Nutrient Dense Food Ideas

Add calories and protein without increasing the portion size of your meal or snack. Think about it like adding calorie dense ingredients to your meals.

And don't forget to make it fun and delicious!

sliced meat on white ceramic plate
sliced meat on white ceramic plate
person holding cup of coffee with berries
person holding cup of coffee with berries
strawberries in white ceramic bowl
strawberries in white ceramic bowl

Soup up your Soups

Boost your Smoothie

Power up your (Cream of) Wheaties

  • Add whole milk, heavy cream, coconut cream, sour cream, or powdered milk to make a creamy version of soups.

  • Make sure to cut veggies and meat into small pieces- smaller pieces take less time to cook, are easier to chew, and you’re less likely to tire yourself while eating.

    • Pro-tip: After soup is cooled to room temperature or cold, you can toss it in the blender or food processor to puree the whole thing.

  • Add unflavored protein or collagen powder

    • We like Vital Proteins Original Collagen Peptides.

  • Top with croutons or cheese crackers, cheese, avocado or sour cream.

  • Add yogurt - Aim for full fat or 2% greek, Icelandic, or other high protein content yogurts.

  • Add frozen or fresh fruits and veggies

    • Pro-tip: Head to your local bulk/wholesale club for cost efficient frozen fruits and veggies.

  • Add 1-2 scoops of whey, casein, or plant based protein powder in your favorite flavor.

    • Hint: Chocolate and peanut butter flavored protein powders often cover the taste of many other ingredients.

  • Use whole milk, milk alternatives like almond or oat, or you can even use ready to drink high calorie/high protein Boost/Ensure as the liquid ingredient.

    • The more liquid you add, the thinner the smoothie will be

  • Other add-ins: A spoonful of peanut butter or nut butter, raw nuts or seeds (chia, walnuts, hemp hearts etc), and avocado all help to increase calorie and protein content.

  • If needed, add 1-2 Tablespoons of honey or maple syrup as a sweetener.

  • Pro-tip: You can make a large batch in “pitcher” style blender and split up into multiple servings throughout the day

  • Use whole milk, heavy cream (or milk alternative) to prepare your oatmeal or cream of wheat in place of water

  • Add a generous serving of peanut butter or other nut butter as a mix-in

  • Pro-tip: Protein powder generally mixes in easily to your morning oatmeal, so add 1-2 scoops to boost the protein content.

    • Vanilla, chocolate, and other flavored protein powders can add extra flavor to your oatmeal.

  • Top with dried fruit, sliced nuts or even chocolate chips for flavor and texture