(Originally posted 4/3/2013, libbysfitnutrition.com)
Dysphagia is a medical condition that means difficulty swallowing food or liquid. This is seen most often in older patients with other co-morbidities (medical issues) such as Alzheimer's, dementia, stroke, and others. I have listed out some things we work on in the hospitals to prepare food for patients with level 1 and 2 dysphagia.
Cooking and Preparation Tips For Dysphagia I
• 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 and does not form on pureed food.
Put through a ricer, food mill, or strainer for best consistency.
Preparation for Dyphagia II
Meats, fruits and vegetables should be moist, soft and finely chopped into 1/4 inch pieces. Meats should be served with sauces or gravy, and vegetables should be easily mashed with a fork. Some foods will remain pureed due to tough or chewy texture. All Dysphagia I foods are acceptable.
No breads, unless pureed. No tough, hard foods such as rice, nuts, seeds, corn, peas, fried foods or candy on this diet.
High Risk foods which should be avoided in patients with dysphagia
Stringy, fibrous texture, e.g. pineapple, runner beans, celery, lettuce.
Vegetable and fruit skins including beans, e.g. broad, baked, soya, black‐eye, peas, grapes.
Mixed consistency foods e.g. cereals which do not blend with milk, e.g. muesli, mince with thin gravy, soup with lumps.
Crunchy foods, e.g. toast, flaky pastry, dry biscuits, crisps.
Crumbly items, e.g. bread crusts, pie crusts, crumble, dry biscuits.
Hard foods, e.g. boiled and chewy sweets and toffees, nuts and seeds.
Husks, e.g. sweetcorn and granary bread.
Puree foods with as little liquid as possible, advises the ADA. Using a blender or food processor, blend foods to a single, smooth consistency with gravy, sauce, broth, fruit or vegetable juice, milk or half and half. Make bread, pancakes and French toast into a slurry, using milk or juice and a thickening agent, and keep in the refrigerator until the concoction becomes gel-like. Use potato flakes, gelatin, or commercial products to thicken foods to the desired consistency. You may also need thickeners to thicken liquids to swallow them safely. Nestle Nutrition provides commercial thickeners and recipes for pureed foods on the company's website.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/216459-pureed-food-diet/#ixzz1abDUKQYo
Libby is a Registered Dietitian focusing on student eating disorder treatment and prevention. She is working on the central coast to create wellness in individuals and the community.
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