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Old 03-01-2009, 11:48 PM   #1
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ISO Soft food diet

My Fiance, Ryan has just had a tracheotomy put in. I need to find soft foods that are easy to swallow but don't have all the salt and seasonings as He is going through chemo and will be going through radiation again soon as well. (He was just diagnosed with cancer in his head and neck.. about the size of a cantaloupe. Was released from the hospital yesterday after being there for three weeks.) He has a feeding tube but is able to swallow right now (if is careful and is soft foods) until the radiation which won't be for another 6 to 7 weeks. I am looking for soft things for Him to eat while maintaining 2400 cals and 130 - 140 grams of protein. I was told about using a boost or ensure with a powder protein. So we will be picking that up. But if there is any other ideas... that would be great.

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Old 03-02-2009, 09:48 AM   #2
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Amanda, I moved this to its own thread as you will get more play that way. I'm sorry I don't have much help to offer. My only suggestion is always smoothies. I start with a yogurt base (usually vanilla) and add fruit and milk to thin if needed. I suspect you could add silken tofu for protein and it would still be palatable. Good luck and I hope you get lots of answers to help you out. Sounds like you guys have a bit of a journey ahead of you, hope it goes as smoothly as it can.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:08 AM   #3
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Amanda, and Ryan, welcome to the forum. I am very sorry to read of Ryan's ill health and hope he comes through this as good as can be expected.

I think your best resource would be your registered dietician who was involved in the placement of Ryan's feeding tube. He/she understands how many calories and grams of protein Ryan is receiving with the feeding tube. Was it the dietician who mentioned the boost and ensure? Is Ryan receiving all needed calories and nutrients from the feeding tube? Is the boost only for oral stimulation, or does he need the nutrients from the boost/ensure to some up with the 2400 cal/~135 g protein? The dietician can answer any questions you have and is in the best position to answer them.

Good luck, and all the best!
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
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Hi, Amanda, Ryan, welcome to DC. I went through chemotherapy about 3 years ago, and although it was not for as severe a condition as Ryan's, I went to a soft diet for about 2 1/2 months. I made, and drank, a lot of vegetable juice made from fresh organic veggies. In fact, I wore out a Champion juicer, and had to replace the armature in the motor, as well as the bearings. I juiced as needed, couple of times a day...carrots, beets and beet greens, celery, ginger root, cilantro. I also made smoothies. I have a Vita Mix, but any good blender will do. Bar blenders are made for hard use, so I recommend those right behind Vita Mix. I blended up a banana, 6 oz. or so of either papaya nectar (Trader Joe's) or pineapple juice, or pomegranate juice (also TJs), maybe fresh blueberries, crushed ginger, raw, organic coconut oil, 4-5 ice cubes and a scoop of hemp-based protein powder. I was able to take multi-vitamin/mineral complex as well, plus a cal/mag/zinc supplement, 2000 mg vitamin C and a B100. Those are all tablets, and can be crushed in a mortar and pestle and added to the smoothie. Good luck and much success to you both.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:18 PM   #5
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Later, when I found out about it, I added an oz. of freshly ground flax meal to the smoothies, along with a bit more liquid.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:03 PM   #6
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Ryan is not using the feeding tube right now. That is why I want to make sure He is getting enough calories and protein. Once He starts radiation (in 6 to 7 weeks) He will probably be on tube feedings only. Then I won't have to worry so much. Right now He is only eating yogurt and canned fruit, pudding, sherbet, mac n cheese (which is a little too much for him), Soup (which is too salty for Him but was canned) So I thought I would look into other things for Him to eat. Thank You for Your suggestions! I told Him we need to go buy a blender lol. All of our stuff is in SC (storage) So we will have to buy a few things here till we can bring our stuff up here (NC). The dietitian at the hospital is the one that told us about how much calories and all He needs. She didn't really give ideas what to give him to eat.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda_and_Ryan View Post
Ryan is not using the feeding tube right now. That is why I want to make sure He is getting enough calories and protein. Once He starts radiation (in 6 to 7 weeks) He will probably be on tube feedings only. Then I won't have to worry so much. Right now He is only eating yogurt and canned fruit, pudding, sherbet, mac n cheese (which is a little too much for him), Soup (which is too salty for Him but was canned) So I thought I would look into other things for Him to eat. Thank You for Your suggestions! I told Him we need to go buy a blender lol. All of our stuff is in SC (storage) So we will have to buy a few things here till we can bring our stuff up here (NC). The dietitian at the hospital is the one that told us about how much calories and all He needs. She didn't really give ideas what to give him to eat.

I am sorry the dietician was not more helpful to you. That puts an unnecessary burden on you, doesn't it?

The other folks here gave some good suggestions for you to try. I am afraid I only have experience with adjusting feeding tube/fluid rates to get the desired results.

Good luck with your tasks ahead. We will be thinking of you both.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:30 AM   #8
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Amanda, it sounds more challenging than it really is (the soft food part that is). I went through this when I was taking care of my Dad when he had cancer and had problems swallowing.

Most fruits and vegetables can be mashed or pureed - some fruits may need to be cooked first. Fruits can be thinned out if necessary with a little fruit juice, vegetables with the cooking water or some stock.

Meats can be chopped or pureed with a food processor and blender. They can be moistened with stock or gravy.

If you want some ready to eat options - check out the selection of baby foods at the store. This will also give you some more ideas on what you can make "soft".
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:32 AM   #9
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I would talk to his doctor and ask for a referral to another dietitian. The one in the hospital is not part of his ongoing care, so talking to his doctor about it might help.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Dear Amanda end Ryan.

As you know, it is very important that he doesn’t loose weight before starting the radiotherapy.
There are so many nutritional supplements available that would help to have the right amount of nutrients. Those supplements can be miky or juicy. I don’t know if you ever tried them.I won’t promote any brand here but in case u want more information, let me know, I can maybe advise.

What you can do is enrich most of food, u can add tick sour cream or whipped cream into his milk, chocolate, or coffee for example.
Home made Milkshakes are also nice and rich, you can make them in so many different tastes.

U can also enrich a soup :
Here is the proportion used in the hospital where I worked :

For 500 ml of Soup
Add 50 ml of tick sour cream
50 g of processed cheese
30 g of powder protein

For 200 ml :
238 kcal
18g of Prot
16 g of Fat
9 g of Carbs


What I would recommend is to avoid his favourite food around chemotherapy or radiotherapy. A very important secondary effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is nausea. If He takes his favourite food around chemo time, he may associate the nausea symptom to the food he ate and avoiding that food next time. It is called Learned Food Aversion and that contributes a lot in the denutrition process of cancer patients. One way to avoid that , is to eat something “special” a "scapegoat" food around the chemo time to avoid aversion of food he enjoys to eat.
I hope you did understand what I meant , im sorry because my English is not very good , as I am a French speaker .

I hope it could help u, and wish you good luck.
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