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He usually only eats half or less. He is in moderate Alzheimer's and at times, relatively ok, just forgetful. He does drink Boost, but has anyone had good luck with something else?

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Boost makes a very high calorie version (530 calories, 22g protein), but you have to buy it online as I haven't found it available at retail stores. For my husband I also used a supplement called "benecalorie" which has 330 calories and 7g high-quality protein per 1.5 oz container. It's basically flavorless, so can be mixed into a lot of foods--smoothies or shakes, mashed potatoes, hot cereals, soups, casseroles, yogurt, puddings, etc. The calories in benecalorie are mainly from good fats. For breakfast we'd make a smoothie of the very high calorie boost, benecalorie, and several fruits, e.g. banana, frozen mango or strawberries, etc. so it would be close to 1,000 calories. My husband had a good appetite, but lost a lot of weight becasue he had esopogeal stricture so had trouble with eating a lot at one time. Liquids in the morning seemed to go down well, which is why this supercharged smoothie worked so well.
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Reply to newbiewife
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I appreciate the grief and distress that you are experiencing watching your ill husband eat less and lose weight; your feelings of helplessness and wanting to do more, feed more, offer more are normal for one who loves and cares.

Being " present" with your husband, attentive, assuring, accepting on this journey with Alzheimer's is a most vital and important way of nurturing, " feeding" him with spiritual support, that is giving him " hope, purpose, direction";. this is equally if not more so important than edible food ...

Many illnesses, including Alzheimer's, decrease one' s appetite, patients eat less as they need less; for family members this is one of the most difficult changes to watch, and it is normal to want to make more foods etc. Offering the foods as long as the doctor says to and the patient expresses some interest, is fine. However, one must simply respect the patient right to refuse, anything, including food as they , their bodies instincts know best.

Love your husband with presence and assurance and affirmation. This is nourishing...

Practice your own good self care...eat well what you want, exercise, stay hydrated, honor other things specific to your health and needs.

Peace.
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Reply to janicemeyer18
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OldArkie Nov 6, 2022
This is pretty much what the doctor told me...My 85 YO wife with Alzheimer's has lost 80 pounds in 2 years and hardly eats anything, despite my begging and coaxing and preparing a variety of all kinds of foods. I ask what she will eat and she can't remember what anything tastes like! To compound the problem, she has an intrathoracic stomach and her entire stomach is in her chest with her esophagus bent at 90 degree angle so her throat is drenched in acid every time she eats. Takes liquid anti-acid every hour. Our doctor said sometimes you can't get them to eat and tried to reassure me when he said that not eating was as painless and simple way to pass as any. Sometimes we have to accept the inevitable.
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Take all that diet advice you have absorbed through the years and reverse it. Concentrate on calorie dense food in small potions -
Mashed potatoes loaded with real butter or cream.
Ditto in soups and custards.
Everything is better with a cheese sauce or gravy.
Peanut butter or other nut butters.
Peanuts and mixed nuts and seeds for snacks, or trail mix.
Avocado if that's your thing... chips and guacamole
There are tons of smoothies - make them with full fat Greek yogurt, bananas etc
French fries, sweet potato fries and all those other diet no nos
Beverages can add a lot of calories
Dessert is always appealing

He may do better eating smaller snacks several times a day rather than trying to eat more at meal times. And those people like to diss supplements like boost and ensure but this is what they were made for and can make a huge difference.

One other thought - check if he may be having difficulty with his teeth or chewing properly or swallowing, there are strategies to cope with all those too.
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Reply to cwillie
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Here are some ideas in case you ar interested. Add hidden healthy fat like the olive oil which says "mild tasting" or a little butter if his triglycerides are not an issue. Coconut oil is great on and in baked products and popcorn, while palm oil is good during baking to keep dough moist and soft.

Avocado has a 14g fiber yet is probably 99% fat, so that could go in casseroles & he wouldn't even notice. A person can live a long time while lean but it's good to have "bribe foods" on hand, like puddings, pastries, etc... for times when he just won't eat.

Lard contains a lot of sustaining fat energy and huge amount of the hormone vitamin, Vit D, but it is high in cholesterol. So, you can add real bacon bits, or a tad of lard. My dad used to like those junk food pig ear things. I recommend a little fried liver once in a while, with sauteed onions. It is a very fatty meal.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate (cocoa butter) are loaded with fat and carbohydrates. You can live weeks on chocolate alone but of course that's not a good idea, but it tells you how valuable chocolate is. If you are using fake sugar in his coffee, might want to use honey because it is high calorie while not too bad for health. Always put a little chocolate syrup or creamed chocolate baking powder in his coffee for extra carbohydrates from the cocoa bean, which is loaded. You can make a slurry of peanut or almond butter and a few TB of coffee, then add his creamer and coffee to come out with a wonderful peanut butter latte which is full of calories and very tasty. You will save money on creamer because the creamy nut butter is creamy too already.

Nuts and nut butters are almost all fat, and very sustaining. So imagine his favorite nuts dipped in chocolate, or adding a little smooth peanut butter to his last cup of coffee each morning. Keeping those individually wrapped mini-candy bars on hand can help, too.

Soda is very fattening, and the lighter colored ones are better for our organs.

A lot of manufactured foods are prepared in oil, like sardines, mackerel, salmon, oysters, artichokes (good for lowering triglycerides), etc... For him, don't buy the ones packed in water, but get the oily ones.

Few men will turn down the most expensive canned steak chili soups, or a warmed up Dinty Moore "beef stew" either from a can or from their long-shelf-life plastic microwavable trays.

Deep frying is easy and some people use the oil a couple times so it's less expensive. Almost anything can be deep-fried, and the oils that I think are best are mild-tasting olive oil & coconut oil. Or butter, for sauteed mushrooms, which are full of Vit D and Vit B. You could make a habit of preparing some sautee (fry) food and just add it to the contents of almost any dinner recipe. For instance, a pint or two of soft, creamy fried garlic, onions, bit of mushrooms, maybe some bell pepper for flavor, celery for health - should last a week in the fridge & you can freeze one for next week. When done correctly, in sparse moderation, he shouldn't even notice anything but a little added flavor. He might appreciate the extra flavor, since older people don't get the full taste of their food due to aging of the taste buds.

Cheeses are very flavorful & sustaining. Brie is almost all fat, and buttery, so he won't even notice it melted in his food. In the stores, notice the hard cheeses, soft cheeses, individually wrapped cheeses you can set near him, shredded cheeses, sliced cheeses, and even low-sodium spray cheese in some stores. The shredded cheeses nowadays can be found as affordably as the old chunks you had to buy. Cheese can be a little binding, as can nuts, so if constipation is an issue you might need to adjust these ideas. Whenever you make a meal, use a little of your prepared stir fry base, then add the savory dish, then top it off with creamy sauces, melted cheese, crushed nuts, avocado slices. Consider making Chicken Mole once to see if he likes.
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Reply to marybost
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GAinPA Nov 6, 2022
I love your enthusiasm and ability to create small adjustments. It’s a gift.
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Agree with prior post regarding olive oil. Drizzle on all his sandwiches. Sneak it in. A healthy fat! A banana will add weight - you can pinch off a piece and place in his mouth throughout the day so it does not seem like too much for him (not the chore to eat a giant banana). One thing that I think is key is to have aromas of food, the scent of cinnamon water simmering on the stove! Home baked bread with butter might awaken food memories. Start food early in the morning. Also, my mom doesn't like heavy proteins, but craves ice cream and tomato sandwiches, even waking up at night to request a tomato sandwich. I think that putting food front and center, plates of food, pictures of food, aromas of food, and I also just give frequent tastes so mom doesn't forget foods and their tastes (she's about to turn 100). If you can start early, like at arising with a snack, to set the mode for the day, is helpful.
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Reply to purrna2go
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He may be developing swallowing difficulties, so do check on that. Ensure might help, and root beer floats with whipped cream! Banana splits. Ice cream. If you only make what he says, maybe he only says what he can remember. He might respond to new recipes or favorite foods he's enjoyed before.
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Reply to Fawnby
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I add two Benecalorie (330 calories each) to Premiere Protein drink for my wife.
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Reply to ccmatt1223
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My husband was not demented but had problems eating and tolerating foods. He eventually lost so much weight he weighed 125 lb. although he was close to 6 feet tall. We argued a lot. He insisted he was eating a lot. I insisted he couldn't be right. Finally I counted every calorie he consumed. We were both right! He was eating constantly. That was true. However, his diet consisted of mostly salad: lettuce, aloe vera, celery, water, tea, clear soup, etc. He was getting only about 1000 calories each day. The way we turned this around was to replace some of the ingredients in his meals with higher calorie versions that were similar but more dense. For example, he liked to drink a fruit smoothie in the morning. We added ricotta, nuts, coconut cream, scoops of protein powder. Coconut milk was a key ingredient. He liked the taste--and you could consume a lot of calories quite easily. Ditto with coconut oil. If he likes salad, you can find avocado, mayonnaise, high calorie salad dressings, etc.
Since my husband did eat all his food, we didn't have the problem of not eating enough. If your husband is forgetful--would it help to monitor him to help motivate him to eat meals and snacks? He may need more personal attention during meal times.
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Reply to Diana5230
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My Mom likes to eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Tapioca pudding (Kozy Shack makes a decent cold one in single serving cups).

Bananas and cream (or home-made whipped cream).

Use the sweeter salad dressings (like Western, Catalina or French) to dip veggies or chicken nuggets.

Fettuccini alfredo (Butoni makes a good sauce found in the cold case). Just make any pasta and gently microwave enough sauce to cover. You can add leftover steamed broccoli and roasted chicken, too.

Salmon or steelhead trout

Chili con carne with beans, topped w shredded cheese or sour cream

Pasta (or rice) with butter and parmesan cheese

Scrambled egg with cheese or cream cheese mixed in.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Supplement with smoothies.

Sit with husband to remind, redirect, (basically nag) to eat what he's got.
He could be so distracted that he forgets to finish eating.

Now you are talking Geaton and Cwillie! You just listed my favorites!
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