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Recipe requests: Wired jaw + Unhealthy weight loss!!! HELP!!!

Hey everyone,
My boyfriend got his jaw wired shut about a week ago and has to endure it for 3 more weeks. He isn't able to eat anything except: Ensure, Peanut butter and jelly smoothies, and Mashed potatoes and gravy. He weighed 165 lbs. and has lost about 15 lbs. in this last week. Needless to say, we are very concerned. I would be very grateful to know things that I could make for him that can be sucked through a straw but can still help him gain weight. Thank you so much! PLEASE HELP!

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  1. 1. You should talk to whomever did this procedure and ask for help. Hopefully he had this done at a hospital ...where there would be a nutritionist/dietitian on staff ... call those folks today.

    2. Carnation makes a high calorie drink -- more calories than ensure. It is a specialty item you might find it at a really good pharmacy.

    3. If you're willing to take a chance, eggs are calorie dense (compared to the volume you have to consume). Put a raw egg into the smoothies.

    Good Luck & wishes for a speedy recovery.

    1. I don't know how good this will taste, but maybe add some protein powders to his smoothies and food? Kind of like extra hidden calories.

      You can also try grits, cream of wheat or polenta.

      Poor guy, I wish him the best!

      2 Replies
      1. re: lawgirl3278

        I agree, PROTEIN POWDER ! ......it really saved my husband after a life threatening colostomy operation!! A professional body-builder friend recommended that I go to a health food store for the purchase. Tell them exactly why you need it. The protein powder came in chocolate and vanilla flavors.

        Without that power drink, I don't think my DH would be with me today!

        Chicken and/or Beef Broths
        Soft Boiled or Poached Eggs
        Cream of Wheat (thin)
        Also, lots of foods can be put into a blender and made (semi) fluid.
        (think of what you would feed a small baby)

        1. re: Lisbet

          GNC has a weight gain protein powder. Maybe ask his doctor if you can try that?

          It's important that he maintain his weight, but still eat healthful foods. Adding foods that are fattening and unhealthful might help him maintain his weigh but may have other health effects.

          Smoothies are a good idea- you can add peanut butter, protein powder, yogurt, even a little ice cream.

      2. Invariably, all people will lose weight in this situation, so I wouldn't worry too much unless he starts becoming weak to the point where he can't sit up, stand up, walk, etc.

        How tall is he? In other words, if he's 5'8" and weighs 165, losing a little weight can't hurt too much now can it? I wouldn't be concerned with gaining weight as much as I would be about providing appropriate nutrition.

        2 Replies
        1. re: HaagenDazs

          As a matter of fact, at 150#, he wouldn't be considered "underweight" unless he's over 6'3".


          1. re: alanbarnes

            Yeah, that's kind of my thought. I'm absolutely positive that weight loss isn't unexpected or necessarily a horrible side effect as long as long as proper nutrition is given. Fattening up just for the sake of trying to maintain fat isn't the greatest idea.

        2. Have you thought about soups? There are many pureed soups that could be sucked through a straw.

          1. A friend of mine saw the opposite problem. He needed to lose about 200 pounds, and his doctor put him on a (carefully-managed) liquid diet for a full year. The diet was successful, and my friend's life expectancy has been dramatically increased. But when he started eating solid food again, he immediately gained about 10 pounds, even though his caloric intake was appropriate for his activity level and the weight he wanted to maintain.

            So he called his doctor, who informed him that he was full of s#!t. Literally. On a liquid diet, your intestinal tract tends to stay fairly empty. When you eat solids, it's easy to carry several pounds in your gut.

            Long and short, your boyfriend probably has nearly as much muscle, fat, bone, and blood as he did before his jaw was wired shut. Definitely consult with a doctor if weight loss continues, but if he starts cranking down major extra calories to avoid perceived weight loss, he may end up with a significant net weight gain once he's able to eat solids again.

            1. Thanks to everyone who posted you have given me some good ideas! To answer your question's he is 6'1" and now weighs 150lbs. My boyfriend had the procedure done at an oral surgeons office, unfortunately his oral surgeon hasn't given us many choices for things to eat besides milkshakes and mashed potatoes. Again, thanks to everyone who posted.

              5 Replies
              1. re: kay_siaris

                My mom had a jaw problem a few years ago and needed a kind of reconstructive surgery. They cut away part of the jaw and wired it shut to heal. After a couple of weeks, she was sick and tired of protein shakes.

                Hellooooo blender.

                I'd make almost anything relatively soft and blend it up. At first it was french fries and gravy (she moaned saying how good it was). I also did curry chicken and potatoes, beef stew, vegetable soup (homemade and canned), steak and gravy, Italian spaghetti, lasagna, take-out chinese, etc etc.

                As long as there was plenty of liquid (broth/sauce/gravy) and most ingredients were mushy, it worked great.
                We also used a "thick milkshake" straw. She said as long as she could pass it between the 'gum area' behind the teeth, it was OK.
                We even had a few laughs when I'd try to understand her 'clench speak' (in other words, it's fun to look back on).

                I'd suggest stuffing and gravy if its on the table for the holidays.

                GL and let us know what worked and what didn't!

                  1. re: porker

                    My brother was in a motorcycle accident and had his jaw wired shut for quite a while. I don't think there was much that he DIDN'T try putting through a blender! I do remember "cheeseburger"! Not pretty, but he could get it through a syringe!

                  2. re: kay_siaris

                    i had oral surgery a couple of months ago, and pretty much subsisted on protein shakes, yogurt & pureed food. you really can get creative for him - i made some delicious roasted veggie purees - carrot, cauliflower, squash or pumpkin, even broccoli. just season as you like, roast, and process the heck out of them (along with roasted onions & garlic) to get them smooth.

                    puddings & custards are good...you can even find protein puddings these days.

                    also, don't forget about smooth hot cereals like cream of wheat or cream of rice - you can even flavor or garnish them with fruit purees.

                    1. re: kay_siaris

                      Poor baby!!!!

                      I agree with the soup suggestions. Even in a pinch, there are lots of prepared soups available in those waxed cartons at places like Trader Joes. No substitute for home made, but wonderfully convenient: cream of butternut squash, roasted red pepper & tomato, cream of roasted corn, & a creamy black bean, to name a few.

                      Invest in a good stick blender (also called an immersion blender). His oral surgeon might even be able to give him a "prescription" for it that allows him to get reimbursed under his medical flexible spending account. It allows you to puree food right in the pot instead of having to transfer it to a blender. They are available at most places that sell kitchen stuff -- I got mine at Kohl's. I have a Cuisinart SmarkStick, which retails for about $70, but is probably available on sale for less. Here's a link: http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landi...

                    2. We actually just finished with this very situation at our house. Homemade stock was really incredibly helpful and satisfying. Constant feeding is the only way to try to maintian body weight, but expect to lose some. Ensure drinks were popular, cream soups, protien powder in yogurt or kefir smoothies (don't forget to use full fat yogurt). But just constant eating will help. They have gained the weight back pretty quickly too if that's any consolation.

                      1. Many creamy soups and bisques require no chewing and are calorie-laden.

                        1. Gaining weight healthfully is something I'm quite familiar with. Adding calories through healthy fats and protein, tucking them in wherever you can, is definitely the way to go. In addition to protein supplements and high-fat dairy products (i.e. adding cream cheese and cheese to mashed potatoes and making endless buttery cream-of soups), flax oil and ground flaxseed, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut powder/flour, avocados and avocado oil, nut and seed butters and milks, and powdered milk or soymilk can all add calories. High calorie fruits, like banana, and soaked dried fruits in smoothies are a must, of course.
                          Is this purely a blended diet? If so, make soups, smoothies and shakes with a mixture of fat and protein sources thrown in. Any recipe for a cream-of, puree, or dhal- type soup can easily be modified.
                          Remember that pretty much anything can be blended and diluted with an appropriate liquid- juice, broth, milk, etc., from complete meals to any and all vegetables, starches, grains, beans, and legumes. Cooked oatmeal blended with chocolate ensure or chocolate hemp milk with protein powder, banana, yogurt, flax, cinnamon, and wheat germ, for example, is Quite dense and filling, and tasty. Butternut squash and apples roasted in olive oil and spices, added to onion, carrot, and breadcrumbs/lentils, sauteed in butter/oil with curry, pureed and thinned with stock, then thickened with two egg yolks and milk/soymilk powder or peanut butter and some coconut milk, and avocado soup made like guacamole only thinned with sour cream, yogurt, and milk really pack in the calories.

                          You could also make donut soup out of krispy kreme(http://www.eugenewei.com/mtweblog/arc... skip the water and add use cream instead. Paula Deen would love it.

                          1. p.s. That last suggestion was definitely a joke. Unless you add bacon, then it's genius.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gwendolynmarie

                              Gwendolyn - You have no idea my dear. ;-) If you're familiar with Top Chef, you are probably familiar with Richard Blais. Blais is an Atlanta guy and he's helped consult with the opening of a new burger place here. Check out the milkshake menu.


                            2. I am sitting here with my brother, whose jaw was wired shut for a few weeks. He says he subsisted on yogurt and meal replacement shakes from GNC (come in packets, mix with milk I guess) for the first couple of weeks. Pudding, jello. He was able to eat soft scrambled eggs and things like that after the first couple of weeks. He lost weight, of course, but not to the point of health-threatening.

                              Look up recipes for avgolemono or egg drop soups - both are mostly broth but with eggs, which adds protein. With the avgolemono especially, the eggs are liquid so you can just drink it. Search this board, there's a good recipe on here somewhere.

                              1. If he's drinking smoothies, add a scoop of nut butter to them for a wallop of extra calories. Almond butter is great for this. Chia and hemp seeds are also great nutrient-dense smoothie add-ins.

                                1. You mention mashed potatoes. Surely hes not drinking that through a straw. In that case, then you have polenta, grits, etc. With butter. This doesn't seem so dire if thats the case.

                                  1. You really must talk to the oral surgeon soon! Hopefully not, but the weight loss may be something far more serious than what he's eating. Seek medical advice.