Dysphagia is a condition characterized by difficulty with swallowing, and it can have a negative impact on a person’s ability to enjoy their food and maintain proper nutrition. Fortunately, there are a few effective techniques and strategies that can help make meals more palatable for individuals with swallowing difficulties.
Here are four top tips to elevate the taste and texture of food and liquids for people with dysphagia to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.
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Create Delicious Purees and Hearty Soups
When it comes to mealtimes for people with swallowing difficulties, pureed food and soups are common choices. These food choices are generally soft and smooth, which means they can provide sustenance in a safe way. However, pureed meals and soups from a package can be bland, and having the same meals regularly can take the joy out of eating.
Therefore, to add interest to pureed meals, you can experiment with flavors by adding natural seasonings such as herbs and spices. When it comes to making soups more interesting, roasted garlic, oven-baked vegetables, and the addition of fresh herbs blended to safe consistency can make a huge difference to the overall flavor, so by adopting these tips, you can add depth to meals.
Incorporate Flavorful Sauces
While soups and purees are fantastic go-to options for people with swallowing difficulties, incorporating homemade sauces can add a burst of flavor to meals. You can create different sauces by blending fruits or vegetables with different types of spices, herbs, and low-salt seasonings, while adding tasty sauces to meals can elevate the flavor—and the moisture content—of dishes.
In addition to sauces, you can make rich broths as main meals or as a base for other dishes. Create broths that are full of flavor by simmering high-quality ingredients, such as bones sourced from the butchers, organic vegetables, and herbs, for an extended period of time. These broths can be used immediately or frozen to be used at a later date. When thickened, these broths can be enjoyed on their own, and they can also be used as a base for different types of soups.
Use Thickening Products for a Quick Fix
Some people with dysphagia struggle with thinner liquids. These individuals may find it difficult to stay hydrated while out and about, and consuming enough nutrients while outside of the home can be a worry too. If this sounds familiar, the use of thickening products can help ensure safe swallowing.
You can transform liquids into a pudding consistency with SimplyThick in a matter of seconds, which makes this thickening product useful for a quick fix. It is available in sachets for on-the-go use, but it can also be used in your daily mealtime routine to achieve a manageable consistency.
Modify Textures to Enhance Mouthfeel
Texture plays a vital role in making meals enjoyable for individuals with swallowing difficulties, so by modifying the consistency and texture, you can create a satisfying dining experience that is both interesting and diverse.
Incorporate soft, moist ingredients to enhance the overall mouthfeel of a dish. These ingredients can include steamed vegetables, pureed fruits, and shredded meats. Try experimenting with a variety of cooking methods (such as slow-cooking or braising) to make food more tender and easier to swallow.