Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Senior Secondary School 2







  • Food and Nutrition for SS 1-3 by Dr. J. O. Olusanya and others





*   Definition of invalids and convalescents.

*   Feeding an invalid and convalescent.


Definition (Invalid and convalescent)

An invalid is one who is sick and is suffering from gastric or intestinal disorders.  While a convalescent is one who is recovering from an illness.


When someone is ill or recovering from an illness, accident or operation.  It may be necessary to adjust their normal diet to compensate for body weakness poor appetite or poor digestion.


If the illness is serious or complicated the doctor may prescribe a strict diet which should be followed carefully when a patient is convalescing (recovering from an illness or operation) they need food that will compensate for the loss of nutrients and strength that has occurred e.g. loss of calcium and protein from a bone fracture, or loss of iron as a result of losing blood.


Define an invalid and convalescent.


Feeding an invalid and convalescent

In the initial stage of an illness, the body temperature may rise while an infection is being fought.  This will increase body water loss through sweating and must be compensated for by an increase in liquid consumption often the appetite at this stage is poor, so liquids taken should provide energy, vitamins and protein to make up for the reduced food intake.


Suggested liquids include:

Soups and broths

Fruit juice (for vitamin C)

Glucose-based drinks (for energy) milk.

Water – There should always be supply of fresh water by the patients bed as they may want to drink often.


As the patient gradually recovers the appetite slowly returns and solid foods can be given but remember that 

  1. If the meal is on doctor’s advice it must be strictly followed.
  2. The appetite is likely to be poor, so the food must contain a good balance of nutrients so that it is useful to the body.
  3. Small portions should be served with the option of extra if the patient wants it.
  4. The food should be easy to eat and digest.
  5. Greasy foods should be avoided as they may be indigestible.
  6. Strong flavours may be unpalatable.
  7. The patient will generally be using less energy while in bed, so the energy of the food should be lower than normal.
  8. The food should tempt the patients appetite, this can be achieved by attractive serving. Variety of colour and texture and food which is well cooked and well presented.
  9. The patient likes and dislikes for food should be taken into account.
  10. Careful attention to hygiene in the preparation and serving of the food is important
  11. Left over food should not be served to avoid contamination.
  12. Food preparation should be carried out away from the patient as the small of cooking may affect the appetite.


Suitable foods to serve include;


Whole grain cereal with milk or fresh fruit salad, egg, poached, boiled, scrambled  (garnished with toast,

tomatoe parsely) or fish, poached (white fish is more digested than oily fish toasted wholemeal bread, lightly 

buttered. A drink e.g. milk, fruit juice, malted milk, 


Mid-day meal

Minced meat in a savary sauce or fish, steamed and served in a sauce, or grilled chicken with salad, or 

omelette with cheese, mushrooms or meat, or soup, containing meat or pulses.  Fresh vegetables or salad in 

each case.  Fresh fruit salad or stewed fruit, or fruit fool. Or egg custard or cream caramel or milk pudding 

(rice, tapioca semolina) or jelly made with milk and fresh fruit.


Evening meal

A small piece of cake plain biscuits made with wholemeal flour, bread, butter, jam or honey fresh fruit.


A drink e.g. milk, fruit juice, malted milk.


We must note that the guidelines for feeding convalescents are similar to those for feeding invalids except that 

the appetite is likely to be better and serving is easier because convalescents may be able to eat at a table 

instead of in bed.



Suggest two dishes each for breakfast, midday meal and evening meal, for an invalid.


TOPIC- Invalids and convalescents 

Reference Book:  Foods and Nutrition for SS 1- 3 by Dr. J.O. Olusanya page 36.


  1. _________ is one who is sick.

    (a) Invalid     (b) Convalescent    (c) The doctor

  1. _________ is one who is recovering from an illness.

    (a) Invalid    (b) Convalescent    (c) Dietician

  1. Invalids dishes are similar to that of a ________

    (a) pregnant woman    (b) lactating mother    (c) convalescent

  1. An invalids dishes should be _______ spiced.

    (a) Heavily     (b) lightly        (c) not

  1. The invalids dishes should be void of ________ food.

    (a) greasy    (b) vegetable      (c) animal  



  1. Define the following:

    (i)  Invalids    (ii) convalescents

  1. Plan a day menu for an invalid.


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