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Holiday Gifts for the Bariatric Patient

With the holidays quickly approaching we thought it would be a good idea to post some holiday gift ideas for our bariatric patients. Below is a list of some good ideas that most bariatric patients would benefit from having and would help them throughout their weight loss journey.

Key Points:

·Products listed were chosen to help you in your pursuit of a healthy weight.

·Choose what works best for your budget and lifestyle. Keep in mind what storage space you have.

·Products that are dishwasher safe will make your life easier.

·Read product reviews, check for warranties and understand return policies.

·For convenience, Walmart and Target were the websites researched for prices for most of the products listed. Prices checked 11-29-15.

MEASURE:  Measuring your food and fluids keeps you on track with getting the right amount of food and fluids you need. This includes measuring spoons, measuring cups, small food containers and food scales.

MIX: Whether mixing protein powders with fluids or pureeing foods, having a good quality blender or mixer makes it easier to accomplish your health goals.

MAKE: Find kitchen equipment that makes food preparation easier to help keep your nutrition on track.

MOVE: Your food needs to move with you. There are items available for packing lunches or keeping your food hot or cold while you are on the go.

WHERE TO FIND: Stores will vary by your area. Try both the brick-and-mortar stores or online:

Ace Hardware, Academy Sports, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Belk, Big Lots, Cabela’s Sporting Goods, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Outdoor, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, GNC, Home Depot, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Kmart, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Overstock.com, SAM’s Club, Sears, Target, Tuesday Morning, Inc., Walmart, Williams Sonoma and restaurant supply companies.

Things That Measure: What to Look For

Key Points

·Measuring you food helps you keep track of your nutrition.

·Tracking protein is difficult unless you know portion size and the grams of protein that the food will have.

·Metal products can’t be used in the microwave.

Measuring Spoons

·Stainless steel. Heavier gage like 18/8 is more durable.

·Plastic measuring spoons are lightweight.

·Aluminum is a metal that can bend easily and turns dull if washed in a dishwasher.

·Look for a set that has at least a 1/4 teaspoon up to 1 tablespoon measures.

·Plastic sets are priced from about $1.00 to more than $30.00. Stainless sets start around $6.00 and can go up to $50.00 for fancy, decorative sets.

Measuring Cups

·Stainless steel. Heavier gage like 18/8 is more durable. Cannot use in the microwave.

·Plastic is light weight. Check to see if microwave safe.

·Aluminum is a metal that can bend easily and turns dull if washed in a dishwasher.

·Tempered Glass (ex: Pyrex and Anchor Hocking). Microwave and dishwasher safe.

·Measuring cups for dry ingredients are the ones that come in separate measures (1/8 cup to 1 cup).

·Measuring cups for liquids come in plastic and tempered glass. The tempered glass cups can be used in the microwave. Typical sizes are 1, 2 and 4 cups.

·Prices can range from a few dollars to $50.00.

Food Scales

·Find ones that are easy to use, clean and store.

·There are digital (requires batteries) or mechanical/dial type that look like what is in the produce section, but smaller for home use.

·With a mechanical/dial scale, avoid “high capacity.” These scales are meant to measure in pounds, rather than ounces.

·Digital scales are easier to read when looking for how many ounces the food weighs.

·Look for scales that can zero out after you place your dish on top. This allows you to measure your food in the dish you will be eating from. Some allow you to use your own dish and some have a bowl you have to use.

·Check for warranties and the return policy. Read product reviews.

·Prices start at about $6.00 for a mechanical dial type and can run up to $100.00 for a digital food scale.

Things That Mix: What to Look For

Key Points:

·The main key is the power of the motor. The more powerful the motor, the faster the blades rotate. An evenly smooth texture is more likely with more powerful blenders and mixers.

·The products listed are ones our patients use more frequently.

·Look for a blender that is in your budget, works well for what you want to use if for and how easy it is to clean.

·Some of the blenders/mixers can only pulse. Check for a time limit on how long you can pulse the machine. This is to conserve the motor.

·Products listed are for making protein shakes or smoothies and pureeing foods, only.

Shaker Cups

·Widely available in many retail stores. Prices range from $6.00 to $20.00.

·Made to mix protein powders with fluids. Usually comes with a wire ball to help mixing.

·Easy to carry with you. Great for traveling.

·Difficult to mix the protein powder completely.

Promixx (original) and version 2.0 Vortex Mixer

·Original lists for about $26.00 on Amazon. Needs regular batteries.

·The 2.0 has a rechargeable, lithium battery that requires a USB port. Original will need regular batteries. Retails for about $50.00. Battery has a long life. It is currently out of stock on Amazon.

·Great for mixing protein powders and liquid.

·Great for traveling or when you are just on the go.

·Easy to clean. Take off the base (where the battery is) and the parts can go in the dishwasher. Or, rinse and put water and a few drops of dish soap in it and turn it on, and then rinse again.

Vitamix Systems

·This product line has been around since 1949.

·Price for the products range from $259.00 to $719.00. Can make smoothies. There is a 7-year warranty.

·Check website for more information on the different models.

Ninja Systems

·Ninja Fit Single Serve Blender – Retail Price listed at $79.00. Listed for $39.99 at Target. Motor is 700 Watts.

·Ninja Nutri Ninja Blender with Book – Retail list price is $89.99. Currently at Walmart for $59.99. Motor is 1000 Watts. Mixes to smooth texture.

·Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Blender – Retail list price range is $119.99 to $149.99. Currently $109.00 at Walmart. Target may be less, but you have to put it in the shopping cart to find current purchase price. Motor is 900 Watts. Mixes to smooth texture.

·Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ BL482 1000W Professional Digital Pulse Blender Extractor – Retail price listed at $159.99. Walmart has it for $131.99 on clearance. Designed to make blended “extracted” smoothies using vegetables, seeds and fruits. Mixes to smooth texture. Motor is 1000 Watts.

Magic Bullet/NutriBullet Systems

·Magic Bullet was the original product in the line and appears to be the brand name of this product line. The original can blend protein powders and fluids. This doesn’t blend fruits or vegetables to a completely smooth texture. Retail price is $49.99. Listed for $29.97 at Walmart. Motor is 250 Watts.

·NutriBullet Nutrition Extraction – Listed for $49.97 on Walmart website, but is out of stock. Not listed on Target website.

·NutriBullet Pro 900 – Retail Price is $129.00. Walmart and Target list this for just under $100.00. Motor size is 900 Watts. Description states it will “pulverize” foods. More likely to make a completely smooth texture smoothie.

·NutriBullet Rx 1700-Watt Blender by Magic Bullet – Retail price is $199.99 and listed at just under $160.00 on both Target and Walmart webites, but is out of stock on the Walmart website.

Other Smoothie Blenders:

·Look for other personal blenders by Oster, Farberware and Elite. 

·Immersion Blenders are hand held blenders that you immerse in your cup or glass to blend. These can also be used to puree soft cooked vegetables and soups.

More Options

·Consider using a hand held mixer to mix your protein powders and fluid together. These are the ones that come with a couple of beaters you have to put into the mixer.

·Get a work out by using a whisk to blend the protein powder and fluid together.

Things That Make: What to Look For

Key Points:

·Products listed were chosen to make preparing food easier to achieve.

·Keep in mind whether you are cooking a large or small quantity of food.

·Slow cookers can cook meats to a tender and moist texture.

Slow Cookers: Small

·Proctor Silex 1.5 Quart Slow cooker. Price listed on Walmart $19.99 with shipping costs of $11.70. There was not an in-store pick-up option. Target listed this for $27.99 with an in-store delivery option. Red was the only color shown. Crockpot bowl lifts out for cleaning.

·Crock Pot Slow Cooker 2.0 Quart – Price listed on Target for $10.00 to $12.00.

·Smaller slow cookers make cooking for one to two people more practical. There will be leftovers for bariatric patients.

Slow Cookers: Large

·Crockpot, Proctor Silex, Hamilton Beach, Elite and Westbend slow cookers with four to eight quart capacities. Listed from $15.00 to $60.00 on Target and Walmart websites.

·Prices are less expensive for manual controls when compared to digital/programmable controls.

Microwavable Dishes

·Nordicware – Makes MicroWare to cook eggs (poached, boiled and omelet), heat soup, plates and bowls to heat meals and other containers to cook or reheat a casserole.

·Poached egg cookers also made by WalterDrake and Miles Kimball.

·Look for a variety of microwave cookware that can steam fish and vegetables, reheat food or protective screens to prevent splatters.

·Plastic storage containers are often able to go in the microwave.

·Pyrex type cookware and measuring cups are microwave friendly.

Additional Kitchen Tools

·Spiral cutter for making zucchini pasta. Helps maintain low carb eating. There are hand held and table top versions.  Spiralize is a brand that can be found on Amazon.

·Good set of knives for chopping and cutting.

·Meat tenderizing mallet. You pound the meat to make it thinner, while also tenderizing the meat so that it is softer to chew. This is a nice way to burn a few calories and work off some frustrations, too!

Things That Move Your Food: What to Look For

Lunch Bags

·The size of your lunch bag will depend on how many meals and snacks you need for your day.

·Insulated lunch bags can keep food cold for longer periods of time if you don’t have a refrigerator available.

·You can buy reusable ice packs to put in your lunch bag or cooler.

·A reusable lunch bag is environmentally friendly and you can use this for years. Neoprene lunch bags can be put in the washing machine and dryer.

Cooler

·Great to have when driving around for work or when traveling. Pack with ice and load with your protein drinks or other protein foods.

·Coleman and Igloo are the classic brands, but others are available.

·Coolers now come in hard and soft side versions. There are coolers you can carry, sling over your shoulder, carry as a backpack or roll behind you.

Mini-Fridge

·If your work space does not have a refrigerator, consider buying a mini-fridge to stash protein drinks, leftovers and snacks. Check with your employer for guidelines. The type of electrical outlet available will need to be considered when shopping for a mini-fridge.

Plastic Containers

·Find plastic containers with lids to bring your food in measured quantities.

·Some plastic containers can also be microwaved.

·Look for 2 oz, 4 oz (1/2 cup) and 8 oz (1 cup) servings.

·Tupperware, Rubbermaid, ZipLock and Glad are the more well known brands. Look at discount stores for smaller containers. Many are now BPA free.

Bento Boxes

·Look for Bento Box for kids on Amazon. These are boxes that are divided to separate food. You can measure your portion into the sections. The kid size has better portion control for bariatric patients.

Travel Cups/Mugs

·Designed to fit in cup holders in your vehicle. These usually have a small opening on the side to sip from. Helps to avoid straws. Copco is a popular brand.

·Grocery stores now carry disposable hot beverage cups with lids. This would be great way to sip warm broth or a high protein warm cocoa (just heat your chocolate protein shake) while you are driving.

Insulated Tumblers, Cups and Containers

·Insulated cups can keep your protein drinks cold or hot depending on how you need to use it. Look for double sided cups, which are usually hand wash only, but keep fluids cold for longer periods.

·Thermos is a brand that has been around for decades. There are water bottles and other food storage items available.

·YETI is a brand that is becoming popular. It is more expensive, but it is a double wall, heavy gauge, stainless steel product. You can find a 20 oz. tumbler with lid for $29.99 at Academy, Ace Hardware, Gander Mountain and Cabela’s.

·There are other insulated containers for hot foods like soups and stews.

Warmers

·Crock Pot makes an electric Lunch Crock that has a 20 oz. capacity. Target has this listed for $19.99. One reviewer recommends turning it off about 45 minutes before your lunch, because even the low setting can be too hot. This would be great if splitting a meal with a co-worker or family member.

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