Ask a Dietitian > Delicious fortified food for nourishing people with swallowing difficulties

Delicious fortified food for nourishing people with swallowing difficulties

November 27, 2017

It wasn’t too long ago that if you had a swallowing problem, your health outcomes and quality of life might not have been as positive as it can be these days. This would have been due to an inability to eat sufficient food to meet your nutritional requirements, or because of the risk of some foods causing aspiration pneumonia (a life-threatening lung condition caused by an inhaled substance going into the lungs). However over the years things have changed and the outlook is much more positive!

The first steps in the right direction

Through the power of research, we are now much better informed and eating modified texture diet is not the same struggle it used to be.
The first step came in identifying the swallowing condition, which helps to decrease the risks of complications associated with a poor swallow. Now some swallowing problems can be resolved more or less instantaneously, by modifying the texture of food and/or fluid. This may be through modifying the food textures such as puree or minced and moist, or by thickening drinks. It may seem simple – a quick fix, but what if you or someone you know, is diagnosed with a long-term swallowing problem?

Where to next?

In the past, people on texture modified diets, especially long-term, often suffered from a lack of choice. The options they did have also tended to appear unattractive, colourless and were generally unappealing. Combined with this, it can be a significant burden on anyone caring for these people, to devise, prepare and cook a range of safe, delicious and nutritious texture modified meals. 

But, don’t worry! Good News has arrived.

Innovative food companies such as Pure Food Co through their research and development arm, are viewing the preparation of modified texture foods as an opportunity and a challenge – it’s almost a new kind of “MasterChef” contest. Not only does the food have to be nutritious, meeting the needs of people that may carry health conditions on top of an ineffective swallow, but it needs to look good and taste great too!

Harry’s story

So what does this all mean? Well, let’s talk about Harry* – a 6 year old with a neurological condition that affects his ability to chew and swallow. It means people like Harry can access now a range of commercially produced tasty meals each and every day, which are of a safe and consistent texture, no matter where he is. But just as importantly it also means his mum, Sally, who used to spend hours every day preparing his meals, can access a range of commercially prepared options that are ready in an instant. Sally can now also be assured her son is receiving delicious, safe food and plenty of important nutrients. The reduced stress on Sally means she can now spend more time with Harry and the family instead. It’s a win-win for all.

The Pure Food Company recognizes the pleasure its clients get from eating great foods. Their Christmas Roast Turkey is now available!

*’Harry’ is a real life case for New Zealand – The Pure Food Company has significantly changed and improved quality of life for both Harry and his family by providing him with delicious, ready-to-eat puree meals.

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Our nutritionally fortified purees and minced & moist products are a convenient meal option as they have a shelf life of 30 days in the refrigerator, they require minimum preparation and are ready to serve, meaning less hands and less chance of infection. Given these uncertain times we are working with our customers to help ensure their own continued ability to serve nutritious and safe food to their residents.

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