Need help getting more calories - liquid diet

Posted By: Becky L

Need help getting more calories - liquid diet - 11-21-2020 12:58 PM

My husband can no longer eat solid food (this is permanent) and has been losing weight quickly. Previously he had been drinking a few Soylents and having a milkshake each day, but it’s too much volume. I just got Boost VHC and Scandishakes. What can I mix them with to make them taste better and to boost the caloric intake? Any other ideas? I remember seeing some recipes on the board for high calorie shakes, but can’t find them now. He does not like peanut butter. Thank you!
Posted By: gmcraft

Re: Need help getting more calories - liquid diet - 11-22-2020 06:09 PM

My husband was unable to swallow after rads because his throat was so scarred. He was fed through a tube. His dietitian put him on Nutren 1.5 which has 500 calories in each box. He was on four boxes a day. I put in ice cream and milk with dry skim milk dissolved in it to boost the calories. Eventually when his throat was re-opened through a new procedure, he continued with the Nutren. At that point, I put in manuka honey as well. For breakfast, he would have a couple of poached eggs and a cup of tea. I recorded the calories he was taking in at every meal, so that I could add a bit more calories near the end of the day if he hadn't met the target. If you have a Vitamix and your husband is amenable, you can make him different meals and put them in. The Vitamix does a good job of liquefying everything. Unfortunately, my husband refused to get his food that way. I also made all kinds of thick soups with chicken, cream and veggies. Again, putting them through the Vitamix so that they are really smooth and easy to get down. Do talk to your husband about what kinds of food he would like. It’s very difficult, I know, because not being able to swallow well means he has a disability and it made socializing with friends difficult because so much of that is centered around food. I actually talked to all our friends about changing the focus of our gatherings. They probably thought I was weird but I stood firm on that.
Posted By: ChristineB

Re: Need help getting more calories - liquid diet - 11-30-2020 10:59 PM

Hi Becky!

I’m so sorry to read about your husband and his eating issues. Unfortunately OC with it horrendous treatments really can do quite a number on patients that are struggling to take in enough calories every day. It’s all about getting the most calories per swallow.

The high calorie shake I make is chocolate peanut butter (SORRY!!!)! I’m sure there’s many other things that you could replace the peanut butter with. What about almond butter? I don’t care for it, it’s too gritty for me... maybe it would work for your husband? The peanut butter is one of the reasons the shakes are so high calorie. When thinking of shakes to make, almost anything goes. Just make sure nothing used is too acidic like citrus is... check in the baking and/or canned fruit aisles for things your husband still likes that you could turn into a shake. Add powdered high protein whey powder, carnation instant breakfast preferably powdered (or any other similar brand in your area).

If your husband sees his treatment team ask (if u are allowed in for his appointments) about connecting with a nutritionist, if at all possible find one who is familiar with OC patients and all their eating challenges. I don’t know how long ago your husband was treated so I’m not sure how he’s doing with his sense of taste. For almost everyone recovering from OC and all the difficulties after rads the sense of taste could be very different than what it was before cancer. After a bite or two something the post-rads patients suddenly find their all time favorite foods sure don’t taste anything like what he knows it used too. One day something tastes like burnt charcoal and the next day it’s completely different and it’s the newest favorite food. The sense of taste is very fleeting the first 2 years after finishing rads where it’s impossible to predict what foods are ok today or next week. Hang in there and keep trying different combos til something works for your husband.

Here’s the shake recipe... hope it helps!!!

Something I made almost daily to help maintain the higher intake was a chocolate/peanut butter milkshake which had a ton of calories per shake. I'll repost my recipe below so you can give it a try. When I cook I dont measure or always go exactly by recipes so the shake is very adaptable and can easily be customized to what each person likes best so they will drink the whole thing. Just make sure to over-blend things to make it easier to get down. Shoot for buying full fat everything such as milk, ice cream.

Here is a recipe for something I used to make and drink when I went thru treatments and recovery. The shake has anywhere from 1200-2000+ calories depending on how you make it. U might also consider Centrums liquid multi vitamin... I’ve found they’re excellent and being liquid they go right thru the tube just flush it really good so the tube doesn’t stain yellow.

As with everything ... before trying it ask the doc if in your husbands situation something he’s interested in trying is ok or if it would interfere with anything randomly his special individual current health situation and/or the current medications he’s taking including both over and under the counter. Never know what would cause things to clash or irritate his sensitive mouth but the doc should know what to avoid.

Giant High Calorie Choc-Peanut Butter Milkshake

3 or 4 cups chocolate ice cream (regular/full fat type)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth type)
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 or 2 cups whole milk (can substitute half and half to add even more calories)
1 scoop carnation instant breakfast
1 scoop high protein whey powder
(as with all new or different products used ... check with doc if this is ok)

Blend this extra long to make it very smooth and creamy so it goes down easier. If the shake is too thick, let the shake sit for a half hour or so it melts a little or add more milk to thin it down to what works for your own personal preferences. Ive also recently discovered something new... powdered peanut butter which can be used instead of the usual big jar kind. Most OC patients lose their taste for chocolate right away and it takes them a little while to get it back after finishing... for some strange reason I could still taste it a little especially in the giant shakes or when drinking ice cold yoo-hoo which helped soothe my very sore throat. Maybe try drinking things that are ice cold, (this always worked for me) it should help with any swelling you may still have?

Best wishes with everything!!! smile
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