For many, meal times are not simply a time for nourishment but a time to connect and share with the family. When living with dysphagia, it can feel like those precious moments are no longer available to you. This is simply not the case. You can still enjoy the same family-friendly meals, together with your loved ones, with a few techniques.
Modify the Texture of Foods
The main thing that needs to change for those with dysphagia is the texture. You can modify the texture in a range of ways, from chopping food up to blending it into a puree If you need a thicker consistency.
Serve the Family Component-Based Meals
Simply, this means meals that are made up of several different foods. For example, a rice, protein, and a vegetable. This allows family members to build their own plates, depending on their preferences. This style of eating means you can easily ensure the individual with dysphagia has options that suit their needs, and everyone can enjoy a meal together.
Try Adding Extra Sauce and Moisture
Adding moisture in the form of sauces, gravy, or broths can be a great way to make certain meals easier for those with dysphagia to swallow. Depending on the severity of the dysphagia, you should still ensure all elements of the meal are of a safe consistency.
Try Slow cooking, Braising, and Steaming
Certain cooking methods work better for those with dysphagia than others. Using slow cooking, braising, or steaming often makes the food softer and easier to swallow. They don’t create tough textures in the same way grilling or frying might. You can cook many family favorite meals in a slow cooker, meaning there’s no need to compromise on flavor!
Utilise Food Thickeners!
Incorporating food thickeners into some of your family’s favorite meals can help them become safe and enjoyable for everyone. SimplyThick can be added to your favorite soups and beverages to create the desired consistency, increase ease of swallowing, and reduce the risk of aspiration.
Don’t Shy Away from Utensils and Tools
Many useful utensils and tools are on the market today to aid those with dysphagia. Special spoons, angled cups, and high-sided plates are just a few of the unique tools on offer. These tools can help to increase comfort, stop spills, and ensure a person with dysphagia maintains food autonomy. Using innovative tools may help you to continue enjoying the foods that you can your family love!
Dysphagia-friendly family meals can come in all shapes, textures, and sizes, and while the look of food might change for you, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the flavors you know and love alongside the people you love!
Mealtimes also create an opportunity to share and connect with your loved ones. This is incredibly important for those with dysphagia. Nobody needs to deal with it alone. Don’t be afraid to lean on those who love you for moral support while navigating life’s challenges!