Dignified Dining: The Benefits of Food Molds

November 26th, 2015 By Lisa Bainbridge
Puree Mold heat Serve

A dignified dining experience is something we often take for granted and enjoying meals is key to maintaining our wellbeing and happiness. For some eating can become problematic, making mealtimes something they dread or even fear.  Some residents experience difficulties chewing or swallowing which can cause a choking hazard, in which case they may have to switch to a pureed or texture modified diet.  Conditions such as dysphagia can be the consequence of a number of things such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, MS, head and neck resections and tumours or motor neurone disease, also in the advanced stages of dementia. Dysphagia tends to require a change in the consistency of food and liquids, changing to thickened drinks and smooth, puréed and texture modified foods are beneficial and serve to ease the swallowing process.

Why is pureed food a requirement for some patients?

Pureed food is the best option for some patients as they lose the ability swallow foods of the same consistency,  and attempting to do so can be potentially fatal as they may choke and food or fluid can run the risk of entering the lungs. Losing the ability to swallow can have severe nutritional implications, as eating can become time-consuming and tiring, often resulting in an inadequate food consumption which can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can result in other complications including the decline in physical or cognitive function, chronic infections, constipation and a weakened immune system. Residents displaying the symptoms of dysphagia should be assessed to determine the most appropriate texture and consistency of liquid and food to suit their needs. When making the switch to a pureed or texture modified diet, residents can experience a decreased appetite and lack of enjoyment while eating, which may also affect the resident’s social engagement with others at mealtimes. Coincidentally this lack of appetite can also be a detriment to the individual’s health and happiness. It is essential for care homes to cater appealing and tasty meals to suit their dietary requirements.

The first bite is in the eye

Care homes should encourage residents to enjoy mealtimes, for many residents it may be the most social activity they partake in all day. Adjusting to dietary restrictions can be extremely difficult for residents, they may feel like they lack control over their diet, this is why dining and socialising with others may give them back a sense of independence. Quality puree meals can offer residents the ability to dine independently without the fear of choking, making them more willing to socialise with others and enjoy their dining experience as a whole. Pureed and texture modified foods can typically appear as bland scoops with different food items often being visually indecipherable from one another. It’s unsurprising that these physically unappealing meals can lead to a loss of appetite. Meal times are a highly sensory experience, and the visual aspect should not be overlooked, as the presentation of our food is integral to our enjoyment of it.

Pureed foods don’t have to be unappetising though, Beaucare stock a range of Puree food molds that are specifically designed to restore the appeal of these foods and make them visually palatable. Food molds significantly improve meal presentation and help patients maintain a sense of dignity in their dining experience. The various food molds are created to ensure that the food looks like it did in its original form. The use of all twelve food molds can be combined to help provide a greater meal variety that will appeal to residents.

For the best results when using the silicone molds, remove the mold containing texture modified food from freezer and place in the oven and heat at a low to moderate temperature. Once the food is adequately reheated, remove the mold from oven using oven gloves and carefully place the molded food directly onto the plates. To ensure the best presentation, make sure each food item is distinguishable. Presenting appealing meal choices to those who require puree or texture modified diets helps to improve their health and overall quality of life.

Beaucare’s puree silicone food molds are versatile catering products that can be implemented into fresh, frozen or chilled catering systems. These durable and long-lasting the silicone molds are suitable for microwave, oven and freezer use. Using food molds may mean you only have to prepare puree food once a week by making a number of meals and freezing them for later.  Introducing food molds into catering routines is cost-effective and vastly reduces the time spent preparing meals.

Contact Beaucare® Medical today for more information regarding our food mold range. Email us at sales@beaucare.com or call us on 01423 873666.

Puree Mold heat Serve