How to Make a Pureed Diet for a Patient That Cannot Chew Food

Puree carrots in a blender with a little carrot or apple juice.
Puree carrots in a blender with a little carrot or apple juice. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Patients that cannot chew food or that have difficulty swallowing food for any reason might need to eat a pureed diet. Patients’ physicians generally advise caregivers about what type of diet to provide for patients, but if you have a loved one that has difficulty chewing or swallowing, ask her doctor if she should stick to a pureed diet. Pureed foods should be the consistency of applesauce, allowing patients to swallow the food without needing to chew it.

Things You'll Need

  • Food
  • Liquid
  • Blender or food processor

Select foods that will likely retain their flavor and appeal when pureed. For instance, chili or tuna salad probably won’t taste much different when pureed, even if you must add a bit more moisture. Moistened, pureed bread would taste different, though, and may not be very appetizing.

Cut the food into small pieces, if it’s something large like a chicken breast. Something like chili already contains small pieces, so you don’t need to cut the ingredients to make them any smaller.

Put the pieces in a blender or food processor. Food processors often work better but if you have a good blender, it may do the job.

Add a small amount of liquid to the blender or food processor, unless the food you wish to puree contains a fair amount of moisture, such as chili. Use any liquid you like. Choose one that has a flavor that will complement the flavor of the food. For instance, puree chicken with chicken broth, hamburger with beef broth and fruit with fruit juice.

Select the puree setting on your blender or food processor if it has such a setting. Otherwise, just select blend. Blend the food until it has a consistency resembling applesauce and contains no chunks. Add additional liquid if needed as you blend the food. If some small chunks remain, stir the food and blend some more, or simply remove chunks with a spoon.

Tips & Warnings

  • Puree small amounts of food at a time to allow smoother blending.
  • If a physician has advised your loved one to stick to a pureed diet, do not serve him food that you have not pureed without talking to his doctor first. He could choke on solid food and suffer serious injury.

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