Celebrating Christmas with Dysphagia
It is the season of love and good food this Christmas! Did you know that even for dysphagia patients, it is possible to celebrate and indulge healthily in the delicious festive delights? With the right food choices, you can eat to your heart's content while taking care of your health!
Traditional Christmas pudding is a sponge cake dessert made from flour, butter, sugar, dried fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and can come with or without the addition of alcohol like brandy and rum. Its appearance is usually dark in colour while its texture is dense and sticky. It has a distinct aroma with a fruity flavour and generally tastes sweet.
It will give high amount of calories, carhohydrates and fats for people who are underweight. One Christmas pudding can provide 300 calories and 60g of carhohydrates which is almost equivalent to consuming a regular main meal. Those with diabetes should avoid this dessert as it is too high in sugar and will cause a spike in blood sugar level. This dessert can be made into a puree for dysphagic patients to enjoy.
For a sweet delight, consider GentleFoods' selection of desserts such as Pureed Mango Lassi. This lassi is a great source of probiotics that promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria. It is linked to improved weight loss, immune functions and more. With added yoghurt, milk and mango smoothly blended, this healthy dessert can be enjoyed cold or hot by everyone in the family and is suitable for patients with swallowing condition.
Roast turkey is the main meat dish served during Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Turkey is much more expensive than chicken. Turkey meat is a leaner meat compared to chicken as turkey has a slightly higher protein content and lower fat content. Hence, turkey is tougher to chew compared to chicken. Turkey is usually cooked by roasting or smoking and it takes more time to cook turkey till it is tender and soft.
During Christmas dinner, roast turkey is usually served whole with cranberry sauce or brown gravy. Roast or smoked whole turkey has more sodium than steamed or boiled chicken. Beyond the Christmas season, turkey is usually only available for purchase as sliced deli (cured) meat which has much higher sodium compared to fresh chicken. For lower salt products, choose to buy fresh chicken instead of smoked or deli turkey slices.
Instead of searching for pureed turkey, consider the healthier Petite Meals Bento by GentleFoods. Specially made 30% smaller than the regular pureed bento meals, while still containing calories and protein content for a meal. There are over 15 selections of local Asian flavour, including chicken satay, fish masak merah and others. Each petite meal will come with either French bean/Carrot, Stir Fry cabbage, Radish/Carrot, Pumpkin, Broccoli or Carrot.
Mince Pie is another popular baked pastry snack available during the Christmas season in UK, Australia and New Zealand. Mince pie is made of dried fruits (eg. raisins, orange peel, cranberries), spices (eg. cinnamon, nutmeg) and can come with or without minced beef.
One small piece of mince pie may give more than 200 calories and more than 40g of carbohydrates depending on the exact recipe used. It is not a suitable snack for people with diabetes. For people with dysphagia, they cannot consume pies due to the hard crust and the fibrous and chewy filling of the pie.
An alternative to the traditional mince pie will be to blend fresh fruits (eg. grapes without skin, apple without skin), orange juice and mix in the spices (eg. cinnamon powder) and make into a soft puree.
For those who are less talented in the kitchen, consider GentleFoods series of Fruits Puree. Top favourites include Pureed Apple with Longan, and Blueberry with Peach.
Christmas is the season to be jolly. Enjoy your holidays with your family with foods that are suitable for your dietary conditions! We are excited to have launched the Minced and Moist series. They are specially created for IDDSI Level 5 dietary requirement, the minced and moist series serves a bowl of high protein and fiber, cooked with authentic Asian non-spicy sauces for a savoury meal.
*Do visit your speech therapist to assess your condition and find out about the suitable diet consistency for your condition.