Dysphagia and Pureed Foods
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!)
1/2 of 1lb bag of carrots
2-3 large sweet potatoes
3-4 medium zucchinis
3 bouillon cubes (chicken broth powder)
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)
Vegan (or not) mayo
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 ;)