As life expectancies around the world continue to increase, so is the number of seniors living with dysphagia. Dysphagia literally translates to “difficulty eating”, and seniors with this condition often have trouble with the process of transferring solid food from their mouths to their stomachs. However, this doesn’t mean that mealtimes have to be bland or boring. In this article, we share with you how pureed food for seniors can be made exciting and appetizing.
Dysphagia patients can feel like food is being held up in their chests or stomachs when they swallow solid foods or even certain liquids. This can cause them to cough or choke. As such, a pureed diet is recommended for these seniors. Keep in mind that dysphagia patients, just like anyone else, require nutritionally balanced meals. Dysphagia can be caused by a variety of reasons, including acid reflux, head injuries, dementia, mouth cancer, and more.
How to Make Pureed Foods Exciting and Appetizing
If you have a loved one with dysphagia, the two pieces of equipment you will need in your kitchen to prepare meals for them are a food processor and a blender. You may even choose to get a portable processor to be able to prepare food for your loved one on the go. Blenders can also double up as food processors if you wish to keep things simple.
A suitable thickening agent is another must-have for liquid diets. When you are preparing a soup using vegetables with a watery consistency, you can simply add a thickening agent to give it a thicker consistency, similar to that of honey. To make meat or fish purees, all you need to do is add it into the food processor together with some broth. Always remember that the consistency of any pureed dish should be similar to that of pudding – it should never be runny or bumpy.
Foods to Avoid
It is best to steer clear of these foods if you or a loved one have dysphagia:
- Crunchy or crumbly foods such as toast and potato chips
- Foods with multiple textures
- Foods that have husks, such as corn and multigrain bread
- Dense and hard foods including certain types of meat and candy
- Fibrous foods such as pineapple slices and celery stalks
- … and more!
When in doubt about the types of pureed foods that are most suitable for your loved one, always consult their physician.
Enjoy Catered Dining that Takes Your Dietary Needs into Account
Are you or a loved one struggling with preparing the pureed foods they need for their three daily meals? Preparing meals for someone with dysphagia can be hard, especially if you don’t have the necessary know-how. When you make the move to a senior assisted living community that provides catered dining, you can be assured of receiving three nutritious and delicious meals a day to suit your dietary needs. Our Sensations Dining program at Discovery Commons At Bradenton ensures that your dietary requirements can be met with our all-day dining options.