We're always talking about how to lose weight, but what about those of you who are losing weight or just don't feel like eating?
The following are some tips for boosting your nutritional intake when you just can't eat much:
Add a teaspoon of butter to soups, vegetables, cooked cereal or rice.
Add whipping cream to fruit, puddings or other desserts.
Sour cream can be used on vegetables, in gravy or as a salad dressing or a dip.
Add raisins, dates, nuts, or dried fruit to hot or cold cereals.
Eat three small meals and supplement with high protein-high calorie snacks
Have snacks ready and handy to eat - suggestions: nuts, dried fruit, popcorn, cheese, granola, ice cream - most can be purchased in individually wrapped or single-serve packaging.
To get more protein, try the following:
Add dry skim milk powder to your regular milk, scrambled eggs, soups, gravies, casseroles or desserts.
Add peanut butter to sauces, use on toast, crackers, celery or waffles.
Add grated cheese or chunks of cheese to sauces, vegetables, salads, soups or casseroles.
Protein supplement drink or powdered instant breakfasts between meals (not as a meal replacement)
Here are some suggestions for a few specific problems which contribute to poor eating:
Nausea - eat and drink slowly, eat frequent meals, clear cool beverages may be helpful or clear soups, flavored gelatin or possibly carbonated beverages. Try salty foods - stay away from greasy or sweet foods. Try cold foods such as cheese, dry toast or crackers.
Dry/sore mouth or loss of taste - Avoid rough, raw, acidy or spicy foods such as pizza or orange juice. Try a softer diet such as scrambled eggs, milkshakes, puddings or mashed potatoes. Suck on sugar-free hard candies. Always serve dry foods with a liquid and use butter, gravies or sauces on meats and vegetables.
Diarrhea - Small frequent meals, low in roughage. Increase fluid intake, juices such as apricot, pear, peach or broth. Drink between meals and only sips with your meals. Include high-potassium foods such as bananas. Avoid greasy, spicy and gas-forming foods.
Heartburn - Eat small frequent meals and use only mildly flavored foods. Avoid high-fat, fried, greasy or heavily spiced foods. Try not to lie down for 3 hours after eating.
Constipation - High-fiber diet including whole grains, raw vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and prune juice. Increase fluid intake to 8 or more glasses per day. Regular exercise.
Remember that we have an excellent dietitian here at Office for the Aging who can come out and meet with you individually to help with any dietary issues which you may be faced with. And please remember to contribute toward your OFA nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable at current levels without the support of participant contributions. Be aware that food stamps can be used toward your contribution. I do not want to have to make any further cuts to nutrition services. Thank you for your support.
Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program provides nutritious noon meals at several congregate dining sites throughout the county along with a Restaurant Dining Out Program. Our dietitian, Cheryl Wahlstrom, RD, is available for nutrition counseling in your home at no cost to you. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Call the office for more details and information at 753-4471, 661-7471 or 363-4471.