ARTICLES / General / Six New
Items on the Menu For a Liquid Diet /
by Rebekah Hindman
Smoothies for Lunch
Lunch can be a monotonous meal. Often seniors
donít work up a lunch time appetite, especially if
they eat a late breakfast. Sometimes a well-made
fruit smoothie is a rich but not overwhelming meal.
A fruit smoothie is a blended combination of frozen
fruits, ice, and other ingredients. There are
innumerable smoothie recipes available.
The secret ingredient for any smoothie is the
thickening agent. Yogurt or pureed bananas work
well. Bananas are a great source of potassium. You
can easily sneak some carrot juice into a fruit
smoothie without damaging the taste. In fact, the
vegetable juice helps temper the sweetness. Donít
feel as if you have to use fresh fruit all the time.
Blended frozen fruit helps to thicken the
consistency. A smoothie is a great way to tailor the
liquid diet to personal tastes and to exercise
Soup is a staple for a liquid diet, but that
doesnít mean that it has to be tasteless or
overdone. Countless canned soups and soup recipes
are out there. Cheese based and potato based soups
are good for a liquid diet, but almost any soup can
be pureed so that it is easy to swallow.
If you are in a hurry and donít have time to stop
and puree the soup, some name-brand soups market
drinkable, microwavable soups. Make sure the soup is
not too hot, but also remember that warm foods are
easier to taste.
Lunch Side Items
Although few doctors would recommend eating just
dessert for lunch, Jell-Oís and puddings are great
side items as a source of protein and calcium. A
variety of flavors are available, and fruit can be
Protein in puddings and Jell-O repairs muscle and
tissues. Bedsores, which plague older bedridden
people, can take additional time to heal without
protein. Puddings are also a perfect medium for
crushed medicine that cannot be swallowed in capsule
form. Help your loved one remember the good old
days. Get creative with the presentation of Jell-O
by using molds.
A Cuisinart or blender is the most essential tool
for a liquid or soft diet. Basically by using one of
these, you are cutting out one step in the process
of eating: chewing. Most vegetables can be blended,
but make sure you still include traditional spices.
Many meats can be blended with broth. Be careful
about the presentation of these courses. Try not to
be too exotic in what you blend together. Two great
tools for cooking no-chew meals are The I-Canít-Chew
Cookbook and The Easy-to-Swallow, Easy-to-Chew
Cookbook, which are available online at Amazon.