ARTICLES / General / Six New
Items on the Menu For a Liquid Diet /
by Rebekah Hindman
“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
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
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.
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