If you are someone who has trouble chewing or swallowing, then it’s possible that you are contemplating going on a pureed diet. This post will shed some light on what you need to know about this diet and how to make sure if you’re eating right.
Eating well is essential for a healthy lifestyle and overall well-being. Pureed foods also known as mechanical soft diets tend to have a smooth consistency compared to regular foods which is why they are easier to consume and digest. You don’t have to swallow or chew them.
Below are a few common scenarios when you may have to go adapt one such diet –
- If you have had mouth surgery
- If you have trouble chewing food
- If you cannot swallow regular foods
- If you cannot move your tongue or lips and have lost feelings in the mouth
Typically pureed diet consists of mashed potatoes or puddings. Often the foods are strained or blended to make sure they have the right consistency. Liquid based foods such as juice, milk, broth may also be added to make sure the result comes out to be the right consistency.
Mechanical soft diet differs slightly from the pureed diet. They typically consist of foods that demand less chewing compared to regular diets. In this diet typically ground, pureed, and chopped foods are included. Pureed foods may also be included in this diet as well as those that easily fall apart without the person having to use the knife.
Foods allowed in Pureed Diet
- All beverages and liquids without lumps
- Ripe banana that has been beaten and pureed
- Fruitless yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Cooked fruits
- Margarine and butter
- Cream of wheat and cream of rice
- Crust less bread pureed with water or milk
- Cooked and pureed vegetables
Getting enough when on a pureed diet
People who have trouble chewing food may not be able to consume large portions of the food at a time. Therefore, they may have to eat more of it so they don’t end-up losing weight. With that said, they may have to eat 3 snacks or 3 small meals every day so that they can maintain the right caloric intake which is essential for maintaining the weight.
To get plenty or enough calories, you may have to consume milkshakes or protein drinks (high on calories) between meals to get enough calories.
Preparing the pureed food
You need to blend or strain the food; depending on the type of food you’re going to consume in order to form a puree. Making sure that it can achieve a smooth consistency is essential. As part of preparation you will need to avoid foods with seeds and nuts, as well as stringy foods like onions, celery, and those with hard skin such as peas, corn, and dried beans. The reason is these foods don’t blend well and become a hurdle in forming a puree.
How to prepare the puree
- Chop the foods such as beef and chicken in small pieces
- Put the foods in a processor/blender
- Add the required liquid like broth, milk, juice into the blender or food processor
- Create a mix
Keep experimenting with the consistency until you can find the right proportions for healthy pureed diet.
One of the pureed diet staples, mashed potatoes are eaten largely as part of this diet. However, you can improve the nutritional value of this side dish by mixing it up with some butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes. First of all, you need to boil the vegetables and put them in the food processor with some butter, seasoning, pulses, and coconut milk. Some orange colour vegetables will give an added boost of beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant which offers protection from free radicals and also boosts the vision. The butter adds to the content of fat and caloric intake. If you want to up the ante when it comes to the caloric content, you may want to use sour cream, cream cheese, or some heavy cream instead of using coconut milk.
One of the quickest ways to get some protein inside you is to drink a protein shake on the go. It’s the best way to get a lot of nutrition in just one cup. Shakes are perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is why they are an important part of the pureed diet. People have this idea that shakes are high in sugar content, but if you follow the right recipe, you should be able to get a balance of fats, protein, fibre, and vitamins.
It’s best to use skinless and seedless fruits such as peeled apples and bananas and then mix some full fat coconut milkshake or almond milk with a scoop of protein powder. You may add some sliced avocados to thicken the shake and up the caloric intake. You can play with the taste buds by adding stuff like ginger, nutmeg, cocoa powder, cinnamon, etc.
While on a pureed diet, making sure that you get enough calories can be challenging. A good fix is to use avocados in order to boost the caloric intake. Even a half cup of pureed avocado carries 192 calories. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and they happen to be rich in potassium. They are also a good source of protein. So, you can try making some guacamole by using one tomato, 2 avocados, salt, pepper, and some limejuice.
Pureed diet may seem like a boring option at the face of it. But, it’s not. Especially if you know how to play with different options, you will definitely get into the habit of consuming pureed foods.