So, you have a head and neck cancer. A speech-language pathologist should make the determination if you require a pureed food. Sometimes chewing and swallowing regular foods isn’t an option. In my case I was unable to do this because of loss of teeth and surgeries. There was a time when I only used a feeding tube – Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy/PEG is the procedure in which a flexible feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. For me, this was due to having a tracheostomy tube after a partial jaw replacement and while having radiation treatments.
Now, What To Eat….
Best Vegetables to Puree:
- Sweet Potatoes
*Adding some type of fat or a bit of milk – if you tolerate dairy – is ideal
Avoid fibrous green vegetables, such as broccoli and anything with a shell (peas). They tend to leave strings and pieces that won’t puree. Trust me – A choking hazard.
Keep in Mind:
- Pureed foods are :usually eaten with a spoon
- Do not require chewing
- Smooth texture/No lumps
- Holds shape on a spoon
- Is not sticky
- Liquid like sauces should not separate from solids
Steps to Take for a Vegetable Puree:
- Peel vegetables
- Cut into thin slices
- Boil a few inches of water in a large saucepan (2-4 cups)
- Steam vegetables for 15-20 min. in steamer basket or directly in saucepan
- Remove vegetables with slotted spoon or use stainless steel strainer
- You may need to add liquid (water, cream, or butter)
- When it’s time to puree, I use a Kitchen Aid Blender with a puree option
*You can also puree scrambled eggs, beef, chicken, and turkey. I did….
Making Your Own Peg Tube Formula:
Consuming commercial formulas is fine for short-term use of a feeding tube. With long-term use, it’s suggested that you speak to a doctor or nutritionist about blending your own meals. The greatest advantage to making your own meals is less sugar intake. The most convenient way for a company to make a formula is to pack calories into an 8 oz. container with added sugar. For making a liquid formula I use a NutriBullet (Bonus – It’s easy to clean).
It may take some time to figure out which foods and tips work for you, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.