We identify the key things to bear in mind for anyone living on a puréed diet for swallowing difficulties.

 

A purée diet is one that consists of foods which are puréed and smooth with a consistent texture. It can become necessary to follow a puréed diet when you are living with swallowing difficulties (also known as dysphagia), which presents symptoms including:

• Coughing or choking when eating or drinking.

• Experiencing the sensation that food is stuck in the throat or chest.

• Aspiration – where food goes down the windpipe and into the lungs, which may result in infection.

As a result of these symptoms, mealtimes can often become a difficult, uncomfortable and stressful experience, with many avoiding eating altogether. This in turn can lead to further complications such as malnutrition, making it imperative to follow a diet that is not only safe and nutritious, but allows you to dine with dignity.

If you or a loved one have recently been recommended to follow a puréed diet, we’re sure you’ve got many questions. This article aims to help reduce any concerns you may currently have, giving you peace of mind to continue living life to the fullest. From food safety and receiving the correct nutrition to how this new diet will affect everyday living, we’re going to share the top five things to consider when following a purée diet.*

1. Safety

A puréed diet aims to reduce the risk of aspiration and choking, making it the safest option for those living with swallowing difficulties. Home blending is a common process used to reduce the risk of harm – however this technique can be unreliable despite best efforts, with the possibility for inappropriately sized particles to remain in the meal.

If you are concerned about home blending, Wiltshire Farm Foods have an award-winning range of puréed ready meals that are made to meet international guidelines for texture modified meals. We have over 50 delicious puréed dishes to choose from so there is something to satisfy everyone’s taste.

2. Nutrition

Whether swallowing or chewing problems, the challenges presented by dysphagia make it hard to get the nutrition needed, putting those living with the condition at higher risk of malnutrition. This can be a result of the method in which foods are blended, for example, if water is added to aid the blending process, this can significantly dilute the nutritional value of the meal.  It is important to ensure you are safely prioritising nutrition when it comes to puréeing foods.

3. Dining Experience

If not managed properly, dysphagia can have a significant impact on the quality of life. When changing to a puréed diet it is important to consider the role dining experience plays in our wellbeing. Dining experience includes everything from visual presentation, the environment in which the food is served, and of course the taste of the food itself.  The nutritional value of a meal left uneaten is zero, so it is vital for meals to be presented in an appealing manner. This is why our puréed ranges are blended as individual components and moulded to look and taste as you would expect, making the meal as appealing as possible.

 

4. Social and Psychological Implications

Often those living with swallowing difficulties report not wanting to eat in public due to a fear of choking or coughing. If social dining becomes an unenjoyable experience, it can lead to social isolation. To promote well-being, it is important that dining experiences for those living with conditions such as dysphagia are made as enjoyable as possible and people are encouraged to eat together.

5. Practicality

It may seem like changing to a puréed diet brings several impracticalities to daily life. Our range of puréed meals can help alleviate these. Pre-prepared meals not only increase safety but are less time-consuming than home blending as no preparation is required. You may also feel like a puréed diet will restrict what you are able to eat, however our range of snacks, breakfasts and lighter meals gives you a wide range of choice to suit your appetite at any given point in the day.

Puree Petite meals with chips 

Ordering couldn’t be easier – whether you prefer to order online or over the phone. What's more, all our meals are delivered directly to your freezer by one of our friendly local drivers, meaning our great food is there when you need it, and on ice when you don’t.

So, why not order a copy of our Softer Foods brochure, which features all our puréed meals in more detail? Simply request a free brochure from the link below.

*Wiltshire Farm Foods are providing general information regarding the things to consider for people living with dysphagia and are not recommending any direct healthcare practice. The information in this article should not take priority over the advice of any registered Healthcare Professional, and their advice should always be followed regarding any health issues or procedures.

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