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Old 07-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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What to fix for someone who can't chew?

A friend's mom has had cancer surgery that removed part of her tongue and jaw. She can't chew and has trouble swallowing.

She is tired of potatoes and gravy--any other suggestions? Right now, she is drinking some Ensure, eating ice cream, and pureed or mashed fruits and veggies. She needs high calorie, nutrient dense food.

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Old 07-23-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
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There are jillons of recipes for soups that can be pureed and swallowed without chewing, especially cream soups. They contain all the nutrients like veggies, broth, milk, etc. Soft boiled eggs that can be mashed with a fork, just plain creamed or buttered vegetables that can be run through a blender; ice cream, milk shakes; oatmeal, grits and cooked cereals for breakfast. Polenta with different gravies or sauces. These are all meals that she can "drink" or can be eaten with very little jaw movement.

You might want to google "recipes for soft food diet" and see what you get. Ensure or Boost should still stay on her diet since they are loaded with nutrients and meant for people on soft diets.

Your friend has my sympathy. That kind of surgery is so hard on people. Good luck.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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I'd be interested in giving you assistance, but I'm not sure what her capabilities are. She has teeth enough to chew, yes? Won't anything chewed and chewed and chewed enough eventually be the consistency of potatoes?

Foods such as beans, tofu, eggs, certain cheeses...
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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Pick up some protein drinks to have on hand Boost or Ensure. Good for something quick. make sure you chill them first, they taste better.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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soft scrambled eggs with cheese, sloppy joe type bbq over potato makes a shepperds pie kind of thing, many soups-tomato, split pea, potato, (with brocolli pureed) red lentil, chicken n dumplings (noodle type), baked eggplant (skinned) tomato sauce and cheese, poached flounder or tilapia can be very soft.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:20 PM   #6
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milk shakes, baked custard, cottage cheese, apple sauce

has she had a swallowing evaluation completed? That would show what consistency foods she can best tolerate.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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She lost part of her jaw, so there is no chewing. She has had a swallowing evaluation.

I guess what my friend is looking for is something new, because her mom is losing weight, enough weight so that the doctor is even thinking about reinstalling the stomach tube that she had immediately after surgery.

(Could be that the poor old lady is depressed, too. Me, when I am depressed, I eat, but Elsie stops eating.)
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:46 PM   #8
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Sounds like the hospital should recommend a dietician. Surviving cancer is a great relief, I'm sure, but quality of life has to be considered as part of the survival. A medical professional should evaluate her mental condition because depression is treatable. Then, another professional should make healthy food suggestions that are doable for the patient. Finally, a third professional should be working to retrain what is left of the swallowing muscles and tongue so she can improve her quality of life.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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Oh, that poor woman. Without part of her tongue, you lose you tastebuds. What would make you want to eat?
The only things I could add are puddings, and yogurts.

Good luck, and God bless her.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:59 PM   #10
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Perhaps some pate, liverwurst or braunsweiger in small amounts on its own. If you really want to give her high fat super nutritious and delicious food, google recipes on straight up bone marrow. I kid you not it's some good stuff that you can incorporate into soups as well especially in a really strong beef broth add a few croutons or saltine crackers and let disolve into broth. Maybe some really soft cooked poached eggs mashed with a fork and some Hollandaise sauce. If she likes beer ( liquid bread) a bottle or two a day might be good. Smoothies or milk shakes mixed with a really good high protein powder like Tigers Milk or Spirutein. Bread pudding softened with milk, cream or 1/2 and 1/2. Really soft cooked oatmeal with cinnamon and apple sauce. What I think is she needs some good carbohydrates so maybe a decent soft wheat bread or saltine crackers dunked in milk or gravy soaked to get it really soft and mushy. Cheese souffle. Melted brie. Any canned or homemade smooth soup with crackers soaked enough to dissolve.
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