Eating was a BIG ordeal for us after Pops had his liver resection. He had just been through pancreatitis two weeks before his resection, so he had zero appetite for months after the surgery. He dropped 24lbs. and his bloodwork showed him as malnourished, so the surgeon told him the oncologist wouldn't be able to do anything for him until he was more well nourished and gained some weight back. 8 weeks after surgery, 5" of his incision reopened. The surgeon claimed it was because of his poor nutrition.
As his caregiver, I was beside myself trying to encourage him to eat. The surgeon wanted him taking in 2500-3000 calories a day! It did not help matters that Pops has been on a very strict diabetic diet for 20 years. That really limited my choices of things to make for him because he insisted on sticking to that diet until he saw that his A1C was in a good range.
I found that counting his calories was the only way to diffuse the daily arguement about food. I used a calorie counting software. I highly recommend it, so the caregiver doesn't worry terribly about how many calories their loved one is getting per day.
The nurses who came out to care for his incision when it reopened told us that his protein intake should be doubled while the incision healed, and to increase his intake of Vitamin E.
These are a few tips that worked for us:
*Eat something every 2 hours, especially if there isn't much of an appetite.
*The Carnation Breakfast Essentials shakes were wonderful. There is a "No Sugar Added" version in the chocolate flavor.
*Add powdered milk to baked goods, creamy casseroles, and shakes to increase protein and calories.
*There is a higher protein milk available in some areas.
*Glucerna Bars and Shakes are great. The Hunger Smart version has more protein.
*Tomato juice is great for healing. We worked in a small glass every day.
*I did a lot of baking, and warming things in the oven thinking the smell of food cooking would help encourage his appetite.
Pops gradually transitioned from several mini-meals a day to larger meals 3-4 times a day, and his appetite has finally returned. It took about 5 months for him to move from eating because it was time to eat to feeling hungry again.
I hope some of these suggestions help!