New Options for Clients on Restricted Diets

Project Angel Heart clients who are dairy-free, have trouble chewing or swallowing, or are on a special kidney diet are getting a little extra nutrition in their meal bags, thanks to new options that became available last month.

For the past two years, all Project Angel Heart clients have received meal enhancement bags containing milk and fruit in addition to their regular meal bags. Meal enhancement bags provide added calcium, vitamin D, and other important micronutrients.

When we first began providing meal enhancements, we knew they wouldn’t meet every client’s needs. Dairy can be an issue for many people. Some fruits are high in potassium, meaning they’re not ideal for clients with kidney disease. And many clients have trouble chewing or swallowing, making it difficult for them to eat apples or other crunchy fruits. We’ve been working ever since to create a packing process, identify new products and vendors, and secure the additional funding needed to begin modifying meal enhancements.

Last month, we were able to start providing medically tailored options for meal enhancements! These include:

  • Lower potassium fruit for people living with kidney disease
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which is lower in potassium and phosphorous in addition to being dairy-free, for people with kidney disease, lactose intolerance, or a dairy allergy
  • Soft fruit options, including applesauce and cooked/peeled peaches or pears, for people who have trouble chewing or swallowing

Volunteers pack the new modified meal enhancement bags each week, combining different milk and fruit options to meet clients’ nutritional needs

We are also now able to provide dairy-free breakfast bags, which are available to clients who are severely underweight or malnourished. Dairy-free breakfast bags will include unsweetened vanilla almond milk, additional eggs, and peanut butter instead of regular milk, yogurt, and string cheese.

We want to make sure all Project Angel Heart clients, including those on restricted diets, get as much nutrition as possible. We’re excited to offer these new options and better meet our clients’ unique nutritional needs.