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How to Prepare Puree Food that is Appetising

How to Prepare Puree Food that is Appetising

In days gone by, patients or individuals experiencing dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) were served a plate of mashed or pureed food that wasn’t appetising. Over time, doctors and medical caterers have focused on the importance of ensuring food is not only delicious but looks good too.

The development of specialised food preparation equipment and utensils has achieved quality pureed food individuals find pleasure in consuming. This subsequently improves their health, their recovery process and overall experience. 

Puree food is of benefit in many different situations. The most common are individuals in healthcare facilities experiencing difficulty eating solid food, and the elderly to highlight just a few. Many individuals also find themselves caring for family members facing this ailment and are at a loss regarding meal preparation. We’ve put this resource together discussing the basics of dysphagia, the benefits of puree food and how to produce a quality meal beyond soups, purees or mashed vegetables.

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is a medical condition where there is difficulty with neural control or the structures of the mouth or throat involved in any part of the swallowing process. Individuals diagnosed with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing, or experience pain when swallowing. When this occurs, eating becomes a challenge with patients subsequently finding it difficult to consume enough calories for nourishment which may then lead to serious medical conditions. 

What causes dysphagia?

Dysphagia is when there’s a problem with the neural control or structures of the body involved in the swallowing process. Common causes are strokes or nervous system disorders making it difficult to swallow or stimulate food or liquid to move safely through the throat to the digestive system. Weak tongue, cheek or throat muscles resulting from cancer treatment can also lead to this disorder. 

What are the benefits of puree food?

Patients diagnosed with dysphagia are nourished via medical intervention as well as a diet of food that is soft and moist. Broth, sauces, juices and pureed meals provide the nutritional requirements for individuals to heal and recover through their treatment. 
Eating when you can barely swallow doesn’t need to consist of only mashed potatoes, pumpkin and broccoli. There’s only so much pureed fruit and puddings an individual can put up with before meals become boring and mundane leading to a lack of appetite that then turns into malnutrition. 
Thanks to research and trials, meals for dysphagia patients no longer need to be boring or appear as mashed piles on dinner plates. Quality ingredients can now be served, with medical supervision, as ‘Texture Modified Meals’ that appear and taste like menu items in high-end restaurants. 

How to transform food into a quality puree in five easy steps

1.    Place the cooked food in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. DO NOT add fluid unless required as this will dilute the nutritional content of the meal. 
2.    Add a small amount of food thickener to the puree to help the food maintain its form when removed from the mould and reheated. The puree should hold onto a spoon when it is held upside down. 
3.    Use a spoon and spatula to evenly distribute the pureed food into the mould. Cover the mould with the lid and place it in a freezer to set. 
4.    Once frozen, remove the moulded food portions and place them on a plate. Thaw in a fridge.
5.    Cover the moulded meal with a heat-proof cover to retain the moisture and reheat using a Combi Steam Oven, a Bain Marie, a Hot Box, or a Microwave on a low power setting. 

Reward Hospitality has everything you need to deliver quality puree food

Reward Hospitality has a dedicated team of Territory Managers dedicated to the medical field with years of experience advising everything from kitchen design and installation to equipment and kitchen utensils. If you need help delivering meals to dysphagia patients or customers, our team of experts are on hand to offer their skills and expertise to make your set-up as professional and easy as possible. 

Contact us today for a consultation. We’re available via phone, or online chat or you can contact us via our online form to arrange a virtual or in-person visit to discuss your needs.