The puréed diet can offer a good deal of variety, but you may find that certain foods are easier to purée or blend smoothly than others. Each type of food needs a different approach.

Fruits

All fruits will soften when cooked, but it will be easier to achieve a smoother consistency if you peel fruits with skins (like apples) first. Before you eat fruits with seeds, like berries, or any fruits with tough membranes, like oranges or grapefruit, make sure you press them through a sieve to remove any solids. Smooth applesauce or puréed fruit packets are convenient for when you want a quick snack without cooking and blending.

Vegetables

Make sure you peel any vegetables with tough skins and always press vegetables with seeds or “strings” through a sieve before eating. Vegetable baby food, sold in jars or squeezable packets, can be convenient to have on hand, but make sure you purchase products specifically for babies, as those for toddlers tend to be thicker and/or chunkier.

Dairy

If you need additional calories, choose full-fat dairy products like whole milk or yogurt. Greek yogurt provides about 20 grams of protein in a 6-ounce serving, so it’s a good way to boost your intake of this important nutrient.

Meats and Fish

Softer meats like chicken, fish, and ground meats will be easiest to purée. You can add gravy, stock, or a cream sauce to make them smoother. Make sure you press meats or fish through a sieve to remove any solid pieces.

Legumes

All legumes are high in fiber and protein. In addition, they purée very easily. Silken tofu is very soft and makes a good base for creamy desserts or soups. Peanut butter (or other nut butters) is smooth enough to include on a puréed diet, but use caution with if you have any swallowing problems, given its thickness.

Liquid Meal Replacements

Try to keep products like Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, or Boost available for times when you may not feel like cooking, or you have to be away from home. Another easy homemade and nutritious meal replacement is a smoothie. Just mix milk, water, or juice with any fruit, leafy greens, a scoop of protein powder, and a spoonful of peanut butter or avocado, and you’ll have a complete meal.

Herbs and Spices

In general, these are fine to use. However, use caution with cayenne pepper and other hot spices or condiments if you have mouth or tongue sores, as these can be irritating.

Avoid anything especially fibrous or seedy unless you can strain the fibers and seeds out. Further round out the flavor and consistency of a purée by adding mayonnaise, sauce, or gravy.

Compliant Foods

  • Fruits: Any cooked and puréed; juices or nectar without pulp; applesauce
  • Vegetables: Any cooked and puréed; whipped mashed or sweet potatoes; vegetable juices without pulp
  • Grains: Puréed pasta or rice; cream of wheat/rice cereal; hominy; puréed oatmeal
  • Dairy: Milk; smooth yogurts without fruit chunks; puréed cottage cheese; ice cream or frozen yogurt; custard or pudding; whipped cream
  • Meats, fish and eggs: Any cooked meats, fish or eggs puréed with liquid, gravy or sauce
  • Legumes: Smooth bean dips or hummus; silken or puréed tofu
  • Fats: Olive oil; butter; puréed avocado; gravy; sour cream
  • Soups
  • Desserts: Gelatin; popsicles; fruit ice; smoothies or frappes
  • Liquid meal replacement drinks or supplements
  • Herbs, spices, or smooth/liquid seasonings (e.g., ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard)
  • Any beverages

 

Non-Compliant Foods

  • Fruits: Any whole or soft cooked fruits that must be chewed
  • Vegetables: Any whole or soft cooked vegetables that must be chewed
  • Grains: All other grains that can’t be puréed smooth
  • Dairy: Yogurt with fruit chunks, or mix-in items; solid cheese; cottage cheese
  • Meats, fish, and other proteins: Very tough cuts of meat that can’t be puréed smooth; hard boiled or scrambled eggs
  • Nuts and seeds: All solid nuts, seeds, and coconut
  • Legumes: Baked beans; any cooked legumes that must be chewed; tempeh; baked tofu
  • Desserts: Any others that must be chewed
  • Condiments with solids (e.g., relish, jam, salsa)

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