Making Smooth Pureed Meals Appealing

April 11, 2017

n this edition of Nutrition Matters, we discuss common problems residents have with the meals and we want to provide some tips on how to make them look great, tasty and nutritious.

Catering teams need to be motivated and creative, thinking ‘outside the box’. Feel confident to ditch the ice-cream scoop and experiment with other plating methods.

How often do you hear that pureed meals always look the same? That it appears residents on puree diets lack food variety and generally have poorer eating? Negative feedback from residents, carers and relatives regarding puree meals is common-place in residential aged care facilities. This understandably frustrates catering staff who have spent many hours preparing meals.

Such diets are frequently used in acute and residential aged care predominantly for people with dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) and who are at risk of choking, which can result in serious illness or even death. Unfortunately, there is no other means to offer food without the risk of choking.

So what can be done?

In aged care facilities having puree meals look good, smell good and sound good can be a challenge! Getting meals to smell good can be difficult, with many facilities having centralised cooking kitchens well away from resident dining areas; being able to hear foods crunching would mean the food is not suitable to be part of a puree diet. Therefore we are left with needing to work on the visual appeal of meals to increase resident appetites. Think colour, height and shape with the presentation emphasis to mimic normal foods.


To plate more appealing meals, catering teams need to be motivated and creative, thinking ‘outside the box’. Feel confident to sit the ice-cream scoop aside and experiment with other plating methods.



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