High calorie liquid meals are foods where the ingredients are either liquid at room temperature, or where the ingredients become liquid when blended. Consumption of such foods does not require chewing.
While the range of options available in liquid diet plans are endless, ensuring adequate calories for those who do not want to loose weight, those recovering from debilitating illness and looking to add weight, or for those who require the energy to lead an active life remains a challenge.
The common method of preparing liquid meals is by blending and straining the ingredients. Identify the ingredients that make high calorie solid meals and blend such ingredients after thinning them with liquids to prepare liquid meals.
Blend meats, fish, poultry and ham with broths, whole milk, vegetable juice, tomato juice or paste. Blend vegetables with vegetable or tomato juice, broths, strained baby vegetables or salad dressing. Blend starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta and rice using whole milk, broth, creamed soups, gravies, sour cream or sauces. Blend fruits with their own juice syrup. Blend cereals with honey, molasses, syrup, butter, margarine, jellies or jams.
Some good options for high calorie liquid meals include:
- Smoothies. Mix a cup each of peach, fresh apple, strawberry, banana or any other soft fruit, a cup of fortified milk and 2 cups of cottage cheese and yogurt. A normal smoothie provides about 160 calories, and adding regular yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream or vegetable oils add to the calories. A scoop of ice cream alone provides 145 additional calories, and a cup of yogurt provides about 110 calories.
- Milkshakes. Mix a cup of fortified milk, 2 cups of ice cream and 2 tablespoons of each vanilla extract and any fruit syrup. A container of thick milkshake (313 grams) provide about 351 calories, including 85 calories from fat. Add yogurt, cottage cheese, custard or whipping cream to add to the calories.
- Non-dairy slushy punch. Mix 2 ripe bananas, a cup of sugar, 3 cups pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, a can of frozen orange juice and a liter of carbonated water or lemon-lime beverage. A medium banana provides about 105 calories, a cup of pineapple juice provides 133 calories and a cup of orange juice provides 122 calories, ensuring that the selected recipe provides a minimum of 730 calories.
- Malt. Mix 2 cups of whole milk, a tablespoon of malted milk powder and a scoop of ice cream. A cup of whole milk provides about 150 calories and a scoop of ice cream provides 145 calories, ensuring that the malt ice cream mix provides close to 450 calories.
- Non-diary fruit mix. Mix a cup of the selected fruit, 2 cups of sherbet and six ounces of ginger ale.
- Fruit and cream mix. Mix a cup each of whole milk, vanilla ice cream and canned fruit such as peach, apricot or pear with syrup.
Commercial liquid diets, also known as supplements that come in liquid, pudding and powder forms, including prepackaged blenderized diets made from whole foods rank as a convenient alternative to homemade preparations.
Balanced supplements such as Complan and Build Up come in powder form, to be made into milkshakes, soups, hot drinks or cold drinks.
Complete meal supplements contain nutrients and directly replace a meal. Popular milkshake based complete supplements include Ensure Plus, Fresubin Energy, Fortisip, Resource Shake and Clinutren. Popular fruit juice based complete supplements include Ensure Plus Juce, Fortijuce, Clinutren Fruit, Resource Fruit and Provide Xtra.
At times, normal preparation of liquid meals might fail to provide the required calories. Ways to add calories to liquid meals include
- adding tasteless high protein and energy powders such as Polycal and Maxijul
- using whole milk, soy or rice milk, instead of low-fat milk
- adding butter to hot cereal and soups
- adding sugar or glucose syrup to beverages
- adding some pumpkin or sesame seeds to the mix
- consuming six to eight small liquid meals a day to increase quantum of intake
Make sure to consult a certified dietitian or a doctor before starting a diet plan of high calorie liquid meals, to ensure that the adopted liquid diet plan is balanced, suits one’s special needs and confirms to healthy eating guidelines.
- “Special Diets For Special Needs.” Retrieved from https://rex.nci.nih.gov/NCI_Pub_Interface/Eating_Hints/eatdiets.html on April 16, 2011.
- University of Carolina Health System. “High Calorie Liquid Diet.” Retrieved from https://uvahealth.com/services/digestive-health-1/images-and-docs/highcalliqdiet.pdf on April 16, 2011.
- CancerHelp UK. “High calorie drinks.” Retrieved from https://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/coping-with-cancer/coping-physically/diet/managing/weight/high-calorie-drinks on April 16, 2011.