Living with swallowing difficulties can be limiting, but you can still live a semi-normal life by making the right food choices. You don’t have to eat much your whole life. As a matter of fact, there are tons of delicious dishes that are perfect for people who have swallowing problems that won’t need to be transformed. Thinking outside the box will also allow you to put a spin on popular recipes and make them more suitable for your condition. Here are some of the best foods for people with swallowing difficulties.
Foods for People with Mild Swallowing Difficulties
If you’re suffering from mild dysphagia, know that you won’t have to limit your choices too much. The most important part will be to avoid very hard and crunchy foods, such as pretzels, chips, and nuts, for instance. You will also need to avoid crunchy foods such as marshmallows or caramel.
You should also be careful with foods with varying consistencies, like cereal. If you’re going to eat cereal, it’s better to let it soften for a few minutes. Besides that, you can eat any food that is minced or mashed and can be picked up with a fork. You have to make sure that these foods don’t need to be cut with a knife, however, as it might then be a bit too tough.
Foods for People Suffering from Moderate Swallowing Difficulties
People with moderate dysphagia have to be a bit more careful with the foods they eat. Moist foods are usually a better option there as they don’t require you to do much chewing. That includes most purees, but also things like minced meat that has been softened in a sauce. Cooking fruits and vegetables also work as long as you take the seeds and skin out. Most fish dishes and soft casseroles work as well.
Foods for People Suffering from Severe Swallowing Difficulties
People who suffer from severe dysphagia have to be very careful with the foods they eat. Even things like ice cream may become problematic for them. They need to refrain from liquids as they can end up in the lungs, and, while ice cream is soft in the mouth, it has to melt for you to swallow it. This is why you will need to look at things like puddings instead if you want to satisfy your cravings.
Severely dysphagic patients will also need to use thickeners if they want to be able to drink or have liquid foods. Thickeners like SimplyThick can be added to food and drinks to give them the desired consistency. They are sold in small packs that you can carry everywhere and add to things like juice, coffee, or soups.
You will need to get used to pureed foods or pureed versions of dishes if you suffer from severe dysphagia. Most casseroles can be blended in a food processor and still taste delicious, however. If you want to accentuate the flavor, you can use sauces or gravy instead of water to soften their consistency. You are also free to eat pureed fruits like bananas and have as many mashed potatoes as you want.
If you’re suffering from dysphagia, these are some of the best foods you can eat. Speak with your doctor if you have any questions or need suggestions on how to make your diet interesting.
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