Easy Ways to Add Fat to a Dysphagia Diet

Dysphagia Recipes with Healthy Fat | Caregiving Ideas from Give a Care

Looking to pump up the calorie content of a dysphagia diet? Has your loved one’s doctor recommended gaining weight to help with overall health? For someone you care for who has trouble swallowing and might be on medicines with side effects that reduce appetite, the more fat you can pack into even a small snack, the better. Here are some fat-forward additions for a dysphagia diet:

  • Heavy cream: Add heavy cream (same thing as heavy whipping cream) to soups and desserts you plan to puree or whip. With a milk fat content between 36 and 40%, this is great way to add calories in small doses. And on that note . . .
  • Ice cream: “Wait!” you say, “Dysphagia patients can’t eat ice cream!” and you’re right. Ice cream alone melts quickly in the mouth and becomes thin and easy to aspirate on. BUT full fat ice cream blended in a milk shake with other foods (peanut butter, squash, banana, raspberries, nutella, you name it) makes a fantastic high calorie meal for your loved one.
  • Avocado: This fabulous fruit is high in heart-healthy monosaturated fats and doesn’t pack a whole lot of flavor so you can blend it with savory or sweet dishes.
  • Coconut cream: You can find cans of coconut cream typically in the ethnic (Asian or Hispanic) sections of the grocery store and it is not wildly expensive. Coconut cream comes already pretty thick since much of the coconut water has been strained out, and it’s filled with energy-boosting fatty acids that are natural antioxidants and immunity boosters. Add to smoothies, curry and Thai peanut butter dishes.
  • Peanut Butter: Did you know that just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains 24% of your total daily allotment of fat? Peanut butter goes great in smoothies, milkshakes, and Asian-inspired purees with lime, ginger and soy sauce. It’s also a great way to incorporate more protein into the diet which is good for all over immune health and helps with skin issues like bed sores. Try other nut butters too for added flavor, like almond or cashew butter.
  • Cheese: Full fat cheeses are delicious natural ways to add fat, protein and sodium to a dysphagia diet. Just 1 oz. of cheddar cheese is typically going to have over 100 calories in it – add some to savory soups and stews like broccoli cheddar is an obvious go-to. Easier to melt cheeses like goat or fontina are great additions to pureed grits and mashed potatoes too.

Thanks for checking out these fun, FAT ideas from Give a Care for healthy dysphagia diets. What would you add to the list?

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