Food provides us with energy and nutrients which are the substances the body needs to enable us to function every day. No single food provides us with the right mixture of these nutrients which is why we need to try and eat a varied and balanced diet to keep well.
During times of illness, getting enough energy, protein, vitamins and minerals is essential to manage disease related malnutrition; it helps to reduce further weight loss, improve strength and reduce the risk of complications. For those who are malnourished and find it difficult to eat and drink enough the following might help:
- Eating small frequent nutritious meals, rather than fewer larger meals which can feel overwhelming when your appetite is poor
- Maximising intake during times of the day when you are feeling well or have the best appetite
- Having snacks and milky drinks between meals
- Choosing high calorie snacks, like cakes, cheese and crackers, nuts and dried fruit, toast with peanut butter
- Adding full fat milk, butter, cream, or cheese to sauces, soups, drinks and desserts.