How to Accommodate the Grandparents: Meal Prep Tip for Those with Dysphagia

When your parents or grandparents live with dysphagia, it can be hard to host and plan those big, warm family meals. It isn’t, however, impossible. Of all the conditions that can come up with old age, and complications that can arise when someone has lived through a stroke or throat cancer, dysphagia is one of the options that are easy to accommodate once you know how. 

Not knowing is the biggest obstacle, so if your parent or grandparent has recently been diagnosed with the condition, don’t worry. This guide will help you understand how to accommodate your loved one so everyone can enjoy that big family meal together. 

Get Tasteless Thickener 

Meal Prep Tip for Those with Dysphagia

One of the key issues that people with dysphagia have is with both thin and too-thick foods and drinks. For example, thin liquids like tea or juice are hard to swallow properly. Foods that are too thick or aren’t soft enough are equally hard to swallow. There is a sweet spot, and the tasteless SimplyThick powder thickener can be just the ticket needed to get to it. It comes in both powder and gel form. Give your loved one the powder so that they can add it to their tea and coffee, to their soup broth, and so on, and mix it into their desired consistency. 

The gel version is great for adding moisture to their food

Note: The thickener contains honey, which isn’t safe for children under 1. Keep this in mind when preparing your food! 

Making The Food Moist 

In many cases, you can easily choose meals that are, by definition, easy to eat and swallow. Soft food options like stews or chilis are great since they can either be eaten right off the bat without another step needed or can be blended up into the right consistency. 

To offer your parent a great taste experience, know the only thing you really shouldn’t do is blend all the food into one. You can make roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, minced meat into a meat paste, and so on, but don’t put it all into one dish. The flavour still comes out after processing the food, so at a minimum, give them that. At most, choose meals that are easy for everyone to eat so you can all enjoy the same experience together with no “special” accommodations made for just that one person. 

Split the Meal 

How to Accommodate the Grandparents: Meal Prep Tip for Those with Dysphagia 1

A great final tip is to skip the family-style dinner setting and instead eat in courses. Courses give everyone a little bit of a break, which is particularly important for your parent or grandparent to rest their throat. Start with soup, for example, and then with a first plate, a second plate, and finally dessert. In most cases, this will just mean serving the sides before the main! 

Making these accommodations is very easy. You can do them together as a family so that your loved one doesn’t feel left out or as a burden. It’s so easy to do, and it will make a difference when you’re hosting dinner.

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