Patients may require a liquid diet due to illness, treatment, dental issues or post-surgery recovery. Although a wide range of foods can be used in a liquid diet, it may be difficult to obtain adequate calories. This can be problematic for people who do not need to lose weight, or have already lost weight because of their health condition. Fortunately, there are ways you can add calories to a liquid diet.
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This diet consists of foods that are naturally liquids or that can be liquefied with a blender or food processor. The diet includes foods that become liquid at room temperature, according to Drugs.com. You should be able to drink the foods with a large straw and without any chewing.
Broth and cream soups are staples of a liquid diet. Other standard liquid diet foods as listed by Drugs.com include hot cereals such as cream of rice, pudding, gelatin, ice pops, ice cream and other frozen desserts, yogurt, milkshakes, soy and rice milk, and fruit and vegetable juice.
Several tips can help you design a high-calorie liquid diet, as listed by the University of Virginia Health System. Drink whole milk rather than low-fat versions and use whole milk for cooking. Add 1 c. of whole milk powder to 1 qt. whole milk for extra calories. Add nutritional supplements such as Ensure, breakfast powders, yogurt and heavy syrup from canned fruit to milk, milkshakes and smoothies. Add pureed potatoes to soup along with butter or vegetable oil. When eating hot cereals, add maple syrup, molasses, honey or butter.
Any foods can be pureed, although you may need to strain them to make them drinkable, as noted by the University of Virginia Health System. Use soft, tender meat, cooked vegetables, pasta and rice, and add broth, cream soup, milk, vegetable juice, gravy or sauce to the blender or food processor. Pasta dishes are especially good for high-calorie pureed meals. Try lasagna, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese and casseroles.
If you have difficulty eating regular-sized meals due to your health situation, eat smaller and more frequent meals. Eat small amounts at one time, particularly in the first few days, and eat and drink slowly, recommends Brigham and Women's Hospital. If you must follow this diet more than three weeks, you may need to take a liquid vitamin and mineral supplement.