Nutritional Information

Nutritional needs are often an important topic for you and your family/caregiver. Nutritional needs are unique for people at end of life and change based on a variety of factors including disease process and stage of dying.

Your hospice nurse will assess and provide education on normal end of life processes and work with you to determine if a nutritionist consult is appropriate.

  • Food and Meal Preparation Tips

    During this time, meals don’t need to be extravagant. In fact, basic foods can go a long way in providing high nutritional value. Some foods to keep on hand include:

    • Cheese
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Yogurt
    • Milk
    • Eggs (hard-boiled)
    • Peanut butter
    • Instant breakfast drinks
    • Dried fruits and nuts
    • Hot and cold cereals
    •  Breakfast/protein bars

    Prepare simple meals that don’t require much assembly or cook time. Some meals include:

    • Sandwiches (meat, cheese, peanut butter and jelly, etc.)
    • Soups
    • Taco salad (ground beef with taco seasoning and any veggies or cheese)
    • Frozen meals (pizza, TV dinners, fish sticks, etc.)
    • Canned foods (beef stew, chili, spaghetti, etc.)
  • Easy to Chew Diet

    For your loved one in hospice, diet restrictions, such as chewing limitations, may need to be accommodated for. To help those with chewing restrictions, it’s important to have moist, soft foods available. Nutritional supplements or homemade shakes can also be used as meal replacements. Some foods that are good to have include:

    • Milk
    • Yogurt, custard, ice cream
    • Soft or melted cheese, including cottage cheese and cream cheese
    • Soft eggs
    • Tofu
    • Casseroles
    • Fruits (canned and fresh)
    • Softened carbohydrates (noodles, breads, cereals, rice)

    Avoid foods that are hard and difficult to chew, such as:

    • Popcorn
    • Crackers
    • Nuts
    • Deep fried, crispy foods
    • Raw vegetables
    • Bacon
  • Tips for Pureed Foods

    If you or a loved one needs further help, pureed foods are easy to eat and still provide nutritional value. The final consistency of pureed foods should be similar to thick pudding or smooth mashed potatoes, and should be thick enough to pick up with a spoon or fork. Some tips to prepare pureed foods include:

    • Cut foods like meats and breads into small chunks to puree more evenly
    • Puree with liquids (like gravy, broth, water etc.) to form paste
    • Add powdered thickener if necessary
    • Add butter or margarine to boost calories
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