Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a disorder that can affect people 

with a variety of underlying diagnoses/conditions and can occur at any 

age. Dysphagia can be a temporary or permanent disorder, depending 

on the nature of the problem and should always be properly evaluated 

and diagnosed by a skilled speech-language pathologist who is 

knowledgeable in the field of swallowing and swallowing disorders.

 

When a swallowing disorder occurs, eating and drinking safely and 

efficiently is a primary concern. When food items are not swallowed 

properly, there is a risk for the ingested material falling into the trachea 

(“windpipe”) as well as the lungs, which can lead to serious problems 

including choking, infection and even death. Puree foods can be very 

helpful in managing dysphagia by allowing some patients to continue to 

eat safely by mouth, even when swallowing function may not be 

effective enough for more regular texture foods.

 

Puree foods offer several benefits in the management of dysphagia. 

They can be helpful for patients who have difficulty chewing and/or 

manipulating food in their mouth. Puree foods can be swallowed 

without requiring any chewing. Puree foods also are “cohesive” and 

hold together well, making it easier for the patient to move the puree 

food from the mouth to the throat. 

 

If a patient has a weak swallow, food material may not always be 

effectively cleared through the throat during a single swallow as what 

normally should happen. Puree foods do not require as much “work” to 

be swallowed. Whereas more regular texture foods may require more 

force to swallow, puree foods may be easier to clear through the throat. 

Additionally, in patients who must swallow several times to clear food 

material through the throat, puree foods also do not have “pieces” or 

“bits” that can fall into the airway between swallows.

 

Although puree foods may be an excellent option for some patients with 

dysphagia, any suspected swallowing difficulty should always be 

properly evaluated to ensure the safest method of nutritional intake.

 

 

As a Speech Pathologist working with primarily with head and neck 

cancer patients, I have a very large number of patients struggling with 

swallowing disorders following their treatment. In many cases, surgery, 

radiation or a combination of these treatments can have a devastating 

effect on structures critical to swallowing function. Puree diets have 

allowed many patients to continue eating by mouth when they 

otherwise would have significant difficulty eating regular texture foods 

safely and effectively.

 

Despite this, puree foods can be difficult to prepare, often are not 

appetizing in appearance and can be very time consuming. Additionally, 

debilitated patients may have a great deal of difficulty preparing regular 

meals for themselves. For these reasons, patients limited to puree diets 

often choose to not eat as much by mouth or as frequently as they could. 

Others do not adhere to the puree diet, placing themselves at risk for 

choking and other serious complications. 

 

Working in this field for nearly 20 years, I have sampled many puree 

products designed to allow for improved convenience (and compliance) 

for patients adhering to a puree diet. These items would be canned, 

powdered, jarred and altogether lacking the nutritional benefits of fresh 

foods. Consistent texture, especially with meat products, has also been a 

long-standing issue for patients on a puree diet. 

 

Gourmet Puréed provides my patients with a nutritionally sound 

meal that is both appetizing and flavorful. Patients are able to enjoy 

meals with entrees they find appealing instead of the often “single-

ingredient” puree options traditionally offered. The meals taste great 

and the texture is ideal. Meats have often been an issue both in the 

preparation and appeal. Gourmet Puréed meat selections have both 

wonderful flavor as well as texture.

 

The convenience of Gourmet Puréed is one of the greatest appeals. 

Having fresh meals that do not require preparation (only heating), 

allows my patients to enjoy meals without time consuming and tedious 

preparation. Gourmet Puréed has allowed my patients to enjoy 

mealtime again, despite their swallowing difficulty. As a clinician, it 

gives me peace of mind knowing my patients are complying with their 

puree diet recommendation. 

 

Katrina M. Jensen M.A., CCC-SLP

Director, Medical Speech Pathology

Aerodigestive Disorders

Laryngeal/Alaryngeal Rehabilitation

Fort Worth, TX

 

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