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Looking for suggestions of sweet tasting, high protein foods (weight not an issue here).....

Posted by dreamweaver

I take care of my 90 year old mother. She has mild dementia (mostly short term memory and never seems sure if she is dreaming or if she is actually awake) and more recently she had a TIA last month. Presently she has returned to the hospital for a few days due to a recurring bladder infection that seems to have built up resistance to the antibiotics she's been on. She also has a bed sore that has developed since her TIA as she is not as mobile due to unsteadyness on her feet and other mobility problems she had previous (hip replacement with drop foot due to nerve damage to the lower extremity and poor circulation issues).

Anyway, the doctor has indicated that we must push her to eat more protein to help in healing this bedsore and build up her strength. Unfortunately my mother is getting more and more fussy about what she eats... loving her treats and sweet foods and has lost interest in most other foods totally but especially in meats partially due to them being more difficult to chew (she has worn only her top plate of false teeth for the past 50 years). She dislikes lentils and beans as well. I tease her about how she would never have let us get away from the table without finishing what is on our plates and here now the table is turned but I can't force her to eat. She will eat peanut butter but only in a peanut butter and jam sandwich which can't become her daily meal.

So I am at a loss on what to feed her and am looking for suggestions on foods that are high in protein, easy to chew, and also sweet that I could take to her while she is in the hospital plus possibly add to the menu once she returns home so that I don't have to continually badger her to eat her protein or meat that she is not wanting to eat.  

My mother doesn't have any weight issues (she's only 135 lbs) and she is not diabetic.

 I should also mention that the town we live in is very small and the hospital is supposed to be emergency care only as we only have 2 doctors here. This also means that I don't have access to a dietician that could advise me locally and the closest one is 2 hours away.. but waiting for an appointment and then attempting to transport my mother there would not be totally feasible. 

Looking forward to hearing any suggestions you might have. Thank you.

Answers (2)
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Hello! I am a registered dietitian who has clinical experience both in a hospital and long-term care facility. I also have a 94 year old grandmother who barely eats these days, so I can relate to seeking out high protein foods.

 First, did your mother receive a swallow evaluation at all while in the hospital? Usually elderly patients who suffer from a TIA may have some residual effects such as poor swallowing. If you think her swallowing is fine and she is not at risk of aspriation, then I would experiment with different types of high protein foods and supplements.

Have you tried any of the high protein liquid supplements, such as Ensure, Ensure Plus, or Boost? That would be my first try because they are very high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and come in sweet-tasting flavors such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  There is a protein "shot" that we used in the hospital called ProSource. It is not sweet-tasting, but you can add it to sweet foods like pudding, yogurt or applesauce. Ensure also makes puddings, though not as high in protein as the bottled shakes.

As for "real" foods that are somewhat high in protein (although not as much as the supplements) and sweet-tasting: flavored yogurts, peanut butter, chocolate milk, puddings, Carnation Intant breakfast. You could make your own shake with milk, ice cream, and berries. The milk will provide a good dose of protein. Also, Silk Vanilla soy milk is pretty yummy and a good source of protein. 

High protein plus sweet tasting can be hard to find. You could make French toast and drizzle with syrup. Other sources of protein (minus the ones you said she's not liking), but not sweet, include: eggs, cottage cheese, regular cheeses, nuts (although I'd be careful with these based on her chewing/swallowing ability. 

If you can get her to drink the supplements once or twice a day, and switch it up with one of the other suggestions, that my keep her from getting bored.  Good luck!


High Protein Foods List

This is a searchable collection of nutritional data on thousands of foods for healthy diet.  you can search by categories to choose one of favorite foods for your old mother.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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