High Calorie Diet

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High Calorie Diet

Tips for increasing food intake:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals (4-6 times/day); if you are more hungry at a certain time, make that your biggest meal.
  • If you get distracted easily and have trouble finishing your meal, use a kitchen timer to set meal time parameters.
  • Drink fluids between meals instead of with meals. Fluids with meals can make you feel full.
  • Instead of filling up on low calorie beverages such as water, drink milk or a liquid supplement like Pediasure.
  • Get kids involved with the planning and preparation of the meal. Encourage 1 tablespoon of each food group per age, per meal.

Ideas for adding calories to your diet:

  • Keep snacks handy, such as trail mix, granola bars, cheese cubes, and yogurt.
  • Put peanut butter (94 kcal/T) on bread, crackers, fruits, vegetables; in baked goods, milkshakes, yogurt and oatmeal.
  • Add chopped nuts (50 kcal/T) to cereals, soups, mashed potatoes, salads, casseroles, pudding, fruits and vegetables.
  • Spread hummus ( 17 kcal/T) on bread or crackers. Use it as a dip for vegetables. Add to potatoes or sandwiches.
  • Add pesto (56 kcal/T) to pasta, bread, sandwiches, and pizza.
  • Use whole milk (20 kcal/oz) in instant breakfast, hot cereals, and soups
  • Add one tablespoon of dry milk powder (16 kcal/T) to each cup of milk, soup, mashed potatoes, or cooked cereals.
  • For additional calories, use half and half (20 kcal/T), evaporated whole milk (25 kcal/T) or heavy cream (60 kcal/T) as a substitute or partial substitute for milk in baked goods, milkshakes, hot cereals and soups, or sauces.
  • Melt cheese (120 kcal/oz) on sandwiches, bread, muffins, vegetables, and casseroles. Sprinkle grated cheese on eggs, pasta, soups and salads.
  • Use granola (115 kcal/oz) as a topping on cereal, yogurt, applesauce or in trail mix.


Picky eaters, children with sensory issues, or eating disorders may find it challenging to change or add new foods to their diet. Listed below are “hidden” ways to increase calories in the diet.


Increase calories by adding these to foods you already eat:

  • Add ground flax seed (35 kcal/T) to smoothies, pancake mix, casseroles, cereals, yogurt, and baked goods.
  • Add olive oil or avocado oil (120 kcal/T) to soups, casseroles, gravies, spaghetti sauce, oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, pancake mix
  • Add butter or margarine (110 kcal/T) to pancakes, pasta, vegetables, baked goods casseroles.
  • Use sour cream (25 kcal/T) on vegetables, potatoes and in casseroles and dips.
  • Add cream cheese (50 kcal/T) to toast, sandwiches, baked goods and in dips or scrambled eggs.
  • Use mayonnaise (100 kcal/T) on sandwiches and in pasta, salads, dips, and deviled eggs
  • Add salad dressing or condiments (20-100 kcal/T) to meats, potatoes, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
  • Add avocado (18 kcal/T) to sandwiches, pasta, dips, eggs, and salads.
  • Add instant breakfast packet (130 kcal) to pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, or whole milk.



Meal in a Glass

1 cup whole milk

1 packet Carnation Instant Breakfast

1/3 cup crushed pineapple

Directions: Blend 5-10 seconds on high speed blender

Calories: 230, Protein: 15 g


High Calorie Milkshake

1 cup ice cream

1/2 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)

1 tsp vanilla flavoring

1/4 cup karo Syrup

Directions: Mix all ingredients together.

Calories: 780, Protein: 5 g


Chocolate PB Milkshake

1 cup ice cream

1/4 cup half and half

1 1/2 T peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 T chocolate syrup

Directions: Blend ingredients together

Calories: 245, Protein: 6 g


Power Milk

1 cup whole milk

1 T chocolate or strawberry syrup

1 T heavy cream

Directions: blend together

Calories: 250, Protein: 8 g

Chicken Salad

3/4 cup shredded chicken

3 T mayonnaise

1 T chopped nuts

1/2 T dried cranberries

1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: mix all ingredients together, refrigerate

Calories: 533, Protein: 20 g


Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats

1 cup diced strawberries

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 plain Greek yogurt

1 T honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 oz plain cream cheese

1 cup rolled oats

1 T chia seeds

Pinch of salt

1 graham cracker, crushed

Directions: mix first 9 ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. Top with added strawberries and graham cracker crumbles.

Calories: 373, Protein: 15 g

(source: www.muscleforlife.com)


Written by our Registered Dietitian, Madden Wilson, RDN, LDN, CNSC.

For more information or help managing your calorie needs, call our office (865-546-3998) to schedule an appointment with Madden.