View Full Version : Healthy Snack Ideas for Weight Gain
03-26-2002, 08:24 AM
This is tangentally related to our 2000 calorie topic, and since I wasn't able to find a match searching otherwise...
I'm looking for healthy, high-calorie or high-fat snacks to suggest to my roommate. She is 5' 8", ~125lbs, and has cystic fibrosis. As a result, her weight is really important... she needs have a little extra stored up for when she gets sick periodically. She is fairly inactive... aside from her coughing (which is definitely exercise, don't get me wrong!), she does not do much walking and never exercises. She attends a small college, so she doesn't even really need to walk then.
Recently, her dietician threatened to put her on calorie supplements made specifically for cystics... something that my roommate doesn't want to do, because the taste (from what she understands) is absolutely wretched. She also doesn't really want to buy the calorie powders because they are typically fairly expensive (she says) and don't last very long.
So far, she has been eating 3 meals a day, each as high calorie/fat as she can manage. For example, a typical breakfast would be a Carnation Instant breakfast, plus a banana or piece of toast with crunchy peanut butter. Lunch might be leftover baked fish, vegetables, and a piece of string cheese with a glass of skim milk. Dinner is usually meat of some kind, or something like lasagna, with a veggie and a glass of milk. She eats granola bars throughout the day, and typically finshes off the night with a tortilla and melted provalone.
Oh, FYI: We share milk. It's a cost cutting measure and it also means that the milk doesn't go bad. We aren't certain that we could individually each finish the half-gallons of milk (so she could get higher fat content), and frankly because we have an apt. sized fridge, making it fit would be a task. :)
I'm at a loss as to how to help her. I've suggested peanuts, granola mixes, and candy, but she really doesn't want to eat things purely for calories... she wants them to healthy too. Which I understand... her health is really important to her, and she doesn't want to sabotage the time she has with junk. BUT...As a result, she'll go for the peanuts, but the other stuff she's not too big on.
Are there any suggestions? I'm really worried about her. We rarely have junk in the house because I'm dieting (not that I restrict her, I simply don't buy the stuff in the first place, so it's up to her to purchase it)... periodically I've brought home ice cream for her, but she 'forgets' to eat it...
I look forward to the pearls of wisdom... I know this isn't typically a problem for CookingLight BB members (including me, hence the question :) ), but a few are underweight, so...
03-26-2002, 09:03 AM
I have been eating mixed nuts (not the salty ones from planters) and throw in some dried mix berries. The strawberries are to die for! Anyway, I only eat an oz of nuts but maybe she could eat a few more. It seems like a real treat to me. Good luck, it is thoughful of you to look out for your roommate.
03-26-2002, 09:07 AM
Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook has a whole chapter on healthy and sensible weight gain. I can give you some examples that she gives, but the book is currently in storage (since I'm in the midst of moving) so it might take a little while!
Some suggestions I can think of right now are:
nuts or nuts and fruit (like donleyk suggested)
muesli (there are all sorts of brands out there, so she can hopefully find one she likes and finds healthy)
Good luck to her! You sound like an awesome roommate, Sarah!
03-26-2002, 10:51 AM
You are such a nice roommate to post this!
It sounds like your roommate has some conflicting emotions? Does she really want to gain weight? How can she forget about that delicious ice cream you bought? I guess she's just not as into sweets as I am :)
And since she's so into healthy, I guess MAGIC SHELL is out of the question. 17 grams of fat and 190 calories in 2 tablesoons. If I were trying to gain weight, I'd eat a bowl of ice cream with magic shell.
Now let me stop dreaming and try to help you out here. It's good that she likes the nuts. Remind her how great walnuts are and maybe print out some information on Omega 3 fatty acids and how healthy they are. Maybe this will reinforce her thoughts that nuts are good and she'll eat more of them.
Other good, healthy snacks for weight gain include dried fruit and trail mix. Do you live near a Whole Foods or health food store with bulk bins? Maybe load up on some of those carob/dried fruit/high energy/ granola type snacks they have. Maybe she'd enjoy a big bowl of granola cereal with soy milk?
Somebody on this board was also talking about how good oatmeal is with a tablespoon of peanut butter mixed in. Now that sounds good!
Hope this helps a little.
03-26-2002, 11:48 AM
I know that I haven't posted in a LONG time, but I sort of felt obligated to respond to this post.
As someone who is also dealing with a medical condition that makes it really challenging to gain weight I can understand exactly where your roommate is coming from. I know that to some people it does seem like an oxymoron to want to gain weight but eat healthy foods at the same time. I think that unless you are going through a life threatening illness this is very hard to understand. When your body has become fragile and you come to the realization that you are not "invincible" you want to take care of yourself the best way possible.
So there are lots of conflicting emotions- your friends and family are trying to convince you to "junk it up" with cookies, and ice cream, but at the same time everything that you read in the paper and hear on the news EVERY day reminds you of the risks of a junk food diet. Of Course you are going to be torn up!!
Natasha's suggestions from Nancy Clark are wonderful. I would also encourage lots of little snacks, peanut butter, avocado, cheese and low-fat (not non-fat dairy products). You mentioned that she eats a snack before bed- that is crucial and something that I have done for years. When it gets really ovewhelming I try to pick a high energy dense food- like nuts or a smoothie and just eat some of it every hour-kind of breaking things up and never feeling overly-stuffed.
I am so sorry to rattle on, I just felt this one close to my heart and wanted to help explain to those who might not comprehend where you roommate is coming from.
If you would like to PM me, please feel free. My love and thoughts to you and your roommate.
03-26-2002, 12:47 PM
Well said, Becca!
I can understand not wanting to junk it up too much -- however, some extra fat calories are in order and a little ice cream (even with magic shell!) may be just what the body needs. Everyone is different.
Eating a bucket of chicken and a dozen doughnuts every night is not a healthy way to gain weight -- but a few goodies here and there are should be okay -- provided the fragile body can handle them. In some cases, people who are extra sensitive to fats would not be able to stomach one doughnut.
Again, I recommend checking out the bulk bins at Whole Foods and seeing what calorie dense snacks there are that seem healthy.
03-26-2002, 01:10 PM
I think smoothies have a lot of calories, but also lots of vitamins and stuff depending on what you put in them. Maybe something like a smoothie made with strawberries, banana, and kiwi with whole milk yogurt and honey/maple syrup?
03-26-2002, 03:18 PM
I don't know about high calorie powders, but I have kids in my school who use the supplement drinks, like Ensure. The doc writes a script for them and they get them at the drugstore, covered by insurance. Maybe your roomate can speak with her doc and see if this applies to her.
03-26-2002, 03:35 PM
This is a toughie. For about a year, I was cooking for a friend who has Hepatitis C and was going through interferon treatment--the weight was just *falling* off him, and he's quite slight to begin with. When, as a 45-year-old adult male, he dipped below 110 pounds, we had to up the ante. With him I wasn't as concerned with "healthy" food as I was with getting enough calorie bang for hte buck--he also has asthma, so can eat only very small portions at a time or it intereferes with his breathing. About once a month I'd cook 6-8 high cal entrees, freeze ind. portions, and load up his freezer. Here were some of our successes:
Lasagna--made with whole milk bechamel, full fat mozzarella, and italian sausage.
Hard boiled eggs & ham in a mushroom white sauce (whole milk, served over noodles or rice)
Spag & meatballs
Spinach pie, made again with whole milk, or a white sauce that was half whole milke, half cream
I know most of those really aren't very healthy, but it's all I could htink of. You're a very kind roommate.
03-26-2002, 05:17 PM
lots of good suggestions....here are a few more...
what about adding lots of olive oils to meals...for example, when eating salads, use more oil for dressing...when making her baked fish, drizzle olive oil. THis is a monounsat. fat which is healthier (as are the nuts).
Canned tuna packed in canola or olive oil into a salad....
There are also some soy desserts like ice-cream that have a better good fat ratio and slightly better in protein.
The Greeks have a habit of downing a small glass of olive oil each morning...that's a tad extreme, but they do have the healthiest hearts!!
nuts/seeds are high in calories, so things like tahini dressings or pb&J would contribute.
Eggs are wonderful protein...maybe egg salad with canola mayo would be a good thing....even an occasional full fat yogurt (so storage of milk wouldn't be an issue).
Snacking on olives (though very high in salt; you may want to soak them 24 hours before using).
She could also use full fat tofu and make sure she has one full fat meat a few times/week.
You're a very sweet roommate; good luck!
03-26-2002, 08:46 PM
Wow! I am so touched at all of the kind words and responses I've gotten to my question. I'm currently compiling a list of all that you guys have suggested, and I'm going to give it to her right after Easter (she's studying to be a Lutheran school teacher, so it's a busy time for her right now). I really like the idea of the mixed granola/meusli, because I could easily pick that up at the store for us to share, so long as I eat in smaller portions than she does. I'll also recommend the Sports Medicine book, though unless she can find it at our local library, I doubt she'll buy it. She's very, very frugal because she doesn't have a great deal of money to blow (funny how that works sometimes ... :rolleyes:) but perhaps I can find it and give it to her as an Easter gift.
I know that right now she's very sensitive (as Becca implied) about people telling her to eat all the time, but I mentioned to her that I was asking you folks, and she was very interested to hear what you all thought. Especially knowing the focus of this BB is *healthy* eating, not necessarily light eating. :)
Just as an aside... I don't know about the rest of you, but I think it's really interesting how many of these high-cal foods overlap with some of those found in CL recipes. It just goes to show you that the calories/fat aren't the primary thing... it really is treating your body right. :)
Thanks again for all your suggestions, and keep 'em coming if you have more.
03-26-2002, 08:49 PM
Originally posted by Gilgamesh37
About once a month I'd cook 6-8 high cal entrees, freeze ind. portions, and load up his freezer. Here were some of our successes:
Really good ideas, Gilgamesh! The only problem is that I can't cook for her. It's a pride thing (for her) and quite honestly I don't know if I'd have enough time in the day to cook two totally independent meals, workout, and go to classes.... even if I were to just pick a Sunday, it'd be pretty tough to work around. :) Still, I'll make sure to add these to the list o' ideas. :)
03-27-2002, 07:29 AM
If you can't find the sports med. book at your library and don't end up giving it to your roommate for Easter, let me know and I can always photocopy the relevant pages and send them along to you. While the whole book is packed with tips for healthful eating, there is only one chapter devoted specifically to weight gain, so it wouldn't be a problem to send them along to you - and that could save you from buying the book for really only one chapter. :) Just say the word!
03-27-2002, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by wallycat
There are also some soy desserts like ice-cream that have a better good fat ratio and slightly better in protein.
Oooh, Wallycat, great idea! See if you can find these are your local market--they're tofu ice cream sandwiches (I know that sounds yucky, but really, they're SOOOO good, especially the chocolate--even my guy who makes fun of my healthy eating habits is addicted to them)--they come in vanilla, mint chip, and chocolate. They're pretty small, 160 cals, but no lactose, no cholesterol and no butterfat! The only really unfortunate thing about them is the name: Tofutti Cuties I know, I know--but it's worth overlooking that part. Here in the Midwest, HyVee carries them in the "health/hippy foods" section.
03-27-2002, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Natasha
...there is only one chapter devoted specifically to weight gain, so it wouldn't be a problem to send them along to you - and that could save you from buying the book for really only one chapter. :) Just say the word!
Natasha, that is *so* generous of you! I would love to take you up on your offer. Would it be easier for you to send the stuff via the post or via email? Either way, I will PM you with my information so we can get it set up.
Thank you so much!
I love this Board!!!
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