We use a variety of sugars, honey, maple syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
It helps me understand my mother’s sweet phase if I remember myself as a child. Then, I enjoyed candy, but as I matured, I became more discriminating. For a while, I preferred the sweet-sour candies, but later I preferred candy bars which crunched. My last childhood phase was salty-nutty bars.
My taste for drinks evolved, too. As a boy, I guzzled fruit-flavored, sugary beverages, but my taste changed to carbonated sodas. Then, my drink of choice was orange and grape soda. Now, when I taste a grape soda, I wonder how I could have ever enjoyed it.
My taste has changed over the years, so it’s reasonable to expect the same for my mother. I prefer my meatloaf with salt, but Mom prefers it with sugar.
We all know adults shouldn’t have too much sugar, but, since Mother isn’t diabetic and is losing weight, I’m not concerned. We use honey in her tea, which I believe is a healthier sweetener.
If a patient has blood-sugar issues or is overweight dietitians recommend artificial sweeteners. Stevia is an excellent choice for a natural sweetener and is available in most supermarkets.
Many medicines for children are available in liquid form and sweetened so they will take it. In the same way, I sweeten Mother’s food so she’ll enjoy it. Solomon said knowledge is a sweetness to the soul. Likewise, knowledge of sweetness is essential when dealing with dementia patients.
© Copyright 2018 Ron Milburn