How to Make High Calorie Smoothies in Four Easy Steps

High-calorie creamy pink strawberry smoothie garnished with juicy strawberries

Are you wondering how to create high calorie smoothies to prevent weight loss…and how to go about it? If so, this caregiver’s guide is for you! 

In this post, you’ll discover the benefits of using smoothies for weight gain, as well as the step-by-step process to create your own delicious smoothie creations. We’ve also included a few recipes to get you started along with a printable high-calorie ingredient list to add to your dementia caregiver toolbox.

Before we get to those four easy steps, let’s start at the beginning. How can smoothies help with weight gain?

Why use smoothies for weight gain?

Unfortunately, weight loss happens often in people living with dementia, especially in the mid to late stages. This often results from having mealtime challenges, a lack of interest in food, and as a natural part of the disease progression.

Unintentional weight loss in dementia and aging could lead to malnutrition, which increases the risk of health decline, hospitalizations and death. The good news is, it is possible to prevent, slow or stop weight loss with the use of high calorie ingredients used in meals, snacks, and beverages.

Three colorful high calorie fruit smoothies garnished with fresh berries, kiwi and bananas.
  • Nourishmentwith the right strategy, smoothies offer the opportunity for high calories along with valuable nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium and vitamins and minerals.
  • Increased acceptance – depending on the individual with dementia, nutrition in drinkable form is often better accepted and encourages independence in eating.  For more on independence and dignity in dementia, click here.
  • More calories – not only are smoothies delicious, they are a great way to up the calories without increasing the amount of food to be consumed.
  • Satisfying a preference for sweets – smoothies can be used as a ‘sweets-swap’ for those who prefer sweet tastes (future blog post coming soon on the sweet-swap strategy). In people living with dementia, sweet tastes are often accepted well as taste buds continue to recognize these and other stronger flavors on the tongue.

Steps to build a high calorie smoothie

Steps to create a high calorie smoothie with milk options, a protein, fruits and vegetables and extra flavors.

Follow these 4 steps to create a nourishing smoothie (and click here to grab your free High Calorie Smoothie download)

Step 1: Choose a liquid

  • Almond milk
  • Banana milk
  • Chocolate milk
  • coconut milk 
  • Fruit juice
  • Half and half
  • Heavy cream
  • Juice
  • Kefir
  • Oat milk 
  • Soy milk
  • Strawberry milk
  • Premade nutritional shake
  • Whole milk

Step 2: Pick a protein

  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Pecans
  • Powdered milk
  • Protein powder
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt

Step 3: Add fruits and vegetables

  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Canned fruit
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Fresh fruit
  • Frozen fruit
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pineapples
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Step 4: Toss in the extras

  • Chia seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • Flavored extracts
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Ground ginger
  • Hemp seeds
  • Honey
  • Mint leaves
  • Nutmeg
  • Rolled oats

High Calorie Smoothie Recipe

Creamy pineapple banana smoothie in glass with a paper straw

High Calorie Pineapple Banana Smoothie

This refreshing high calorie smoothie is a delicious way to add calories and nourishment to your day!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 smoothie
Calories 616 kcal


  • 1 blender


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed


  • Add milk to the blender cup, followed by all other ingredients
  • Blend until smooth and desired consistency.


Serving: 1 smoothieCalories: 616kcalCarbohydrates: 88gProtein: 22gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 145mgFiber: 13gSugar: 64gCalcium: 541mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

*Special note: nutrition facts and calculations may vary, depending on brand and selection of ingredients used.

Key takeaways: how to make high calorie smoothies

Though weight loss can be a common experience in the dementia journey, it is possible to prevent, slow and correct. Strategies such as using high calorie ingredients and finger foods can help to maximize calories for people living with dementia. Swapping in calorie-dense ingredients can make a big impact by providing more total calories in a smaller quantity.

Before you go, be sure to download your guide to high calories smoothies! This is your complimentary PDF ready to download, print and add to your dementia caregiver toolkit. With this cheat sheet, you’ll get the easy 4 step formula with a list of high calorie ingredients in each step. This freebie also includes smoothie tips along with a visual list of 7 delicious high-calorie recipes to try.

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