Each year, medical treatments leave millions of patients with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Most hospitals deal with this by puréeing their food. The unfortunate result is that food becomes unappetizing, and patients fail to obtain the nutrition they need. Now, nutritionists Sandra Woodruff and Leah Gilbert-Henderson have written the Soft Foods for Easier Eating Cookbook, an easy-to-follow guide that offers maximum nutrition and taste with minimum discomfort.
Part One highlights simple strategies for living with chewing and swallowing difficulties, and offers guidelines for modifying recipes for soft and smooth texture, and to increase or decrease calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Part Two presents over 150 recipes for smashing smoothies, sumptuous soups, hearty entrées, and more. Information on nutrition and texture accompany each recipe, making it easy to find dishes that satisfy both your dietary needs and your love of good food.
Leah Gilbert-Henderson, PhD, received her doctorate in nutrition science from the University of Tennessee. After moving to Tallahassee, Florida, Leah became a full-time clinical dietitian at a subacute hospital and long-term care facility.
Sandra Woodruff, MS, RD, LD/N, has a master’s of science in food and nutrition from Florida State University. She specializes in diet-related health problems, and is the best-selling author of many health-related cookbooks, including Soft Foods for Easier Eating Cookbook.
Part I: Living Well on a Soft or Pureed Diet
Chapter 1. Who Needs A Soft Or Smooth Diet?
Chapter 2. Special Considerations
Chapter 3. How Can I Convert My Favorite Recipes To A Pureed Texture?
Chapter 4. Why Do I Need Thickened Liquids?
Chapter 5. How Can I Keep My Diet Healthy And Meet My Special Needs?
Chapter 6: Stocking Your Pantry
Part II: Recipes for Soft & Smooth Diets
Smashing Smoothies, Shakes & Beverages
Breakfast: Begin the Day the Soft & Smooth Way
Sumptuous Soft & Smooth Soups
Breads: Softening the Staff of Life
New Ways With Entrees
The Secret’s in the Sauce
If you or a loved one has recently been told that myou must follow an easy-to-chew, soft, or smooth diet, we know that you are going through a difficult time. Whether the problem is long-term or only temporary, it will require change and the ability to learn and accept a new way of eating. This book was written to help you through this challenging period and to convince you that chewing or swallowing difficulties do not mean the end of good-tasting food, nor do they mean hours of slaving in the kitchen. Easy-to eat dishes can also be easy to prepare and easy to enjoy. This book will show you how it’s done.
You will be amazed by the variety of tastes and visual delights that can be created while keeping it smooth. Hospitals frequently make puréed diets by simply putting whatever they are cooking for their main course into a food processor. They may add a little liquid and thickener, but otherwise, they are simply blending a food that we don’t normally eat in puréed form. Because the results are not very appetizing, people often refuse these foods even when chewing or swallowing problems make a special diet necessary. But if you avoid foods that are easily eaten and digested, you may be unable to maintain a healthy weight and give your body the best chance of healing.
There is an alternative. You can compensate for the variety you lose in texture by emphasizing a range of tastes and colors. Throughout the world, countless dishes featured in gourmet restaurants are not only soft or smooth in texture, but also rich in both taste and visual appeal. This book will show you simple ways to create delicious and appetizing foods so you can more fully enjoy eating.
Part One of this book highlights basic strategies for living with dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, as well as other problems that require a mechanically altered diet. You will learn about the conditions that can benefit from a soft or smooth diet, and you will find tips for dealing with added difficulties such as nausea, diminished appetite, and altered taste. You will then learn how to stock your pantry and equip your kitchen so that you can make soft and smooth foods with ease—and, when necessary, at a moment’s notice. Part One also includes special sections on puréeing and thickening, simple techniques that you may need to master not only as you follow the recipes in this book, but also as you convert family favorites into easy-to-eat dishes. Finally, you’ll find guidelines that will help you keep your diet healthy as you meet your special needs.
Part Two puts principles into practice with over 150 delicious soft and smooth recipes that cater to a wide range of tastes and dietary needs. From smashing smoothies and sumptuous soups to hearty entrées and sensational sides, you will discover how to prepare healthful and appealing meals. In addition to offering simple step-by-step instructions, each recipe provides comprehensive nutritional information, including diabetic exchanges, and specifies whether the dish is suitable for easy-to-chew, soft, or smooth/puréed diets. In many cases, tips have been included to help you boost or decrease calories, cut fat, or otherwise modify the recipe so that it is right for you in every way.
We realize that putting together meals can be a challenge to someone who’s new to easy-to-chew, soft, and smooth diets. That’s why, in addition to the recipes, we include several days of menus that will help you create satisfying and nutritionally balanced meals by joining home-cooked dishes with ready-toeat foods. Also included is a list of manufacturers that can provide you with nutritional supplements, special ingredients such as thickeners, and prepared meals that are suitable for even the smoothest of diets. A list of helpful organizations is offered as well, enabling you to find further information about health, diet, and more.
An easy-to-swallow diet does not have to mean a decline in the quality of life. Rather, it can signal the beginning of new cooking adventures. We wish you health, happiness, and many satisfying meals to come.