Studies have shown that the use of sip feeds can be beneficial in malnourished individuals. As part of Nutrition and Hydration Week, specialist dietitian Carly Atkinson has shared more information around this topic, including ways to ensure that the benefits of the feeds are felt.
The studies illustrate that use of sip feeds in malnourished individuals has the potential to reduce mortality, length of hospital stay and fatigue and increase immunity, cognitive function and improve wound healing.
However, they are only clinically beneficial if they are drunk!
Reports suggest an average compliance rate of 78% (range 37-100%), with better figures seen in community settings compared with hospitals.
If you, or someone you care for, is prescribed these, there are ways you can help them to be taken and enjoyed, and that the benefits are realised:
- Sweet flavoured sip feeds taste best served straight from the fridge
- Fruit juice style sip feeds (fortijuice) can be frozen into ice cubes or ice lollies. They can also be diluted with a little soda water or lemonade
- Milkshake style sip feeds can be frozen to make ice cream
- Vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavour sip feeds can be heated and are nice mixed with hot chocolate
- Neutral sip feeds can be diluted with a little milk and used in place of milk on cereal or in porridge, or stirred directly into custard, rice pudding, mashed potato, creamy soups or used to make scrambled eggs
- If the patient doesn’t like sweet drinks, yogurt-style or savoury supplements can be trialled to see if these are preferred