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Six New Items on the Menu For a Liquid Diet

by Rebekah Hindman
(Page 1 of 3)

“Food has been the main topic in our house for the last year,” shares an anonymous patient on the Cancer Survivor Network web site. “My husband says he’s tired of hearing about what I can or can’t eat. I couldn’t do Ensure or Boost at all. I’m not sure how I survived the six months—lost 55 pounds. . So for you caregivers, please be patient. Keep trying different foods.”

Many caregivers cringe as they feed loved ones the same meal day-in and day-out. The dilemmas of a liquid diet disturb not only victims of cancer, but also many other patients and caregivers dealing with lesser-known health issues. The diet-limiting aspects of diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, and progressive dementia can discourage even the most dedicated caregivers. The irrepressible tremors of Parkinson’s make eating a near impossible task. Dementia can cause even the thought process involved in eating to be a struggle. Because of denture problems, chewing is also a difficult task.

Oftentimes a liquid or pureed diet is the best solution to eating problems. The patient receives the important nutrients he needs, but without the laborious struggle of spending over an hour to consume only a few bites. But sometimes the added nutrition can come at the cost of taste. Lack of appetite is a typical problem among the elderly, which is only enhanced if the meal is unappealing. This doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some helpful new menu options to spice up the liquid diet of your loved one.

Breakfast Items

Yogurt and fruit make breakfast tasty and healthy. Many yogurt drinks are on the dairy aisle of any grocery store. Also try buying plain yogurt, and then add your own fruit blends. Just make sure to puree the fruit to a manageable consistency. Yogurt is rich in calcium, and fruits are great sources for other vitamins.

For a drink, cranberry juice acts as a superb preventative measure against UTI’s (urinary tract infections) that often plague older or bedridden people. Cran-grape juice tastes wonderful to someone who would wince at a glass of straight cranberry juice. Rich antioxidants permeate this drink.

Thin oatmeal or cream of wheat provides necessary fiber, but you can add some taste by layering it with pureed fruit, molasses, or brown sugar. Shoot for the maximum amount of calories or sugar in the least amount of food because eating difficulties and a lack of appetite can lead to malnutrition. Top off breakfast with a cup of warm hot chocolate. In the place of a generic hot chocolate mix, substitute a chocolate heath-drink supplement, which is richer in vitamins.

 

 
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