The purée diet is texture-modified food for those who can’t handle solid food due to things like chewing or swallowing difficulties, or gut issues. Some people use it as a weight loss method.
Foods for infants are often puréed, but adults can eat puréed foods, too.
In this article, we’ll discuss puréed foods, how to make them, whether they can help with weight loss, and who might want to use them.
When you eat food, your mouth starts the digestion process by breaking it down as you chew. Difficulty chewing or issues with parts of the digestive tract make it hard and even dangerous to eat solid foods.
Puréeing is one way to help break down food without having to chew it. Puréed foods are completely smooth, making them easier to swallow and digest than solid foods. This is the main benefit of a puréed diet.
As such, healthcare professionals often recommend a puréed diet for people who have medical conditions that make it difficult for them to swallow solid foods safely.
- Dysphagia: This is the medical term for swallowing problems, which can be caused by various conditions. People with dysphagia may have difficulty forming a food bolus in their mouth or experience a delay when they try to swallow it. This increases their risk of choking or breathing in food, as well as the risk of not getting enough nutrients. Many people with dysphagia end up
eating a puréed diet daily.
- Gastroparesis: Sometimes called stomach paralysis, this is a digestive disorder that
slowsthe passage of food from your stomach into your gut. In general, liquids tend to exit the stomach more rapidly than solids. Because of this, a liquid or puréed food diet is sometimes recommended for people with moderate to severe gastroparesis.
- Chewing difficulties: A puréed diet doesn’t require any chewing. This makes it particularly useful for people with missing or painful teeth, ill-fitting dentures, or those who need to temporarily limit the movement of their jaw, such as after surgery.
- Babies: Purées can also be useful for infants who have yet to develop the motor skills necessary to chew and swallow solid pieces of food safely. Many parents and caregivers introduce solid foods in puréed form.
- Gastrostomy tube (G-tube): A variety of medical conditions can cause an inability to take food through the mouth altogether, which would require G-tube feeding. This also includes feeding challenges caused by a neurodiversity such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A 2019 study found that children getting blended or pureed diets via G-tube reported fewer negative physical symptoms and better overall health than those on conventional formula diets.
You can purée almost any food or meal, as long as it has a pudding-like consistency.
However, relying too much on fruit and vegetable purées may make it difficult to get all the nutrients you need like protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
Try puréeing your normal meals for variety. It’s also a good idea to speak with your doctor to understand exactly what foods you should puree to meet your nutrient needs
Here are a few puréed meal and snack ideas to get you started.
- Soups: Considerlentils, split peas, and pumpkin and white bean soup. Simply prepare them as usual, then blend them with a hand mixer. Add a thickening agent if needed.
- Pasta: You can purée any of your favorites, such as spaghetti bolognese, macaroni, and cheese, or penne with meat (or veggie) balls. Cook them as you normally would, add a little extra water or sauce, and blend the dish until it’s fully puréed.
- Meat or veggie stews: Ratatouille, lentil dahl, and black bean stew are great options. Prepare as per the usual recipe, then blend them into a pudding-like consistency. Thin them with a little extra water or sauce if needed.
- Cooked breakfast cereal: Examples include cream of wheat, cooked breakfast quinoa, or oatmeal. Blend them with nut butter and milk. Top with puréed fruit.
- Baked goods: You can try blending French toast, pancakes, muffins, or bread with fruit juice or milk.
- Mashed potato: Make this with white, sweet, or red potatoes, using milk, butter, or margarine to soften it. You can serve it with grated cheese (dairy or plant-based) or mixed with other puréed vegetables.
- Blended vegetables: Examples include corn, carrots, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, and mushrooms. Cook as per usual and blend them with a little vegetable broth.
- Baked beans and peas: Baked black beans, chickpeas, or red kidney beans are great options. Blend them with a little water, tahini, oil, tomato sauce, or vegetable broth.
- Leafy vegetables: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or collards are all healthy choices. Chop in small pieces and boil them in a little vegetable broth. Blend them with potato flakes until smooth and thickened as needed.
- Homemade sauces: These are great, especially more satisfying sauces, such as pesto, hummus, gravy, or peanut sauce. Thicken them with potato starch or arrowroot powder, if needed.
Note that yogurts and puddings can be eaten as is, without additional blending, unless toppings are added.
- Yogurt: The yogurt may be dairy- or plant-based. Add fresh fruit, nut butter, nuts, or seeds, and blend them. Sieve to remove skin and seeds from the fruit, if needed.
- Fruit smoothies: Blend frozen fruit with milk or ice cream. For extra nutrients, add protein powder, nuts, seeds, or even leafy greens. Sieve to remove skins and seeds, and add pectin to thicken, if needed.
- Puddings: Consider both homemade and store-bought options.
Of course, there’s no need to limit yourself to these options. Feel free to find creative ways to turn your favorite meals and snacks into tasty purées.
You can purée any meal with a food processor or blender, adding enough liquid until you get to a pudding-like consistency.
If it comes out too thick, or thin with water, broth, milk, or a vegetable sauce. Purées should be thicker than liquids and hold their shape so they can’t be poured like liquids, reducing the risk of breathing food into the lungs.
If your purée is too thin, try adding a thickening agent to help it reach a pudding-like consistency. Options include:
- potato flakes
- arrowroot powder
That said, if you’re looking to use the food in a G-tube, do not thicken the texture. Instead, allow it to be closer to a liquid consistency. This is sometimes differentiated as a liquid diet, but you’re still pureeing food, only to a different consistency.
Eating a puréed diet can become monotonous, so try to spruce up your meals with herbs and spices for flavor and color.
You can also blend things like bolognese sauce and leafy greens separately, so you end up with two brightly colored purées rather than one brown-colored purée.
Avoid overcooking the food so that its color remains as vibrant as possible. This
Finally, using a piping bag when plating your puréed meal can further enhance its visual appeal. Some people even use food-shaped molds to recreate the shape of the food when they serve it. Let your creativity run free!
Use herbs and spices, keep color combinations in mind, and avoid overcooking your foods to preserve their taste and visual appeal. Try using piping bags or food-shaped molds when plating your meals to make them look as delicious as they taste.
Replacing solid meals with puréed foods may help lower your daily calorie intake.
This could lead to weight loss, especially if your puréed dishes contain higher amounts of low calorie fruits and vegetables, and less refined grains, fats, and sugary foods.
Also, puréed foods can have a more bland taste and lack texture, which could lead to eating less overall. Indeed,
However, restricting your calories alone is
You likely also need to make other lifestyle changes such as regular exercise in order for your weight loss to be successful. Once you start eating solids again, it’s
Are scrambled eggs ok in a pureed diet?
You absolutely can eat eggs on a pureed diet. Scrambled egg works best. Blend it with a veggie broth, and you can serve it with a side of toast blended with a little extra plant or dairy milk.
What is a pureed diet for seniors?
Pureed foods can help older adults who are struggling with swallowing difficulties or have oral issues. Pureeing the food can help improve the nutrition they receive while protecting them from swallowing issues.
What is the bariatric puree diet?
About 1-2 weeks after bariatric surgery, you
A puréed food diet is a texture-modified diet that can be useful for people with dysphagia, gastroparesis, or chewing difficulties.
You can make almost any meal or snack into a purée by simply blending it with a little extra liquid, such as juice, water, or broth. Nevertheless, many people find that a puréed diet can very easily become monotonous.
By reducing your calorie intake, a puréed diet may help you lose some weight, at least in the short term. However, unless you make other lasting lifestyle changes, you’ll likely regain the weight, if not more, once you go back to eating solid foods.
Just one thing
Try this today: Turn your favorite stew into a puréed meal by blending it with a little extra sauce. Serve it with a side of your favorite brightly colored puréed veggies. For extra visual appeal, give these food-shaped molds a try.