Choose Low-Volume, High-Calorie Foods continued...
Starchy vegetables. They've got more calories than other veggies. A cup of corn has 156 and a cup of peas has 117. A medium baked potato has 159. A large artichoke has 80.
"Some people are afraid of the starchy vegetables, but they are a great filler and source of fiber and other nutrients," Farrell says. "That doesn't mean you should avoid the other vegetables. Eat both. Try a baked potato with broccoli and cheese on top."
Healthy oils and fats. You can get 120 calories from a tablespoon of olive oil.
"Swirl it into oatmeal, mashed potatoes, smoothies, anything with a smooth consistency," Larson says. "It's a great way to add calories without really noticing them."
"Adding healthy fats was a really easy way to add calories," Dumler says.
Wheat germ and flax meal. You can also mix these into other foods to give them added calories. Flax meal has 30 calories per tablespoon along with fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Wheat germ has 26 calories in a tablespoon and gives you important nutrients like fiber and folate.
Trail mix. It's a higher-calorie snack that brings together dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and any other goodies you want to add. Chocolate chips, anyone?
Drink Your Snacks
If you don't have much of an appetite for 100- to 200-calorie snacks between meals, try drinking your calories at snack time instead. Liquid can make you feel full, even if it's a zero-calorie glass of water, so make every sip count. Replace water with fruit juice or something thicker if you can. "Go for rich, cream-based liquids as much as you can," Farrell says.
Smoothies are a chance to toss in all those calorie-dense fruits, nuts, and liquids. "Add whole milk or vanilla yogurt, if you can tolerate it. If you like it, use nut butters, avocado, or olive oil in your smoothie," Farrell says.
"I began drinking a homemade smoothie consisting of protein powder, milk, yogurt, a banana and a high-calorie supplement that my dietitian suggested," Basham says.
At meal times, on the other hand, try to limit how much liquid you take in so that you can save room for solid food. If soup's on the menu, go for thick, creamy ones rather than clear broths.