Dealing with dysphagia is never easy, but it doesn’t have to destroy your life. Getting hit with a dysphagia diagnosis doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to delicious, satisfying foods. You can still enjoy a semi-normal life with dysphagia; you just need to change your attitude towards food and be ready to make some adjustments. You also have to understand your condition and accept it. Let’s take a look at some nutrition tips for people with dysphagia.
Learn How to Use and Enjoy Thickeners
You will have to get familiar with thickeners from now on as they will play an essential role in your life. Thickeners are what will allow you to enjoy the water and other drinks without aspirating them. The texture may throw you off at first, but you’ll eventually get used to it.
It might take you more time to get used to thickened water than other types of drinks, however, so we suggest that you start using thickeners with your favorite fruit juice or sodas. You can then move to lighter drinks like tea, than to water. You can make delicious drinks and even mixed with thickening agents as well. If you want some inspiration, Simply Thick’s Instagram page has some drinks made with thickener you can check out.
Thickeners are not used only with drinks either. You can use thickeners to create dysphagia-friendly pasta sauces, for instance. You could also use thickener for things like chili, soups, and stews.
Expand Your Palate
Another thing we would suggest is that you expand your culinary horizons and start researching other cuisines. This will bring some variety into your diet and will make it feel less boring. You should check out Indian food if you haven’t already as they have many delicious recipes that have a puree consistency. We also suggest that you start researching dysphagia-friendly recipes. This will allow you to enjoy recipes the way they are supposed to be and not have to make a puree version of them.
Also, one good thing is that your option of desserts will be much larger. A lot of desserts have a consistency that is perfect for most people with dysphagia, such as mousses, pudding, and even some kinds of cakes. One thing you need to stay away from is ice cream, however, as it turns into liquid before getting ingested.
Learn How to Appreciate Purees
With that being said, you will have to develop a taste for pureed food if you want to enjoy some of the foods you liked before you were diagnosed. Some foods will be easier to make and will be closer to the real thing when pureed, such as shepherd’s pie and different types of casseroles. If you like things like steak, on the other hand, you may have to find other ways to enjoy it. Learn how to braise and slow cook baked as pureed braised beef is pretty close to the real thing in terms of taste and can be delicious if you start with a good base.
These are all tips that people dealing with dysphagia should follow. Develop self-discipline and be creative as this is what will prevent the condition from affecting your morale.