Tips for Increasing Calories and Protein
Content Contributor: Tracey Birnhak Nutritional Counseling Services
It can be hard to meet your nutrient needs when receiving cancer treatment. Smaller meals and snacks are often easier to get in. These tips may help you get the most out of these “meals.”
- Space out your meals throughout the day (every 2-3 hours) rather than three larger meals. This can make it easier to eat and digest.
- If you have heartburn/reflux, avoid eating 2-3 hours before you go to bed and sleep with your head elevated.
- Many people have a better appetite in the morning since they haven’t eaten all night. Try to get in more calories at this meal.
- Breakfast foods are great at any time of day. Eggs are a great protein source.
- Homemade or purchased nutrition bars, puddings, and liquid nutritional supplements can also help you meet your daily caloric needs.
- Light physical activity helps maintain muscle and stimulates your appetite. Take a walk to the mailbox, around the neighborhood or at the mall to get out and get moving.
- Fluids take up valuable space in the stomach; so, drink them between meals rather than with them.
What should I eat?
Ways to Increase Protein in Food
Meats, poultry, fish
Beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds
Ways to Add Calories to Food
Butter and Margarine
Spreads (avocado, nut butters, beans)