Weight Gain Milk: A Fortified Food to Gain Weight 

“Weight Gain Milk: A Fortified Food to Gain Weight” was reviewed/edited by Aly Bouzek, MS, RDN.

Milk, specifically weight gain milk, is a great tool for stopping unintended weight loss and promoting weight gain.

Weight gain milk is actually a “fortified food” that provides extra calories to the foods and drinks that you are already consuming.

This article provides information on how to make weight gain milk, tips to promote weight gain, and recipes. Read on to learn more!

What are Fortified Foods?

Fortified Foods

By definition, “fortify” means to “strengthen”.

As it relates to foods, fortify means to increase the amount of nutrition in the food.

Fortified foods are simply foods that we add extra nutrients to.

This can be in the form of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) or macronutrients (calories, protein, fat).

Fortified with Vitamins and Minerals

Most people are familiar with fortified foods that have been fortified with vitamins and minerals. A good example of this is juice. Some orange juice brands are fortified with calcium. 

Another example is actually milk itself. Milk usually has vitamin D added to it. This is a nutrient that isn’t naturally found in milk. So, we now know that milk is fortified with vitamin D.

Milk Nutrition

Milk has calcium, vitamin A, and is fortified with vitamin D. These nutrients are important for eye health, bone development, and our overall health. 

Fun fact! Milk is known as a good source of calcium, but did you know that without vitamin D our bodies have a hard time absorbing and using that calcium? 

Fortifying milk with vitamin D was an effort to help our bodies absorb the calcium in milk, have stronger bones, and avoid rickets (a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency). (1)

Fortified with Calories

When a geriatric dietitian talks about fortified foods, we are usually talking about foods that have been fortified with calories. This means that we are adding extras to foods someone is already eating to maximize the calories eaten.

Providing fortified foods is an effective strategy to stop unintended weight loss and promote weight gain. It allows us to maximize the calories with the same amount of foods consumed.

We do this so that you don’t get full from eating so many extra calories! Instead, you can enjoy the same amount of food, now with a boost of extra calories. 

Using Milk to Gain Weight

Milk can be consumed with a meal or in-between meals to help with weight gain. Sometimes people can get too full while drinking a lot at meal times. Drinking milk in between meals is most effective. 

Calories in Milk

There are many different varieties of milk. For the purpose of this article, we are discussing pasteurized cow’s milk. But even within cow’s milk there is lots of variety.

Calories in 1 cup of milk, by type: (2)

Drink TypeCalories in 1 cup
Milk, whole strawberry211
Milk, whole chocolate206
Milk, whole146
Milk, 2%122
Milk, 1%105
Milk, Skim83

When making Weight Gain Milk we need to make sure we are using the varieties of milk with the most calories.

Weight Gain Milk

Weight Gain Milk has several names. You may also hear it referred to as “fortified milk” or “double strength milk”. 

Let’s check out the weight gain milk recipe below!

Weight Gain Milk Recipe

Weight Gain Milk Recipe

Here is the recipe for weight gain milk, and it’s so easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup dry milk (whole)

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients, stir until smooth
  2. You can also mix the ingredients in a shaker 

Nutrition Information:

  • Serving Size: 10 oz. glass
  • Calorie Count: 305

Weight Gain Milk Recipe in Bulk

If you want to make more weight gain milk at one time, then the breakdown is 4 parts whole milk to 1 part dry milk. Store extras in the fridge and make sure to shake well before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
  • 1 cup dry milk (whole)

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients and stir until smooth
  2. You can also mix the ingredients in a shaker
  3. Store extras in sealed container in fridge

Nutrition Information:

  • Servings per Recipe: 4
  • Serving Size: 10 oz. glass
  • Calorie Count per Serving: 305

Be sure to drink the weight gain milk in a timely fashion. We suggest not making too much at once because you don’t want the milk to spoil before you have the chance to drink it.

Difference in Calories Per Volume

The visual below shows how the exact same volume of milk can have different calorie counts. Let’s take a peek. Calories per 10 oz. glass:

Weight Gain Milk
  • Skim milk: 104 calories 
  • Whole milk: 183 calories 
  • Weight Gain milk: 305 calories 

As you can see, of all these milk choices, weight gain milk clearly provides the most calories per volume.

Other Foods for Weight Gain

Weight gain milk can be used with other high calorie foods to promote weight gain and help stop unintended weight loss. We have written several articles on this topic which may be helpful:

Additionally, here are four simple fortified food and drink recipes to help with weight gain.

Fortified Oatmeal for Weight Gain

Fortified Oatmeal

Here is the recipe for weight gain oatmeal.

You can use instant oatmeal or stove top cooked oatmeal.

You can add so many high calorie add-ins for a high calorie, fortified breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet instant oatmeal (plain)
  • 2/3 whole milk
  • 1/8 cup dry milk (whole)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Combine a packet of oatmeal and milk to a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in dry milk, brown sugar, and butter.
  4. Allow to cool to desired temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information:

  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calorie Count: 420

To add even more calories, you can add in dried fruit, nuts, seeds, or nut butters to the fortified oatmeal.

Be sure to check out our article on High Calorie Breakfasts for more ideas and three tasty recipes. And, head on over to our Super Cereal for the Elderly article for another free recipe!

Fortified Soup for Weight Gain

Fortified Soup

Here is a simple recipe for fortified soup. You can use any brand of canned soup.

The take home message is to use whole milk (there are more calories) and add dry milk (for a boost of extra calories).

Adding cheese, crackers, or chips on top will add even more calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (10 oz.) condensed tomato soup
  • 10 oz. whole milk (measure in empty soup can)
  • 1/4 cup dry milk (whole)
  • 1/4 shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients and stir until smooth
  2. Heat on stovetop or in microwave until
  3. Serve soup in bowls, top with shredded cheese

Nutrition Information:

  • Servings per Recipe: 2
  • Serving Size: Half recipe
  • Calorie Count per Serving: 340

Be sure to check out our article on High Calorie Soups for more ideas and three tasty recipes.

Fortified Smoothie for Weight Gain

Fortified Smoothie

Fortifying a smoothie for your weight gain goals is simple!

If you have a favorite smoothie, then you can fortify it with dry whole milk to get the most calories and best weight gain benefits. 

You can also use this Avocado Weight Gain Smoothie recipe and don’t forget to add dry whole milk to boost your calories! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup dry whole milk
  • Almond whipped cream, to taste
  • Caramel syrup, to taste
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients, in order from top to bottom, into a blender or blender cup. Blend until smooth (without chunks) using the smoothie button if it is an option.
  2. Pour into a 14 oz or larger drinking cup.

Nutrition Information:

  • Serving Size: 1 smoothie
  • Calorie Count: 998 

If you want to add more calories to this delicious smoothie, then try adding your favorite toppings. We like adding chia seeds and nut butters! 

Fortified Coffee for Weight Gain

Fortified Coffee

If you love coffee, then this last recipe is for you!

We’ve laid out a base recipe to get you started, but feel free to add additional flavorings to make it taste delicious for you. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coffee
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ⅓ cup dry whole milk
  • Flavoring, to taste (ideas include: vanilla, mocha, caramel, hazelnut, peppermint)
  • Ice optional

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients into a coffee mug or tumbler and stir until smooth.
  2. Add ice for iced coffee
  3. If enjoying hot coffee: 
    1. Don’t add ice.
    2. Place a microwave-safe coffee mug in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. 
    3. Allow to cool before drinking. 

Nutrition Information: 

  • Serving Size: 1 coffee
  • Calorie Count: 293 

Remember that the focus is weight gain. Try to stay away from adding any ingredients that are low-fat, non-fat, or are lower in calories. 

Instead, choose high calorie, full-fat flavorings and additional ingredients to really bump up the calories in this fortified coffee recipe!

More Coffee!

If you love coffee and peanut butter, then you have to try this Peanut Butter Coffee Smoothie. It’s delicious! 

If you want to add dry whole milk to make it a weight gain milk smoothie, then remember to use the 4:1 ratio that we learned about above! 

Quick tip: add up all liquid amounts and divide by 4. The number you get is how much dry whole milk you should add to a recipe.

Quick example: the liquids in the recipe are 1 cup of milk and ¼ cup half and half. 1 cup + ¼ cup = 1.25 cups. Divide 1.25 by 4 and you get 0.3 or about ⅓ cup dry whole milk. Great work!

Conclusion

Weight gain milk is an easy and effective way to gain weight. You can add flavored syrups (i.e. chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, butterscotch, etc.) to add more:

  • Variety to your milk
  • Calories to your drink
  • Weight in your weight gain journey!
Weight Gain Milk Recipe Infographic

 Resources:

  1. FoodData Central. USDA. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/
  2. Vitamin D-Fortified Milk. Global Health Now. https://globalhealthnow.org/object/vitamin-d-fortified-milk#:~:text=In%20the%201930s%2C%20the%20United,particularly%20in%20northern%20U.S.%20cities

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