Pureed food doesn’t have to be gross

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When people think of a “puree” diet, they typically scrunch up their noses in disgust. “Ugh, mom has to eat that liquefied food?” family members may sometimes ask. Sure, puree can definitely look gross, but it doesn’t have to!

We recently ordered (with the awesome help of our Dietary Director) pureed meats that come in shapes. Below you can see a picture of pureed chicken breast, pureed meatloaf, and pureed pork chop. When you put a fork in, the consistency is soft and easy to eat, but the meal looks way more appetizing! It actually tastes pretty good, too–and yes, I tried them.

I was able to help my community order more bowls and plates recently, too. We ordered bright red dishes and bowls to encourage our residents to eat more. Red is a vibrant color that creates a clear distinction between the food and the plate. Residents with dementia are better able to see the food in front of them, which encourages them to eat. Notice that the food on the white plate doesn’t stand out very much. Now, picture the same meal on the red plate. Think it would look a little more interesting?

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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