Thickened Food & Beverages

Carewell's Guide to Nutrition & Feeding
Carewell's Guide to Nutrition & Feeding

About Meals, Purees, & Thickeners

Mealtimes can become a struggle when swallowing, chewing, or biting foods becomes difficult for your loved one. Those who experience difficulty swallowing or chewing, may likely experience nutritional deficiencies, which can:

  • Compromise the immune system
  • Slow down the body’s natural healing process
  • Increase the risk of infection

Your healthcare provider may recommend pureed meals, and thickened water or beverages as options for meeting those nutritional needs; at Carewell, we offer a variety of pureed meals and food thickeners as enjoyable mealtime solutions to provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your loved one needs while lowering the risk of choking or digestive issues. These include:

  • Purees, Broths & Meals: Pureed foods and meals are typically pre-cooked and then blended, whipped, or mashed until they have a smooth texture. For broths, simply add a bouillon powder to boiling water to make a broth as strong as you like, or just stir them in as a seasoning with no water at all.
  • Thick Water & Juices: These drinks are designed for people with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). The viscosity of thin liquids is increased, which allows for easier swallowing.
  • Food & Beverage Thickeners: These products thicken pureed foods and/or drinks to help individuals with swallowing difficulties.
  • Pudding & Gelatin: Nutritious pudding is great for individuals with fluid restriction, dysphagia, or malnutrition. Gelatins also offer a low volume, clear protein snack.

Those with the following may also benefit from a pureed diet:

  • Dysphagia
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • An injury to the jaw or gums
  • Digestive disorders
  • Oral infection (like gum disease)
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Missing teeth
  • Dementia


What are food and drink thickeners?

Food, drink, and liquid thickeners are starch or gel-based additives that make fluids and edibles easier to swallow. They decrease the flow rate of thin liquids, preventing them from getting into your loved one’s airways.

What is thick water?

Thick water is a beverage specifically designed for people with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). You can purchase pre-thickened water or you can thicken drinking water at home with over-the-counter thickening agents.

What are pureed foods?

Pureed foods offer a modified texture for those who have problems chewing and/or swallowing. These foods are typically pre-cooked and then blended, whipped, or mashed until they have a smooth texture.

Are the puree meals sectioned like a plate or is it one meal pureed in together in a single bowl?

These meals come in a single undivided container.

Do pureed meals need refrigeration?

There is no refrigeration required for storage. The pureed meals require a microwave for preparation and most are ready to serve in 60 seconds. Once opened, meals can be placed in a covered container in the fridge from 48 to 72 hours.

What are food additives?

Food additives are supplements that can be mixed into food and drinks for added nutrition. They often feature high calorie counts, essential vitamins, and minerals

What do I need to prepare tasty pureed food for adults?

Preparing tasty pureed foods for adults is easy and hassle-free. To get started, you’ll need:

  • A blender or food processor
  • Knives for cutting and chopping
  • Peeler
  • Thickening agents

How do I prepare pureed foods at home?

The steps for making pureed food depends on the recipe, but the process typically requires three steps:

  1. Peel and chop up large fruits or vegetables into small, bite-sized chunks. If you’re preparing meat or dairy, cut them into pieces that are safe for a blender or food processor.
  2. Move the bite-sized chunks into a blender or food processor and break them down into even smaller pieces.
  3. Add water, broth, or another type of liquid to ensure the correct texture and thickness. If the mixture is too watery, incorporate a food or drink thickener into the mix to achieve a more pudding-like consistency.

If you don’t have the time or necessary tools to make pureed food at home, we offer a variety of Ready-to-eat pureed meal options.

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