The distinction between “puree” and “mince” is clear. Minced texture is defined as meals that have a soft, moist, and easily formed ball texture when pressed between two fingers. A puree texture refers to smooth and lump-free meals but can also be gritty, simpler to swallow as they need little or no chewing to eat.
For older people who have difficulty chewing, preparing meals with minced or pureed food may help them maintain a healthy diet. Aside from the elderly, those with oral control problems due to stroke or dementia may also benefit from pureed or mechanical soft diets.
Dietary minced and pureed meals should be balanced and varied. The Healthy Eating Food Pyramid recommends daily consumption of all food categories:
Healthy snacks should be provided between meals, and 6-8 glasses of liquids should be consumed throughout the day.
The elderly have varied tolerances to food textures, so experts should assess unique conditions and recommend appropriate food texture and consistency. Elders with diabetes, hypertension, or other chronic illnesses should follow the therapeutic diet's guidelines.
However, certain foods need to be avoided, such as foods with a gritty or stringy texture, excessively sticky or glutinous, prone to crumbling, or foods with a firm texture.
Avoid artificial seasonings rich in MSG. Instead, use ground ginger, garlic, white pepper, herbs, vinegar, and organic ketchup.
You may need to strengthen your meals to obtain enough nutrients. An expert dietitian will advise you on a high-protein, high-energy diet. It can help patients who are underweight, losing weight, or have increasing calorie and protein needs.
Include high-energy foods like full-fat dairy products, margarine, butter, mayonnaise, oil, dark chocolate, and nutritional supplements in your meal plan.
Don't force food on someone who can't eat much. Rather than three substantial meals each day, aim for six smaller ones.
Meals may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for later warming. Make sure you have their favorite foods in the cupboard or refrigerator, along with prepared meals and snacks for times when cooking is impossible, like travel.
Because bacteria on food surfaces can contaminate the entire meal during mincing and pureeing, hygiene should be emphasized.
Remove skin, bones, and seeds from food before processing. Large, tough items should be diced and cooked until soft. Use cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, and stewing to keep meals moist after cooking.
Food should also be heated before grinding or pureeing. Additionally, use enough soup, milk, or juice to enhance taste and nutrition. If the pureed food is not smooth, sift it to remove lumps.
Separately mince or puree the ingredients for the main meal and side dishes. Noodles and rice should not be mixed with main meal items.
In addition, use colorful ingredients to flavor and color your main dishes, such as pureed carrot, pumpkin, tomato, egg yolk, jam, and pureed fruit. Rice and main dishes should be in separate bowls. It will help the elderly recognize and taste different foods.
It's difficult to supply all the nourishment a patient needs in pureed or minced meals. That's why meal planning and preparation are vital. Since most food preparation will be done at home, ensure you have the necessary kitchen tools to make pureed and minced meals for your family.
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