Loss of appetite can be short-term or lasts for much longer periods. It can occur during the early stages of pregnancy, because of gastrointestinal disease, after chemotherapy or simply due to aging.

People with a small appetite need to eat quality foods, those that are nutrient dense, with fewer calories, but loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.

Increasing nutrient-dense foods

  • Contribute to good health
  • Reduce risk of infection
  • Build and maintain muscles
  • Aid wound healing
  • Provide energy
Tips for Stimulating the Appetite
  • Aim for five – six small meals daily 
  1. Frequent small meals can help improve appetite and prevent feeling overwhelmed at meal times
  2. Include three small meals and 3 high-calorie snacks.
  3. Make meals appetizing and include a variety of foods
  • Keep foods moist
    1. Foods with a high water content like fruits or with softer textures such as mashed foods and soups can improve appetite.
    2. Meals served with adequate gravy can also add flavor and moisture
  •  Drink more of your calories
  1.  Beverages may appeal to the palate more than foods
  2. These are easier to digest
  3. Make these high-calorie and nourishing
  • Sour foods may stimulate the appetite
    1. This promotes saliva production, which moistens food and may enhance taste
    2. Try a few began cherries or other sour fruit before your meal
  • Serve Attractive Meals
  1. Choose small cuts of meat that are minced or shredded
  2. Keep ground provisions and vegetables diced or thinly sliced
  3. Serve food and beverages the way you prefer (hot, cold, etc)
  • When possible make meal time a social event
    1. Eat in a comfortable well-lit room with others
    2. Use the good China and flatware to enhance mood
  •  Be mindful of food preparation
  1. Avoid strong odors in food preparation
  • Make the most of good days
    1. Indulge in your favourite food but with a healthy twist
Tips for Fortifying Your Food

As meals are small, add extra calories in the form of protein, fats and sugars

Adding Protein
  • Aim to have a serving of protein with each meal and in at least one snack daily
  1. Add milk to porridges, creamed / pureed soups, creamed ground provision, shakes and sauces
  2. Bake vegetables in a cheese sauce
  3. Add grated cheese to creamed potato, pasta, bread, biscuits, fish, omelette, baked beans and sauces
  4. Snack on yogurt
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to shakes or eat with fruits (apples)
Adding Fat
  • Add full fat milk to cereals, creamed potato and shakes
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cream, or cream cheese or butter to bread, scones, soups, fish, meat, scrambled egg and vegetables
  • Use a teaspoon of salad dressing or mayonnaise to salads, sandwiches or as a dip
  • Liven up shakes with Nutella or spread on to bread or biscuits.
  • Add ground linseed / flaxseed to shakes and cereal or used to thicken sauces and soups
Using extra Sugars
  • Spread honey, jam or marmalade on to bread, biscuits, scones or pancakes
  • Serve ice cream with cakes and puddings
  • Nibble on chocolate and dried fruit for snacks
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