Dysphasia is a difficult condition to deal with, whether you personally are going through it or you’re a caretaker for someone who is.
It is a condition that limits your diet to only soft, almost liquid foods, so it is a very limited diet that requires pureed food for pretty much every meal. That is the only way that people with this condition can get the proper nutrients they need to stay healthy and energized despite their dysphagia.
Luckily, pureeing food for a dysphagia diet is fairly simple. There are a few easy guidelines to follow, and many kitchen tools to choose from. I’ll outline all of that below, and give you some additional information about the best diet for dysphagia sufferers and more.
How to Puree Food for Dysphagia Diet
Step 1: Chop
The best method for making sure your puree is entirely smooth is to finely chop up all of the solid ingredients first. Any solid chunks leftover in the puree can be very hazardous for a person suffering from dysphagia, so making sure all parts of the mixture are chopped down as small as they can be before being liquefied is a very important first step.
Step 2: Puree
After your ingredients are all set, throw them into your pureeing machine of choice (more on that below) and puree away!
Pro tip: Start on a low/slow setting on your device, and gradually work your way up to the puree setting.
This will allow all the solid chunks to be mixed, chopped, sliced, etc. together even further before being blended into a smooth consistency. It will also prevent any splatter from flying all over your counter tops, which might happen if you start right at the highest setting.
Step 3: Serve
If you want to be really careful about solid chunks in the final puree, strain the puree through a colander or sieve before serving.
As the patient eats the puree, make sure it’s eaten slowly in small bites so that their system doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Also, make sure they are sitting entirely upright during the meal, and for at least 30 minutes afterward, to ensure they have properly digested the food.
Step 4 (optional): Store
To make your life easier, it might be beneficial to consider making large batches of the patient’s favorite pureed dish and store it away in containers for the future. This way, you won’t have to go through this whole process every time, and you can just warm up the mixture for the next meal.
The Best Pureeing Machines
The typical machine most households use for pureeing foods is a food processor. These are simple machines where you load your food into the feeding tube and the blades mix and mash the food together into a smooth mixture. More advanced ones have incredibly large feeding tubes, where you may not even have to chop up the vegetable before loading it into the machine. They also have varying settings and sizes for the main container.
Another great option for pureeing machines is the blender. These also have a variety of settings, and are fairly intuitive to operate. Getting one with higher power capabilities will be more beneficial for dysphagia patients because you’ll need to blend together more solid foods, not just fruits and vegetables for smoothies.
Dysphagia Diet Tips
Here are the basics you need to know about making the best purees for a dysphagia diet:
In order to make the best puree, you’ll need a liquid base to make your mixture smooth and easy to digest.
Instead of using water for every meal, mix it up with some milk to add protein and calcium, or fruit juices to add some vitamins and an energy boost. You can also add liquids like aloe if they have inflammation, or nut milks to add healthy fats to the diet.
Always add some fruits and vegetables to every puree, if you can. Dysphagia patients can only get their vitamins and nutrients from what they eat since they can’t necessarily swallow pills, so getting their daily dose of nutrients from these meals is important.
Of course, to make sure that their diet is well-rounded, you’ll also need solids or protein-rich foods mixed into your purees. This will help them be more satisfied with the meals. Choose soft meats like tuna or chicken, or cheeses like cottage cheese to ensure a soft consistency.
Make sure to make a variety of purees too in order to keep the dysphagia patient excited to eat and interested in their diets. It can become very discouraging to eat something with the same texture over and over again, so flavor variety is key to maintaining a well-rounded and consistent diet for dysphagia patients.
While dysphagia is a tough condition to deal with, there are many ways to make the dysphagia diet work for you. Having a variety of purees on hand will make life easier and meals more enjoyable.
Check out my other posts on dysphagia to learn more about the condition and how to deal with it.
If you found this guide helpful, please share it on social media with friends and family! As always, questions and comments are welcome below.
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My name is Scott, the founder of PureePro and I was once like you - looking for helpful information about pureeing food for a loved one. But, there wasn't a lot of information to be found. So, I created this site as a resource on how to make good pureed food at home. I hope you enjoy it and learn a little, too!Learn more
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