1. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Since her diagnosis five years ago my mam has gone from a plump 11 stone or so, to 7 and a half stone. At only 4' 11" she is, technically, now in the 'healthy' weight range for her height (although to me she looks very thin, having known her being quite plump for many years). Poor mam, she battled for years to get her weight down, and now this vile illness is doing it for her.

    However, if she continues on this downward trend, it won't be too long before she's classed as being underweight.

    I know that many of you will have faced similar problems, and I wondered if anyone could give us some tips as to how to increase her food intake, given that getting her to eat a proper meal is now becoming difficult. The GP has advised increasing carbohydrates, and I've suggested dad give her finger foods that she can walk around and eat.

    Any other ideas? She has also dramatically reduced the amount of fluid she drinks - she used to be a tea-aholic but now hardly drinks anything. I've told dad about the jelly and ice lollies ideas I've read about on here - any other suggestions would be most welcome.
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    Try things like Weetabix with cream and sugar and bananas mashed with cream - all cream should be double.

    You might find something useful >>>HERE<<<
  3. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    When in hospital my Mom, same height as yours went down to 5.5 stone. Dietician put her own "Ensure Plus" (there are other makes like "fortisip") three times a day. Mom is now back up to normal weight but is still on one a day as she is not keen on eating at the moment. Only 220ml so easy to encourage.

    Get the GP to organise a Dietician to visit as they are expensive and are available on prescription.

    Good luck.:)
  4. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Thank you so much nitram and Pete for your very quick replies! I'll definitely suggest the weetabix idea, and have a good read of the link you provided nitram. Pete, I suggested the fortisip drinks to dad but we weren't sure how to get them, so thanks for that. However, I confess that I don't know exactly what they are - are they a bit like a milkshake? I don't know whether mam would go for that sort of thing but it's worth a try.
  5. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    I didn't think my Mom would. She never used to like any kind of pudding but the NH make sure she now has extra large helping.:confused::eek:

    The ensure are milkshake and also come in juice flavours. When in hospital and she had those I was quite happy if she did not eat. The weight piled on. Can be frozen into ice cubes or lollies.

    The dietician may be able to offer up so much more and they are obviously not suitable for everyone so get proper help.
  6. barny

    barny Registered User

    Jan 20, 2006
    I used to add complan stir in to soups, weetabix and drinks. My mum would not drink the fortified drinks prescribed, she said they tasted horrible. I also added cream to lots of things like rice pudding, semolina etc. sweet things always went down better so I would make baked custards, blancmange and milk jellies etc. Home made soups can easily be made with nutritious ingredients. Our dietician came out to see us and gave me lots of tips. Although mums weight didn't go back up she maintained the weight she was.
  7. Dazmum

    Dazmum Registered User

    #7 Dazmum, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
    My mum's care home uses Fortisips a lot CG, my dad used to have them too. I have heard some people here say that they don't taste that nice, but they do have a ton of calories in them and there are different kinds for different sorts of needs. As Pete says, maybe your mam's GP could arrange for them to be on prescription. I had to ask for them when dad was in hospital as he hated the food there and was losing weight.

    What about full cream custard, with a trifle or sponge pudding? Does she have sweet tooth? I suppose if she won't sit down to eat, it will need to be something that can be eaten on the move....but if she will sit, what about mashed potato with butter?

    What about breakfast biscuits and bars that are high energy?
  8. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    My husband has Ensure, he has the pots, a bit like a thick yoghurt. There are 170 calories in a pot and he has two a day. Ensure also make flavoured drinks and the Ensure Plus has 350 calories.

    In my husband's nursing home they use cream and butter in food to increase calories. Both go into their mashed potatoes. There custard is very sweet too so plenty of sugar in that. Cream is used with lots of the puddings too.

    For snacks there are chocolate bars, fresh cream eclairs and jam doughnuts. Food heaven.

    Their diet is very balanced with fresh fruit used a lot.
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Do be aware that if you suddenly up her fat intake, you may have to deal with the laxative effect that that has. Well laxative is probably the wrong word, but it most certainly acts as a stool softener.

    If you want the technical reasons for this read this http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v65/n2/abs/ejcn2010235a.html
  10. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    Don't know whether anything here helps

    My mother's weight has dropped to little over 6 stone (her 'normal' adult weight was around 9 and a half stone. She doesn't tolerate much in the way of dairy products which rules out many of the normal solutions. So I am resorting to the little and often technique. A piece of cake with tea in the afternoon, soups at the start of supper each night (I noticed that the hospital did that when she was there recently having become dehydrated) - I add carbohydrates such as rice when making them and blend it all together so she doesn't notice; I've added fruit juice at breakfast and often make her a tart or crumble for pud. I'm not sure she is putting on weight but it has certainly stabilised. It's quite hard work and I have to try not to eat it all as I will get even more overweight!
  11. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    I know it sounds mad but slimfast is a balanced meal and tastes ok. Its about 250 cals. Also fruitcake and maderia cake. My mum ate this when all else failed.
  12. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    CG, I don't know if your Mum is allowed alcohol with her meds but my Mum loved having advokaat and a chocolate liqueur drink (Al*i do a good version) as a treat - which turned into a regular and pleasurable way to add extra calories! x
  13. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    My mum likes finger foods, enjoys things like a bit of pork pie, a chicken drumstick, a few crisps on the side. She has jelly or tinned fruit for pudding, things like that. Chopped melon or pineapple goes down well.

    The GP has prescribed Complan drinks, which she manages to at least sip.

    Still losing weight, but more slowly than earlier this year.....

    Good luck CG :)

    Lindy xx
  14. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    #14 CollegeGirl, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
    Thank you so much for all your tips! I'm making a list of them all and I'll pass them onto dad.

    Unfortunately doing much in the way of cooking is very difficult for him. Mam pesters him while he stands at the oven and it's dangerous, so making things from scratch is really hard, which does complicate things a bit.

    But you have given me lots of ideas, much food for thought (groan) so thank you.
  15. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    My wife's 4' 11" too and from being a size 12/14 she went down to 6 stone 4oz, it's one of the things that made the doctors realise something was actually wrong.
    Smaller meals and a dessert, chocolate biscuits with her coffee anything really to add in calories. I feel it's past the point where the long term damage of an "unhealthy" diet is outweighed (literally) by the benefits of being a healthy weight.
    It's been widely reported how worse the very slim fare when they get ill as their body has no "resources" to call on.
  16. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    For some reason I couldn't get the link, so have copied and pasted the article.
    My mum was prescribed Resouce Dessert Energy by th GP.
    She adored the vanilla and think it was caramel flavour, they are very sweet and high in calories. I'd avoid the chocolate flavour if they skill make it ,I didn't like it nd I adore chocolate.
    We never tried the fruit or thickened drinks mentioned

    You are in the UK siteChange Country
    About us
    Business Segments
    Fields of Application
    NHSc > Products
    Resource® Dessert Energy

    Resource Dessert Energy is a 1.6 kcal/g ready to use semi-solid nutritional supplement. It is a nutritionally complete Food for Special Medical Purposes for use under medical supervision. It is available in 3 popular dessert flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate and Caramel.
    Download Product Datasheet >>
    Features and Nutritional Information

    1.6 kcal per g
    200 kcal and 6.0 g protein per 125g cup
    Available in 125g cups
    Pudding consistency
    Suitable for patients with dysphagia with increased nutritional requirements
    ACBS approved. Indicated for disease related malnutrition, short bowel syndrome, intractable malabsorption, bowel fistulae, proven inflammatory bowel disease, dysphagia, pre-operative preparation of undernourished patients, after total gastrectomy, CAPD and haemodialysis.
    Not suitable for children under 3 years of age
    To be used with caution in children under 5 years of age
    Must be used under medical supervision.

    Ordering Information
    Related Products

    Resource® Dessert Fruit
    Resource Dessert Fruit is a 1.6 kcal/g ready to use semi-solid, fruit based nutritional supplement. It is a nutritionally complete Food for Special Medical Purposes for use under medical supervision. This delicious dessert is available in three flavours: Apple, Apple-Strawberry and Apple-Peach.
    Resource® Thickened Drinks
    Resource Thickened Drinks are ready to use, single serving, pre-thickened drinks for patients with swallowing difficulties. Resource® Thickened Drinks are Foods for Special Medical Purposes and are for use under medical supervision. The drinks are available in two popular juice flavours and two consistencies: • Apple and Orange flavours • Syrup and Custard consistencies

    Resource® ThickenUp™
    Resource ThickenUp Powder is an instant food and drink thickener for patients with swallowing difficulties. Resource ThickenUp mixes easily and rapidly to thicken hot and cold liquids and foods to a desired consistency.

    Resource® ThickenUp™ Clear
    Resource ThickenUp Clear is an innovative instant food and drink thickener designed to thicken hot and cold food or liquid to help people with swallowing difficulties. It is a food for special medical purposes for the dietary management of patients with swallowing difficulties. Unlike other thickeners it remains clear so does not change the look or smell of your food and drinks. It is available in both a tin and stick packs.

    Contact us
    Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences
    Nestlé Nutrition Institute
    Peptamen Smartflex
    © 2013 Nestlé Health Science
    Site MapContact UsYour DataJ
  17. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    This has been my feeling for quite some time, Kevin, but convincing my dad has taken some doing! The poor man is desperately trying to keep to their previously healthy diet, but this is no longer enough and mam often just refuses to eat. Combined with the amount of pacing around that she does, her weight loss is speeding up now.

    Personally, I think now is the time to simply indulge her in any food that she will eat. If that's biscuits and cakes all day long, then so be it. A friend they hadn't seen for a while told him she looked frail, which shocked him quite a bit I think, plus on an unrelated visit to the GP she insisted on weighing her and expressed concern at her weight loss. I think he's finally coming round to the idea that calories are now more important than healthy eating.

    Lin - thank you very much for copying that article. I have made a note of these desserts also and added them to my list for dad.

    All your replies are very much appreciated, thank you xx
  18. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    jelly and cream.
    Does your mum still feed herself or is this becoming an issue? Because we found that mum just didn't know how to do it on some occasions and it appeared she didn't want the food but that wasn't the case.
    We also had difficulty keeping mum sitting at the table as she got up and walked off between every mouthful, one of us had to go after her and persuade her back, it was very trying.
    I know your dad is like mine in his determination to keep your mum as she is, dad didn't want to to change the sort of meals they ate or anything about meal times and I feel in retrospect that this kept mum using the skills she had for longer, (but I am probably unreliable in my opinions as it is all based on love and emotions and loyalty, you know the sort of thing). Now mum is in a care home and all her meals are minced up or pureed which she seems to manage so very much better so maybe we kept her on "normal" food too long, I don't know.
    Anyway, just my thoughts on your dilemma.
  19. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    #19 CollegeGirl, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
    Thanks for your thoughts, SisterM. Mam can still put finger food in her mouth but often has difficulty using cutlery. Sometimes she can, sometimes she can't. She has occasional problems with swallowing. Like your mum, she often won't sit at the table and gets up and wanders around.

    It's very difficult, and not living with them, I probably don't know the half of it, which is why I'm very wary of trying to tell dad what to do! But I do want to help him cope with this, and I want to help mam to gain a little weight if possible, or at least to not lose any more.

    One thing I do know is that she refuses to eat or drink anything at all for at least a couple of hours after getting up. Eventually dad manages to get half a slice of toast and honey into her, and half a cup of tea maybe, but that's all.
  20. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Can mashed potato be frozen?

    As I've mentioned before, dad has trouble cooking from scratch. Peeling potatoes, then cooking and mashing them is something that's difficult for him because of the pester-factor from mam.

    If I cooked a load of potato and mashed it, could I freeze it in portions for him to, say, microwave? Would this work? Would I add butter/milk/cream before freezing or leave that for dad to add when he microwaves it?

    (He's tried various ready-mashed fresh potato that most supermarkets do, and doesn't like it, nor do they like things like Smash.)

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.