A soft food diet, or texture-modified diet, may be recommended by your physician following certain types of surgery on the mouth, jaw of gastrointestinal tract, or if your loved one has swallowing difficulties or dental problems.
Swallowing problems, a condition known as dysphagia, are very common in stroke survivors. Following a stroke, throat and mouth muscles may be weakened or injury may leave this area of the brain damaged. Properly addressing and coping with dysphagia is critical as eating problems may lead to choking, malnutrition, or pneumonia.
Adhering to a soft food diet requires planning and coordination. Soft diet foods can be prepared by various cooking methods such as grounding, mashing, pureeing or chopping.
Basic guidelines for a soft food diet include:
- At least 5 servings of soft fruit and well cooked vegetables.
- 2 servings of proteins such as tender meat, poultry or fish (bones removed!). Vegetarian options: eggs, beans, or lentils.
- 2 servings of dairy: milk, or calcium fortified soy or rice milk.
- Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, or potato at each meal.
- Plenty of fluids. Drink around 8 to 10 cups of fluid per day, most importantly water!
A soft food diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Here a few quick, creative, and nutritious recipe ideas to shake things up:
Joy Bauer’s Energy-Boosting Berry protein smoothie – At just 210 calories with zero fat, this fruity smoothie is an excellent breakfast choice. Combine skim milk, light yogurt, and frozen berries for a delicious and smooth wake-up meal. If you like, toss in a scoop of protein powder for an extra hit of protein.
Healthy egg salad – A list of eight creative spins on the traditional egg salad. Make sure to cut up the egg into tiny pieces and avoid hard bits of celery or other veggies.
Braised Kale – Kale is a super source for vitamins and protein to keep you filled longer.
Pea, Pesto, and Arugula soup - Colorful, tasty dish that can be served hot or cold. Smooth, soft food texture perfect for post- stroke patients with dysphagia or advanced Alzheimer’s. Great recipe from 50Plus.com!
Healthy Garden Vegetable Crustless Quiche – Sans crust, quiche is soft, warm, easy to chew and deeply satisfying. Comfort food!