Pureed Food Recipes for the Elderly: Dysphagia Diet Level 1
July 02 2020
Updated on June 17, 2022
- Pureed Food Recipes for the Elderly: Dysphagia Diet Level 1
- What Is a Puréed Diet?
- What Is a Purée?
- What Are Soft Foods?
- Purée Diet vs. Soft Diet: What Are Their Differences and Similarities?
- Dysphagia Diet Breakdown
- Guidelines for Creating Pureed Food for Elderly People
- What Foods Should You Puree?
- What Kitchen Items Do You Need to Prepare Purée Foods?
- How Can You Puree Food for Elderly People?
- What Should the Final Texture Be Like?
- Are There Any Foods That I Should Not Puree?
- How Should I Cook Meats to Be Puréed?
- How Do I Make Puréed Foods Smoother?
- Puréed Diet Guidelines
- Planning Meals That Follow a Purée Diet
- Get a Food Processor or Blender
- Read or Learn Different Puréed Food Recipes
- Plan Your Meals
- Add Desserts and Snacks
- Stock Up on Food Staples
- Make a Grocery List and Buy Your Ingredients
- Prep Your Meals
- Keep a Flexible Meal Plan But Follow the Purée Diet
- Don’t Be Afraid to Eat Out
- Tips on Making a Meal Plan When Following a Purée Diet
- Balance Your Food and Nutrition
- Create Variety
- Enjoy But Moderate Your Foods
- Guide for Good Nutrition on a Purée Diet
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Balancing Your Nutrition
- Tips for Adding Calories to Your Purée Diet
- Tips for Adding Protein to Your Purée Diet
- Pureed Food Recipes for Adults
- Coconut Mango Puree
- Savory Beet Puree
- Fresh Pea Soup
- Easy-Peasy Chicken
- Lima Bean Purée
- Lobster Bisque
- Sweet Apple Bread Puree
- Pumpkin Cauliflower Curry
- Beef and Sweet Potato Puree with Thyme
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- Watermelon Sorbet
- Minted Melon Smoothie
- Tips for Making Puréed Foods Taste Better
- Sample Daily Meal Plan
- Tips for Eating Puréed Foods When You Have Dysphagia
- What If I Can’t Make Pureed Diet Recipes for Dysphagia?
- What’s Next?
Pureed Food Recipes for the Elderly: Dysphagia Diet Level 1
Dysphagia refers to a condition or a symptom in which it is difficult to swallow. This condition is more common among the elderly and is often the result of muscle or nerve problems. Dysphagia can affect your mouth, your throat, your esophagus, or all three areas. People who have dysphagia may experience choking while eating, gagging when swallowing, heartburn, drooling, vomiting, and more.
Not being able to swallow your food properly leads to a whole host of other conditions, such as malnutrition and dehydration. So, if you are experiencing dysphagia, it is crucial that you take steps to prepare safe-to-eat foods. There are other steps you can take, such as swallowing therapy and tube feeding. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any steps to rectify your dysphagia.
What Is a Puréed Diet?
A puréed diet is a food regimen in which you can only eat puréed foods or foods that don’t need to be chewed. People who have trouble chewing or swallowing need a purée diet. These include elderly people with dysphagia, children undergoing tooth development, and people with missing teeth.
What Is a Purée?
Any puréed food is cooked food turned into a paste or thick liquid. Typically, the food turned into purée is cooked and chopped or ground finely before it gets puréed. A food processor or blender is the key kitchen appliance used to create puréed food.
Here is a list of the qualities of puréed foods:
- It has a smooth consistency.
- It is free of lumps, strings, seeds, and skins.
- It holds its shape on a spoon.
- You usually eat it with a spoon.
- You cannot suck it through a straw.
- It flows very slowly
- It isn’t sticky.
- It doesn’t separate into liquid and solid.
- It falls off the spoon when tilted in a single spoonful.
What Are Soft Foods?
Soft foods are foods that are soft and easily digestible. They must be easy-to-eat foods. Certain foods are already considered soft foods, like some types of bread and ripe bananas. Other foods soften when moist or liquids are added to them, like some cereals and oatmeal. Finally, pasta, baked fruits, and other foods are cooked for a soft consistency.
Purée Diet vs. Soft Diet: What Are Their Differences and Similarities?
Both puréed and soft diet foods are easier to digest than regular foods. Purée and soft diets are prescribed to those who have issues with digestion or chewing. Doctors may also prescribe these diets for those recovering from certain surgical operations.
How is purée diet different from a soft diet?
A person who is on a mechanical soft diet can only eat foods that they can chew. Yet, soft diet foods require less chewing than a regular diet. A person on a soft diet can tolerate different food consistencies as long as they are easily chewed. A soft diet includes chopped and ground foods on top of puréed foods.
A person on a puréed diet can only eat foods that don’t require chewing. Their food choices are limited to a certain consistency. These foods may include broth and pudding other than puréed foods.
Dysphagia Diet Breakdown
A dysphagia diet has 4 levels:
Level 1: This is the pureed food diet level. This is the most limited level and is suitable for those who have moderate to severe dysphagia.
Level 2: You may eat moist foods that require minimal chewing – for instance, gravy with ground meat, soft scrambled eggs, peanut butter, and so on.
Level 3: You may eat soft-solid foods that require a bit more chewing than in level 2. Acceptable foods include fruits and vegetables that are easy to cut, as well as tender cuts of meat.
Level 4: All levels of food may be eaten during this level of the diet, but you should still be careful.
Here at All American Home Care, we understand the importance of food safety in the lives of those with dysphagia. We would like to educate you about how to prepare delicious, yet easy-to-swallow meals for yourself or for somebody else in your life who has dysphagia. So, today, we are going to take a look at suitable recipes for level 1 of the dysphagia diet. All of these will be pureed food recipes for dysphagia. You will need either a blender or a food processor to be able to make these, as this is the best way to puree food.
Guidelines for Creating Pureed Food for Elderly People
Perhaps you have been wondering how to prepare pureed food for the elderly. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but you should still use caution as dysphagia is a serious condition.
What Foods Should You Puree?
When planning out your daily pureed foods list, try to include meals that adhere to the basic four food groups: milk, meat, fruits/vegetables, and breads/cereals. You should aim to have 2 servings of milk, 2 servings of meat, 4 servings of fruits/vegetables, and 4 servings of breads/cereals per day.
What Kitchen Items Do You Need to Prepare Purée Foods?
The most important items in your kitchen for following a puréed diet include a food processor or blender. You can also use small and powerful blenders like Nutribullet or The Vitamix for making small portions. For soft and well-cooked foods, you can use a hand-held blender. Another item you’d need in your kitchen for fruits and vegetables is a household mesh strainer or sieve. You can also use a baby-food grinder if you already have one at home. Baby-food grinders don’t always create a smooth consistency, so they’re only good as an alternative if your food processor or blender breaks down.
How Can You Puree Food for Elderly People?
Pureeing food for the elderly is quite simple: you simply need to add the ingredients of your choice into a blender or a food processor, along with liquid and an optional thickening agent (flour, arrowroot, etc.). Press the “On” button until your mixture is very smooth. If you find that the mixture is far too thin, add in a bit of your thickener (approximately 1 tbsp). Conversely, if the puree is too thick, you can thin it out with your liquid of choice. For savory dishes, vegetable broth is a great choice, while apple juice is better for sweet dishes.
What Should the Final Texture Be Like?
A properly pureed meal should not have any lumps, chunks, pulp, or seeds. The texture should be smooth and pudding-like; dry, crunchy, chewy, runny, and sticky textures can be dangerous for people who require a level 1 dysphagia diet.
Are There Any Foods That I Should Not Puree?
To create the smoothest purée, you should avoid the following foods: stringy vegetables, pulpy fruits, dry cereal, grains with seeds, and hard cheeses. Avoid buying or puréeing foods with added nuts, seeds, fruits, or other chunks.
How Should I Cook Meats to Be Puréed?
Do not cook meats with oil. Instead, cook your meats with moisture, like boiled, steamed, braised, or poached meats.
How Do I Make Puréed Foods Smoother?
You can add liquids to create a smoother consistency after puréeing foods. These liquids may include water, broth, sauces, milk, juice, yogurt, gravies, and supplement drinks. Add liquids that match or complement the puréed foods. For example, use juices for puréed fruits and milk for cheeses.
When you add liquid, use a teaspoon to ensure you don’t put too much into the purée. You don’t want your food to be too runny when you eat it.
Puréed Diet Guidelines
Here is a tabulated list of foods to include and avoid for the elderly who are on a puréed or mechanical diet.
|Type of Food||Include||Avoid|
|Dairy Products and Milk||
Puréed cottage cheese, mild or processed cheeses melted into a sauce, and thin ricotta cheese
Hard or solid cheeses, including regular cottage cheese, pot cheese, and farmer cheese
Fruit nectars and juices with no pulp
Vegetable juices like tomato juice
All other vegetables
Whipped or smooth mashed potatoes
|Meat and Meat Substitutes||
Puréed or strained meat, poultry, and fish
Scrambled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, fried, and poached eggs
|Desserts and Sweets||
Chocolate syrup, maple syrup, and all other syrups
Anything made with whole fruits and coconuts
All beverages containing raw eggs
Herbs and spices
Planning Meals That Follow a Purée Diet
One drawback to following a purée diet is that the texture of the food can become boring. Some get tempted to go back to eating soft foods or regular foods, a decision that can do them more harm. The good news is that there is a trick you can do to help you continue your diet.
Like eating regular foods, you can consume various food combinations with a purée diet. Changing up your meals will help you feel better about eating puréed foods.
Get a Food Processor or Blender
If you’ll be on a purée diet for a long while, it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality and durable blender or food processor first. It’s more practical to have one of these appliances in your kitchen so you can make your meals at home. Another advantage of having home-prepped meals is that you get to choose what you want to consume based on what you’re in the mood for or the flavors you want to taste.
Read or Learn Different Puréed Food Recipes
Next, consider the meals that you want to eat by reading their recipes. Read the ingredients needed for these recipes and make a list of the ones that you need to add to your pantry or refrigerator. Some puréed foods need specific ingredients, like frozen yogurt or hummus.
When you’re checking the different recipes, consider your budget and taste. Consider also the time it takes to prepare each meal.
Further below, we’ve written down various recipes for puréed meals that you can include in your meal plan.
Plan Your Meals
At this stage, you decide what you want to eat for the next week. Choose the meals, desserts, and snacks that you want. Approach meal planning like you would with a regular diet plan. The only difference is that you’re limited to consuming puréed foods.
Remember that you don’t need to prepare every puréed food if you don’t have the time or energy. You can buy pre-made puréed foods from supermarkets, too. They are great alternatives if you want a meal with a different taste.
Add Desserts and Snacks
Skipping desserts while being on a strict diet is a recipe for disaster. Remember that being on a puréed food diet doesn’t mean you can’t have any desserts or snacks. You still need these things to add variety and stay happy. The important thing is you consume desserts and snacks that follow the puréed diet.
Some good purée dessert options include sorbets, chocolate mousse, custard, smoothies, and yogurt. Skyr is an Icelandic cheese and yogurt recipe and an interesting puréed snack choice that you might want to try.
Stock Up on Food Staples
Stock up your pantry and refrigerator with the basic ingredients and staple foods. Yogurt, avocado, bananas, pudding, and liquid nutritional supplements are good staple foods for elderly adults following a purée diet.
Make a Grocery List and Buy Your Ingredients
You have your meals and recipes planned. Next, check the recipes for any food items or ingredients that aren’t in your pantry or refrigerator yet. Add them to a grocery list and get them on your designated shopping day of the week.
If you can’t go out to shop for these food items yourself, you can order them online and have them delivered via a grocery delivery service. You can also reach out to family or friends that can help you out with your shopping.
Prep Your Meals
This last step is optional, but it’s a good step if you’ll be busy for the week. Plan a day for prepping your meals so that it’s easier to cook and purée them when it’s time to eat them. A good day to do this is Sunday. When you prep your meals, you can chop vegetables, wash and portion fruits, measure spices, and prepare large batches of beans.
Remember that not all foods will remain fresh if you prepare them early. If you prefer to eat your foods fresh or prep them the night before, you can skip this step.
Keep a Flexible Meal Plan But Follow the Purée Diet
Sometimes, you won’t feel like having the planned puréed chicken for dinner, and that’s okay. In times like this, it’s okay to change up the meal and try something else that you feel like having.
Sometimes, you’ll be too busy or exhausted to prepare, cook, and purée food that’s meant to be your meal. It’s okay if you don’t feel like following the meal plan to the T, too. The solution for this situation is to choose a different recipe that requires less work or buy pre-made purée food instead.
Changing it up as you go is fine as long as you don’t prepare anything that you can’t have on a purée diet. The most important is to stick to your purée diet.
Don’t Be Afraid to Eat Out
Some restaurants offer foods that cater to people with dysphagia or similar health issues. They are a good alternative if you want to go out with family and friends or have a change in routine. Don’t forget to call ahead to ask the manager or chef if they provide puréed foods for special cases. It will also help if you order sides of gravy, milk, or broth to moisten and soften your foods.
Tips on Making a Meal Plan When Following a Purée Diet
Below are a few principles to keep in mind when you plan your meals for your purée diet.
Balance Your Food and Nutrition
Make sure every meal has all the major food groups present in them. Remember that your body needs a good balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates to function. You can check the table above for the foods from each food group that you might want to add to your meals.
One way to help you balance your nutrition is to know your caloric needs. Everyone has different caloric needs based on their age, height, weight, physical activity, and sex. When you have dysphagia or adopt a puréed diet, you may lose weight because of the diet change. You can talk to your doctor or nutritionist about the number of calories you need to maintain your weight.
Having variety in your meal plan is a good thing. You can’t get all your nutrients from one basic meal plan that contains the same puréed vegetables, meat, dairy, and starchy foods. You need to switch it up often, too.
You aren’t only exposing your body to different micronutrients and phytochemicals. Doing this makes following a mechanically altered diet more enjoyable, as well.
Enjoy But Moderate Your Foods
Plan your meals the way you want, but make sure you have good moderation. The same applies to any dessert you want to include in the meal plan, too. Having too little or too much of something can impact your nutrition and health. Thus, it’s always good to check what you’re putting in the meal plan and adjust it to moderation.
You can eat anything you want, what sounds good, or what you’re in the mood for. It’s your meal plan and your purée diet, after all. To stay safe and healthy, ensure you don’t include any of the foods to avoid.
Guide for Good Nutrition on a Purée Diet
How do you know if your diet is nutritionally balanced? The best way to know that is to ensure you eat foods with the following:
Carbohydrates help your body create glucose, which converts into energy. Your body uses this energy to fuel your brain, heart muscles, kidneys, and more. You also need carbohydrates to do physical activities.
Your carbohydrates should come from starches and starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, cereals, and whole grains.
Every cell in your body contains protein. It’s why proteins are considered the building blocks of life. They help your body build and repair cells in your bones, skin, muscles, and cartilage.
Protein-rich foods include beans, nuts & nut butters, protein powders, milk, cheese, yogurt, fish, meat, and soy products.
Fats are the source of your body’s essential fatty acids. These help you absorb other essentials like Vitamin A, D, and E. Your body cannot make fatty acids by itself, so consuming healthy fats is important.
You can get fats from meats, dairy, coconut, vegetable oils, and baked goods. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. You can get them from olive oil, fish oil, avocado, peanut oil, and canola oil. Saturated fats are found in full-fat dairy products, butter, coconut, meat, palm oil, and coconut products.
Fiber helps your digestive system pass food and promote regular bowel movement. Many fiber-rich foods are also excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Fiber comes in two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber slows down your digestion and helps smooth your bowel movements. Insoluble fiber boosts regular bowel movements.
Foods that contain soluble fiber are skinless fruits, barley, and oats. Foods with insoluble fiber are beans, lentils, and whole grains.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals come from all foods in varying amounts. If you eat a well-balanced diet, you won’t need to take vitamin supplements. However, if you live in places where certain foods are less accessible, you may need to take vitamin supplements. For example, people who live in small rural mountain towns won’t always have access to fish and other seafood. Thus, they’ll be healthy when taking fish oil supplements.
Lactose comes from milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and other milk products. It improves liver health and metabolism. Most dairy foods that contain lactose also have essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin B12, protein, choline, and selenium.
Balancing Your Nutrition
Here are some tips and methods if you need to add more protein, calories, or other nutritional needs.
Tips for Adding Calories to Your Purée Diet
Try these tips to get more calories for each meal or into your diet plan:
- Eat 6 to 8 small meals in a day instead of three main meals.
- Choose creamy soups instead of soups with clear broths.
- Drink high-calorie drinks, like soy milkshakes and milkshakes.
- Mix honey or nut butters into your tea, yogurt, hot cereals, shakes, ice cream, or smoothies.
- Add mayonnaise to your tuna, pasta, potatoes, or chicken to create a moist and smooth salad.
- Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of canned coconut milk or cream to smoothies, yogurts, cereals, or shakes to increase your calorie intake. You can also add it to diced chicken or rice for extra flavor, moisture, and calories.
- Supplement your dishes or smoothies with avocado.
- Consider adding sour cream, half and half, whole milk, or heavy cream to your foods if you aren’t on a low-fat diet.
- Create ice cubes from fruit nectar or milk and use them to make your shakes and smoothies. As they melt, you’ll be getting more calories in your beverages.
- Drink fruit smoothies or shakes made with ice cream or yogurt.
- Replace gelatin desserts with puddings and custards.
Tips for Adding Protein to Your Purée Diet
Here are some tips that you can do to increase the protein you consume in your puréed diet:
- Replaced regular milk with fortified to double the protein you get. You can use fortified milk in milkshakes, hot cereals, hot chocolate, innate puddings, or mashed potatoes.
- Use plain Greek yogurt when you make smoothies, cream sauces, or other food items where you’d typically add sour cream.
- Add cooked puréed eggs to your soups, broths, and cooked vegetables.
- Add protein powder like whey protein in liquids in shakes.
- Prepare your soups, vegetables, and starches with cheese. You can also add cottage cheese to smoothies, canned fruits, and purées.
Pureed Food Recipes for Adults
Contrary to what you might think, pureed food for seniors can be absolutely delicious! These recipes will please your taste buds while also being safe to eat and chock-full of nutrients.
Coconut Mango Puree
Food Group: Fruits/Vegetables
1 can coconut milk
Directions: This delicious puree is perfect for breakfast, or for whenever you feel like you need a tropical vacation. And it couldn’t be easier! All you need to do is add a ripe mango and ½ to 1 can of coconut milk into a blender or food processor and mix. If you don’t want to deal with cutting up a mango, you can buy frozen mango chunks at the grocery store. If you want to jazz things up a bit, you can add a bit of lime juice to give the dish a tasty sour tang.
Savory Beet Puree
Food Group: Fruits/Vegetables
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. fresh dill or dried dill
½ tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Vegetable broth (to thin out, if necessary)
Directions: You will be shocked when you see the bright purple hue of this dish! And it tastes as great as it looks. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut your beet and toss it on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch salt. When the oven is preheated, put the baking sheet in the oven for 40 minutes, using a spatula to flip the beet pieces about halfway through.
Once you remove the beet pieces from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes. Then, add them to the food processor, along with the Greek yogurt, dill, and garlic powder. Give it a few pulses and check to see if the texture is thin enough. If it’s too thick, go ahead and add in some vegetable broth.
Fresh Pea Soup
Food Group: Fruits/Vegetables
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
2.5 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. diced onion
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. Flour or similar thickening agent
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of ginger
Directions: This savory pea soup is perfect for enjoying on a sunny spring day! Add peas, onions, and chicken broth into a saucepan and cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the ginger, butter, and pepper until the pepper has melted. Put the mixture into your food processor or blender and blend it well. Pour the blended mixture back into the saucepan and add your thickening agent. Bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Food Group: Meat, Milk, Fruits/Vegetables
½ cup milk
½ cup cooked shredded chicken
½ cup canned, drained vegetables (such as carrots or peas)
Directions: If you are short on time, this chicken recipe can be done in just a couple of minutes. Simply throw all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor and blend it well. Enjoy!
Lima Bean Purée
Food Groups: Meat/Meat Alternatives, Fruits/Vegetables
8 oz large, dry lima beans (alternatives are chickpeas or your favorite beans)
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
Directions: This recipe is a good protein source if you can’t or don’t feel like eating meat. Sort the beans by removing damaged beans and stones. Wash the beans under cold water and drain. Boil the beans in a saucepan with water and salt. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let the beans boil for 45 minutes until they are very tender. Transfer the beans to a food processor. Including the liquid, it should make about three cups. Add oil and process the beans for 20 to 30 seconds until very smooth.
Food Groups: Meat, Milk
2 ½ cups of milk
1 can of lobster meat
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp paprika
Pinch of pepper
Directions: You can save yourself a trip to Red Lobster by making this tasty dish! Add all of the ingredients except for the canned lobster meat into your blender or food processor and blend them together. Add in the lobster meat and blend the mixture again. Next, pour it all into a saucepan and bring it to a boil while stirring. Strain the soup, and then it is ready to eat.
Sweet Apple Bread Puree
Food Groups: Bread/Grains, Fruits/Vegetables
Ingredients: 5 slices of whole wheat bread
¾ cup apple juice
½ tbsp flour or a different thickening agent (optional)
Directions: Sometimes, you need the comforting hug of carbs, which this meal definitely provides. Place your slices of bread into your blender or food processor. Gradually add in your apple juice while pulsing the bread. After all of the juice has been added, finishing pureeing the mixture until it is smooth. If the mixture is too thin, add in the flour or another thickening agent.
Pumpkin Cauliflower Curry
Food Group: Fruits/Vegetables
8 oz cauliflower
8 oz pumpkin
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp curry powder
Dash of pepper
Greek yogurt (optional)
Directions: This recipe is a little more on the involved side, but the warm and subtly spiced flavor will make your efforts totally worth it. First, chop up the pumpkin and the cauliflower into small cubes. Heat some oil in a wok and add in your curry powder; stir the mixture until it is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add in the pumpkin and stir it for 2 minutes. Then, add the water and let it come to a boil. Leave the mixture boiling for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add in your cauliflower and reduce the liquid from a boil to a simmer. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. Add in the yogurt (optional) and allow it to simmer for 2 more minutes.
Next, put your curry into your blender or food processor and add your pinch of ground pepper. Blend until the curry is completely smooth.
Beef and Sweet Potato Puree with Thyme
Food Groups: Meat, Fruits/Vegetables
8 oz cubed beef steak with fat removed
2 peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
2 cups reduced-sodium beef stock
1 tbsp thyme leaves
Directions: This warming recipe is perfect for a cozy winter evening spent by the fireplace. First, place all of the ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan. Turn your stove’s heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce it to a simmer and leave it alone for 25-35 minutes. Take it off the heat once the sweet potato and steak cubes are tender.
Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to a blender or a food processor. Blend until a completely smooth puree has formed; add in some more beef stock if necessary. Enjoy!
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Food Groups: Milk, Fruits/Vegetables
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of ground cinnamon
Directions: This decadent dessert can be enjoyed guilt-free! Combine all of your ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until it is smooth. Next, put the pudding into a container and chill it in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.
Food Group: Fruits/Vegetables
1 cup seedless watermelon, chopped
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp honey or agave
Directions: This refreshing dessert will keep you cool on a hot summer day. Freeze the chopped watermelon overnight or for at least several hours. When it is ready, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the honey (or agave) and lime juice. Process the sorbet until it is completely smooth.
Minted Melon Smoothie
Food Group: Fruits/Vegetables
1/2 cup diluted apple juice (diluted in half)
1 and 1/2 cups honeydew melon, peeled and cubed
2 and 1/2 to 3 cups ice
A few sprigs of fresh mint
Sugar or honey to taste
Directions: Here is another cold dessert to create more variety in your purée dessert catalog. Blend the apple juice, honeydew melon, sugar, and mint until smooth. Ad
Tips for Making Puréed Foods Taste Better
Those who are new to a puréed diet may quickly get bored of the consistency required in the diet. Below are some tricks you can do to increase the taste and quality of the puréed foods and meals you’re preparing.
- Cook food until they’re tender.
- Change the types of desserts and snacks for more variety (hot and cold desserts & hot and cold snacks).
- Add more variety to your meals by including entrees, as well.
- Add small amounts of liquid to create a thinner consistency, but not too much that the food loses its shape when on a spoon.
- Canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and cooked fish don’t need further cooking.
- Always remove skins, pits, bones, seeds, and tough membranes.
Sample Daily Meal Plan
Here is an example of a day’s menu for a person on a purée diet.
Strained cream of mushroom soup
Puréed and strained minestrone soup
Puréed canned fruit
You can use this sample as a baseline for your daily meal plan and adjust it to your diet needs.
Tips for Eating Puréed Foods When You Have Dysphagia
There’s more to managing dysphagia than only sticking strictly to a puréed diet. Below are some ways of managing your dysphagia when you eat puréed foods:
- Sit upright during meal times and stay upright at least 30 minutes after having your meal. Keep your head level and your trunk at 90 degrees, especially when drinking liquids.
- Swallow each mouthful before you take the next. Try “thinking” about each bite instead of simply letting it pass.
- Relax and take your time when you’re drinking or eating. Allow more time for each meal.
- Eat your meal in a quiet place free of distractions.
- Avoid talking while you’re chewing or swallowing.
- Retry foods every 1-2 weeks to deal with taste changes.
- Eat foods at room temperature or cold foods.
- Drink liquids with calories instead of water if you need to maintain or gain more weight.
- Eat your foods with a spoonful of warm soup or liquids between every mouthful to manage a dry mouth.
What If I Can’t Make Pureed Diet Recipes for Dysphagia?
Perhaps you don’t have the time necessary to create pureed foods, or maybe you don’t have a blender or a food processor. Or, you might be worried that you won’t be able to ensure a proper texture for the food. No matter what the reason is, you could benefit from purchasing pre-made pureed foods.
So, where can you buy pureed foods for adults? It doesn’t have to be difficult to find such foods; supermarkets such as Walmart will carry pre-made purees that are commonly sold in bulk. For instance, you can buy a 7-pack case of roasted chicken and veggie puree for $24.30. Walmart offers delivery options, so you don’t even have to worry about going to the store to pick up your pre-made pureed food.
If you would like more variety in your pre-made puree options, there are a huge number of companies that solely cater to people who have dysphagia. These companies ship high-quality, nutritious purees straight to your door. These options are typically more expensive than what you can purchase from Walmart or other supermarkets, so you need to determine whether you prioritize cost or quality.
One example of a high-quality company that creates puree is GA Foods. Their meals have many components, providing you with the variety needed to make your dysphagia diet more enjoyable. One example is their turkey breast meal, which consists of pureed turkey breast, sweet potatoes, green beans, and chocolate pudding. Everything is suitable for people who need to follow a level 1 dysphagia diet.
We hope you found this guide to create pureed foods for dysphagia useful! You can get started on any of these recipes or, if you prefer, you can give us a call. We at All American Home Care have expert caregivers who offer 24-hour live-in care, if necessary. If you are unable to make or purchase pureed foods, one of our caregivers can help you!