Begin by choosing calorie-rich foods from each group of the Food Guide Pyramid shown below, plus fats, oils, and sweets in moderation. Aim for the higher end of the recommended number of servings from each group shown in the Pyramid. Here are some calorie-dense, nutritious foods:
Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta: granola, bagels, biscuits, cornbread
Fruits: canned fruit in syrup, dried fruits, fruit nectars
Vegetables: avocado, olives, potatoes, peas, corn, squash
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts: beef, pork, lamb, poultry, salmon, swordfish, omelets, nuts, peanut butter, kidney beans, chickpeas
Milk, yogurt, and cheese: milk, fruited yogurts, hard cheeses, ice cream, puddings, custards, milkshakes
Use in moderation fats, oils, and sweets, such as butter, margarine, sour cream, cream cheese, gravy, salad dressings, jellies, jams, honey, and candies.
Maximize each mouthful
Incorporating extra calories into everyday meals can make eating a creative and flavorful experience. Try adding these nutritious, calorie-packed combinations to your meals:
Use milk in place of water in hot cereal, soups, and sauces. Sprinkle powdered milk into casseroles and meatloaf for added calories, protein, and calcium.
Add avocado, cheese, and salad dressings to sandwiches. Even fat-free dressings and cheeses will add calories without added fat.
Mix cooked, chopped meat, wheat germ, nuts, beans, or cheese into casseroles, side dishes, and pasta.
Choose calorie-dense beverages, appetizers, soup, salads, entrees, and desserts when dining out. Take home leftovers for a snack.