• Mitzi Perez

Dysphagia and Pureed Foods

Dysphagia

/ˌdisˈfāj(ē)ə/

Noun. Difficulty or discomfort in swallowing, as a symptom of disease.


It is common for ALS patients to develop dysphagia, either as the initial indicator of the disease or later on in the ongoing decline.


How does a caregiver handle the situation? With pureed foods! (or eventually the caree receiving a feeding tube..)


On my particular journey, a feeding tube is not an option. My dad does not want one and is no longer eligible for one.


He also has refused to eat pureed foods up until a few weeks ago, even though it was suggested over a year ago!


The risk of choking is always present. If I'm being totally honest (which I promise to always do), I do believe that if choking on your favourite food leads you to death, you'd be hard pressed to find a better way to go.


So how did I approach his newfound desire to eat pureed foods? By preparing some myself.


I had first though to just blend ready made food or purchase baby food, but that wouldn't be sustainable in the long run and baby food could get expensive! So I ended up preparing some food at home and bringing it over for him.


Boy, was he happy!


I made up two recipes and perfected them over three batches. Here are the recipes. I'm sorry that you need them..


Pureed Veggies (with lots of flavour!)


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of 1lb bag of carrots

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes

  • 3-4 medium zucchinis

  • 3 bouillon cubes (chicken broth powder)

  • Water

Directions:

  • Dice all veggies (leave larger if you plan to not puree, I have done that as well)

  • Place in large pot

  • Add bouillon cubes

  • Fill with water until veggies are just covered

  • Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for about 60-90 minutes or until desired softness is achieved

  • Either leave as is for super soft veggies or blend with a hand blender.

  • (Option to add any spices you want but I found it wasn't necessary with the bouillon cubes)

  • I would keep this for a week and a half tops in the fridge in an airtight container.



Need a protein? Here's another recipe...


Pureed Chicken Salad (you'll want to eat this too)


Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast

  • Spices

  • Water

  • Vegan (or not) mayo

  • Grainy mustard


Directions:

  • Place chicken breasts in a crock pot and cover with spices of choice and water.

  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8. If the chicken is pink when you start shredding, it's not cooked enough.

  • Once cooked, move chicken breasts to a bowl. Shred with two forks.

  • Add mayo (I used vegan mayo), mustard and salt if desired.

  • First, mash up with a fork. Then, blend with a hand blender to desired consistency. This recipe came out of a lot of trial and error and this combination made the absolute best version.

  • Store in an airtight container up to one week. But I think it will be gone well before 7 days have passed ;)




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