You have been diagnosed with a severe chewing and/or swallowing problem by the healthcare professionals treating you. You will need to puree your foods until your physician and other healthcare professionals feel comfortable advancing the texture of your diet. Be sure that any pureed foods prepared in advance are the consistency of pudding or moist mashed potatoes and are smooth and free of lumps.
Label Reading Tips
When reading labels, look for:
- Plain or vanilla yogurt, not yogurt with fruit chunks
- Smooth applesauce, not chunky
- Creamy soups, not chunky ones or stews
- Beverages without pulp, then thickened per diet order
- If the physician has requested that you restrict high sodium/salty foods, read labels carefully.
- Choose familiar foods that can be modified to the consistency ordered.
- Canned fruits and vegetables are a good base from which to blenderize foods.
- Syrups or fruit purees can add color and taste to a variety of food items.
- Yogurt is a good way to provide dairy products at this level of the nutrition therapy.
Cooking and Preparation Tips
- When pureeing or blenderizing foods, add as little fluid initially as possible, using gravy, sauces, vegetable juice, fruit juice, milk, half and half, etc.
- Use vegetable cooking water to restore vitamins when pureeing meats and vegetables.
- Potato flakes can help to thicken pureed foods that have been thinned too much.
- 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 pureed recipe that is easy to swallow.
- Quantities of favorite items can be prepared ahead and frozen in portion sizes.
- When reheating foods, use caution that a tough outer crust that could be hard to swallow does not form on pureed food.