Eating Better To Feel Better

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-424/2016
  • Departments: Nutrition Support


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your treatment.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

General advice during your hospital stay

When you are unwell you often do not eat or drink as much as you normally would. You may find that you are eating smaller amounts and even missing meals. This can lead to unwanted weight loss, delayed recovering from illness and/or surgery.

This leaflet gives you advice on what to eat to help prevent you losing weight and help you to recover more quickly. Please follow the points below:

  • Choose meals that you enjoy and avoid low fat or diet versions. Where possible choose from the Energy Dense menu.
  • Choose protein rich foods twice a day e.g. meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, beans and pulses.
  • Choose Meritene shakes, milky drinks or milk from the drinks trolley.
  • Aim to have two puddings a day, e.g. milk pudding, yoghurt, sponge and custard.
  • Between meals try the high energy snacks available on the ward, e.g., biscuits, cheese and crackers, thick and creamy yoghurts, chocolate and cakes (The ward housekeeper can tell you about the extras list).
  • Have Meritene shakes and Complan soups. You should be offered these between meals, if not please ask your nurse.

Advice for when you are at home

Continue to have high energy and protein rich foods and include snacks between meals until your appetite has returned to normal. Try to drink one pint of milk (full cream) per day.

Example meal plan for home

Breakfast. Breakfast cereal/porridge with sugar and full cream milk, and/or toast with butter/margarine and jam or a cooked breakfast. A glass of fresh fruit juice.
Mid morning. Milky coffee and biscuits.
Lunch. Cheese and ham sandwich, crisps, creamy yoghurt.
Mid afternoon. Glass of milk and piece of cake or fruit.
Evening meal. Shepherd’s pie topped with melted cheese and served with vegetables. Rice pudding with added jam and evaporated milk.
Bedtime snack. Malted milk drink made with full cream milk.
Cheese and crackers with butter.

Weigh yourself weekly at home and ask your GP to refer you to a Dietitian if:

  • You continue to lose weight or you are concerned about your appetite.
  • You are on a special diet or there are any health concerns which have previously required you to limit fat and/or sugar in your diet.

Your weight on discharge: _______________ kg.

Please Note: The information contained in this leaflet may not be suitable for you if you are following a special diet, e.g. gluten free, low potassium, low residue. This advice should be suitable for people with diabetes.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact The Dietetic Department on:

Hull Royal Infirmary – Telephone (01482) 674490.
Castle Hill Hospital – Telephone (01482) 875875, ext 3168.
Queen’s Centre, Castle Hill Hospital – Telephone (01482) 461135.

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