Dietary Highlights 2011 – Understanding Textures

Cary and his dietary team take pride in the cuisine they present…below is an article that Cary has written to help explain food textures to our residents and families.

Food textures play a very important role in the dietary department. It is critical that we understand the dynamics of each texture and the rational behind them.
There are three types of food textures that identify a diet: regular texture, mechanical soft, and pureed. A regular diet is comprised of foods that have a regular texture in where no modifications have been made to them. A mechanical soft diet is comprised of foods that have been modified to decrease the amount of chewing required to safely swallow the food. For people who have challenges chewing and/or swallowing foods, a mechanical soft diet allows them to safely chew foods and swallow, which decrease their risk for aspiration or choking.  To obtain a food to a mechanical soft consistency, regular solid foods may be chopped or ground.  Most raw fruits and veggies in their natural state are not compatible to this diet. Unbreaded baked fish usually meets the standards for a mechanical soft diet because the fish naturally flakes or crumbles when consumed.
The most restricted texture is a puree diet. This texture is appropriate for people with chewing and/or swallowing concerns. All food defined as pureed is well blended and has no visible or tactile solid parts. With a pureed diet, it is dietary recommendation to receive milk with all meals. The most common foods utilized in a pureed diet are mashed potatoes, pudding, applesauce, and jello. In addition, meats, chicken, and fish can all be pureed. In some instances, you may serve soft scrambled eggs with this diet. It is important to season this texture well. The appearance of pureed diet food is not always appealing to a person; therefore, it is important to season the food as you would a regular texture diet as well as focus on optimal presentation.  All diet modifications and a speech-language pathologist, dietician, and dietary director to make certain the person is consuming adequate calories and nutrients for good nutrition as well as safely consuming all foods should continually assess recommendations

Food textures play a very important role in the dietary department. It is critical that we understand the dynamics of each texture and the rational behind them.  There are three types of food textures that identify a diet: regular texture, mechanical soft, and pureed. A regular diet is comprised of foods that have a regular texture in where no modifications have been made to them. A mechanical soft diet is comprised of foods that have been modified to decrease the amount of chewing required to safely swallow the food. For people who have challenges chewing and/or swallowing foods, a mechanical soft diet allows them to safely chew foods and swallow, which decrease their risk for aspiration or choking.  To obtain a food to a mechanical soft consistency, regular solid foods may be chopped or ground.  Most raw fruits and veggies in their natural state are not compatible to this diet. Unbreaded baked fish usually meets the standards for a mechanical soft diet because the fish naturally flakes or crumbles when consumed.  The most restricted texture is a puree diet. This texture is appropriate for people with chewing and/or swallowing concerns. All food defined as pureed is well blended and has no visible or tactile solid parts. With a pureed diet, it is dietary recommendation to receive milk with all meals. The most common foods utilized in a pureed diet are mashed potatoes, pudding, applesauce, and jello. In addition, meats, chicken, and fish can all be pureed. In some instances, you may serve soft scrambled eggs with this diet. It is important to season this texture well. The appearance of pureed diet food is not always appealing to a person; therefore, it is important to season the food as you would a regular texture diet as well as focus on optimal presentation.  All diet modifications and a speech-language pathologist, dietician, and dietary director to make certain the person is consuming adequate calories and nutrients for good nutrition as well as safely consuming all foods should continually assess recommendations.   – Article by Cary Pettigrew