Seniors: Tips to Boost Your Calorie Intake

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
11/18/15  9:15 AM PST
Boost Seniors Calorie Intake

You may need to increase your calorie and protein intake if you have lost weight or are having trouble gaining weight. The following tips and recipes offer simple and inexpensive ways to boost your intake.

Tips to boost your calorie intake:

  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Snack often.
  • Prepare hot cereals and soups with milk or cream instead of water.
  • Top vegetables or noodles with cheese, cream sauce or butter/margarine.
  • Add ricotta or cottage cheese to casseroles and desserts.



Fortified Milk*

  • 1 quart whole or low-fat milk
  • 1 cup powdered non-fat dry milk or protein powder

Blend and chill for at least 6 hours

(211 calories and 14 grams of protein per 1-cup serving)


strawberry milkshake resized

Instant Breakfast Milkshake*

  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 envelope instant breakfast mix
  • 1 cup ice cream (any flavor)

(450 calories and 14 grams of protein per serving)

*These recipes can be made with lactose-free milk or soymilk instead of low-fat milk.  Blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth and store unused portions in the refrigerator.  Increase flavor and calories by adding fresh or frozen fruit or chocolate syrup.



chix pot pie resized -160565027

Easy Chicken Pot Pie


  • 1 2⁄3 cup frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (cut-up)
  • 1 can low sodium cream of chicken soup (condensed)
  • 1 cup baking mix (reduced fat)
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1 egg


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased, 9-inch pie plate
  3. Stir remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl with fork until blended. Pour over vegetables and chicken in pie plate.
  4. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

For more information, see related articles and nutrition resources here:

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  1. My wife is confined to bed and has been for 6 months. Has no appetite. Has lost a lot of flesh. Suffering from clear cell carcinoma.
    The left side of pelvis and hip joint eaten away so standing would be a serious danger. Since hospital wanted her removedI have been looking after her at home.
    Nowhere can I find any real advice on what she should be eating.

    1. HI John,
      Your wife may benefit from a high calorie nutritional drink such as Ensure. Has she tried anything similar?
      Small meals of high calorie, high protein foods will also be helpful.
      Good Luck,

  2. Ensure and Boost are great. There s a 30 grams of protein shake too, 1 g of sugar Premier sold at wal-mart great price. You can add ice cream and peanut-butter to shakes. Frozen fruits like frozen banana, will make shake like ice cream. I use plain whole yogart and a little honey if needed cause plain yogart calms sweetness down. I can’t take the sweetnes of the Premier shakes or the others. My grandmother and mother has used these too. Works great for extra calories and nutritional value. Hope this helps. Prayers for you both!

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