A puréed diet is a texture-modified diet in which all foods have a soft, pudding-like consistency.

This diet is often recommended for people who can’t eat solid foods because of a health concern or injury that prevents normal chewing or digestion.1

The goal of a puréed diet is to provide a variety of foods that meet your nutritional needs to help you heal and prevent any degree of malnutrition. Compared to a liquid diet, a puréed diet provides more variety, nutrients, and fiber. That means it’s safe to stay on it for longer than a liquid diet.2

Benefits

Because puréed foods don’t have to be chewed, they’re easier to swallow and digest. It can act as a bridge between a liquid diet and your normal diet as you recover from an illness or surgery, helping prevent weight loss and maintain your health until you’re able to eat normally. It can also be a long-term solution if, for any number of reasons, you cannot tolerate or manage eating solid foods.

Some of the more common reasons for using a puréed diet include:

Proper nutrition is important to maintain good health at all ages. If you’ve recently had surgery or have an injury to your mouth and can’t eat a regular diet, the nutrients you get from a puréed diet are particularly important in your recovery.

Research on the role of nutrition in patients with mouth surgery, published in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, shows that poor nutrition can delay wound healing, increase your risk of infection, and even compromise your immune system. All forms of texture-modified diets, including a puréed diet, can help prevent complications associated with poor nutrition.8

How It Works

Most foods can be puréed, as long as they’re cooked properly and you have a good blender or food processor. That means you should still be able to eat most of the foods that you enjoy, though some puréed foods may be more palatable than others.

Foods like pudding or yogurt, which are already the appropriate consistency for this diet, and good choices. The food just has to be soft enough, not necessarily puréed.

Duration

In most cases, a puréed diet is followed for a short period until you are able to chew and digest solid foods normally. You should stay on a puréed diet until your healthcare provider gives you the all-clear to advance to a soft diet or a regular diet.

If your doctor advises you to stick with a puréed diet long term, it is likely, above all, for safety reasons (e.g., to reduce your risk of choking when eating). It’s important that you follow these instructions.

Recommended Timing

Meals do not have to be eaten on a timed schedule. However, if you find your puréed meals to be filling or you have trouble finishing your food at a sitting, it might be helpful to eat five or six small meals per day, rather than three larger ones.

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