HF 416

Ideas for Healthy, High Calorie Meals and Snacks

High calorie does not have to mean unhealthy. Choosing foods that are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and higher in protein and calories can help you increase calorie intake while still eating a healthy diet. Try some of the ideas below.


  • Scrambled eggs or omelet cooked in oil and made with vegetables, avocado, ham, and cheese

  • Whole milk Greek or regular yogurt with granola, honey, nuts, dark chocolate chips or fresh or dried fruit

  • Whole milk cottage cheese (4% milkfat) with fresh or canned fruit

  • Bagel with cream cheese, avocado or peanut/sunflower butter (more calories than a slice of toast or an English muffin)

  • Waffles or pancakes with ground flaxseed added to the batter and served with butter, syrup, nut butter, or chocolate nut butter

  • Fruit smoothie made with whole milk or whole milk yogurt

  • Cold or hot cereals with whole milk or heavy cream - higher calorie cereals include granola, frosted or filled wheat biscuits, raisin bran

  • Egg, cheese, and ham on a buttered bagel

  • Breakfast taco with egg, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and potato

Lunch and Dinner

  • Burgers or sandwiches made with extra meat and cheese, mayo, nut butter, hummus, or guacamole

  • Egg, tuna or chicken salad on croissant

  • Fish sticks or chicken nuggets tossed in oil before baking

  • Meat, cheese, nut, and fruit trays

  • Quesadillas and tacos with seasoned beef, chicken or steak, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, and olives

  • Spaghetti with pesto or meat sauce instead of plain tomato sauce

  • Filled pastas (tortellini, ravioli) with pesto and cheese

  • Baked or mashed potatoes with cheese, chili, ham, broccoli, sour cream or whole milk cottage cheese

  • Buttered noodles with cheese or Caesar dressing

  • Macaroni and cheese made with cream and extra butter and cheese

  • Summer sausage with crackers

  • Chili with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla strips

  • Cream soups: chicken and dumplings, broccoli cheese, baked potato

  • Pot pies

  • Quiche

  • Croissant with meat, cheese, and mayo

  • Crunchy breadsticks with salami and cheese to roll around them

  • Chicken Caesar wrap with extra dressing and parmesan cheese

  • Breakfast for lunch - baby pancakes, bacon strips, boiled egg, fruit, whole milk yogurt

  • Cold pasta salad with Italian dressing, salami and cheese chunks

  • Chef salad with ham/turkey, cheddar cheese, olives, eggs, croutons, and ranch dressing


  • Nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – try adding spices or sugar

  • Dried fruit

  • Nut butters—spread on toast or bread or have on fruits or vegetables (e.g., apple or banana with peanut butter* or celery or carrots with peanut butter)

  • Trail mix made with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, pretzels or dry cereal and chocolate chips

  • Crackers with cheese and lunch meat or summer sausage

  • Chips and guacamole

  • Sliced avocado

  • Pita or bagel chips

  • Pretzels filled with cheese and peanut butter

  • Vegetables with ranch dressing, hummus, or sour cream dip

  • Homemade granola bars or high calorie protein bars

  • Pudding made with whole milk or cream

  • Ice cream or custard

  • Boiled eggs

  • Sweet potato tots

  • Meat sticks

  • Milkshake with whole milk and ice cream

  • Hot chocolate made with whole milk and topped with whipped cream

*If allergic to peanut butter, try soy nut butter, sunflower seed butter, almond or cashew butter.

Condiments, Dips, Sauces and Spreads

  • Sour cream

  • Hummus

  • Wheat germ or ground flaxseed - add to yogurt, ice cream, pudding, oatmeal or casseroles

  • Large black or green olives

  • Coconut (shredded)

  • Guacamole or avocado

  • Cheese dip or spread

  • Mayo

  • Tartar sauce

  • Tzatziki sauce

  • Honey (not for children under 2 years old)

  • Heavy cream--add to mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, cream soups, oatmeal, eggs

  • Peanut and nut butters

  • Cream cheese (try different flavors)

  • Butter

  • Maple syrup

  • Barbecue sauce

  • Dips – onion, ranch, dill

  • Vegetable oil (olive, canola, corn, sunflower, walnut, flaxseed, avocado, etc.)

  • Cream or oil-based salad dressing

Who to Call

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below.

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH)
(608) 890-5500

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF)
(608) 287-2770

You can also visit our website at: www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.