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Mechanically Altered Diet Tips

fooodYou have been diagnosed with difficulty chewing regular textured foods by the healthcare professionals treating you. You will need to modify many of your daily foods by chopping, grinding, shredding, and/or cooking to make them easier for you to chew and swallow.

Label Reading Tips

If purchasing pre-prepared foods, be sure solid components are small and moist, with no nuts, seeds, coconut, or dried fruit.

Shopping Tips

  • Soft, ripe banana is the only uncooked fresh fruit allowed.
  • All canned fruit is allowed except pineapple.
  • Avoid all raw vegetables including lettuce.
  • Avoid cooked asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, corn, peas, and other fibrous or rubbery vegetables.
  • Cottage cheese and moist casseroles are included.
  • Oatmeal and slightly moistened dry cereals with little texture (e.g., cornflakes) are allowed.
  • All potatoes and noodles need to be moist and in sauces—avoid potato skins, chips, fried or French-fried potatoes.
  • Avoid purchasing chewy candies, sticky food items, popcorn, and corn chips.

Cooking and Preparation Tips

  • Moist, soft casseroles without rice or large chunks can be handy one-dish meals at this stage.
  • Breads still need to be very soft or slurried.
  • Tuna or egg salad with no large chunks, onion, or celery is allowed.
  • Dry milk powder added to food will increase calories and protein in the diet.
  • Avoid peanut butter unless this is used as part of a complete recipe that is easy to swallow.
  • Quantities of favorite items can be prepared ahead and frozen in portion sizes.