Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What To Eat When You "Can't"

Those who know me, also know that I'm not a person who gives up when the going gets tough.  Recently my husband has had issues with trying to find foods that will encourage him to eat.  For the most part, even the smell of cooking some foods will automatically discourage his appetite, so that has become a challenge indeed.

After reseaching information on foods he needs that are high in protein and carbohydrates to regain weight,  the list seems to be quite long.  I have also realized just how unhealthy so many everyday foods that we all eat can be, especially those that contain tons of sugar.

My earlier post about drinking fully loaded shakes such as Ensure or Boost discusses the value of these supplements

Another great soure of daily nutrion is Carnation Instant Breakfast powders.  They can be purchased in different flavours such as vanille, strawberry or chocolate and you just add them to a cup of milk.  The main difference with this drink versus the Ensure or Boost is the taste. You can hardly taste the additives, and only the milk.  This same product offers a much higher protein and carbs supplement as well in the form of a liquid - Carnation Instant Breakfast Lactose Free VHC

This particular produce is great for those who have stomach or throat cancer and just one can will provide you with half of your daily requirements.

Sometimes it's best to offer those who don't have much of an appetite - very small amounts. 
One product that fits this category is Yoplait Minigo Yogurt
This product while it was manufactured primarily to appeal to younger children it is very nutritional to adults and more importantly, very easy to eat as it's taste is not overpowering for those with delicate stomachs.

My personal  advice is  cook a turkey!   This meal is timeless and of course can be served in so many different ways from it's original hot turkey meal to hot turkey sandwiches (always in small portions) and most nutritional of all, by making turkey soup.  I just finished making a LARGE quantity of it for my husband and of course put the excess in small containers which are now in my freezer.  I add pearl barley, carrots, parsnip, and lots of tomatoes to increase the soup's nutritional value.  This would be my best recommendation for a nutritous meal when your appetite is at an all time low.

One important thing to remember as well if you are having problems with your appetite or if you find you can't seem to keep much food down, is to eat is SLOWLY and in SMALL AMOUNTS - remember that slow and steady wins the race!!!  By the way, if you have eater solid foods and they have not stayed down, don't despair!!!  Maybe you did eat the way too fast and in pieces that were too large.  Go try those same foods again but in smaller portions and smaller pieces. Chew them thoroughly.  If you don't try to eat that same food again, then you never will because you will have that fear of vomiting them up again.  Remember when you were a child just starting to ride your first two wheel bike.  Did you do it the first time and probably fall off???  If you didn't get back on and try it again, then you would NEVER have learned how to ride that two-wheeler, now would you???  So, now you get my point!

Offer small helpings of fruit every now and then as well throughout the day.  It all adds up and oh yes, patients/caregivers should keep a journal of just what your patient ate today!  Why?  Because it will give you a better prospective on what works and what doesn't for another day.

Good luck with your appetite.  Some days are diamonds while others are rough, but keep eating and you WILL feel sooo much better! 

If you have suggestions as well on what works for your appetite, please send them along.  I'll write another post about them.  I'll also be adding more ideas as well.


Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with what to get my wife who hardly eats anything these days. I so appreciate your post today!

Meya said...

Your suggestions sound delicious Deb. I will definitely try at least one of them today. Thanks my dear.