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I used to get my mom Ensure PUDDING, not the drink, online to get some actual nutrition in her. Metromedical site, plus i could crush her meds in them too. Just a thought.
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horserider, if a videoscopic swallow test reveals a problem with the little flap that covers the airway not closing quickly enough, then something that goes down quickly, like a sip of water, risks that quick substance getting into the lungs. Not good. Thickening the substance isn't 100% effective, but it does reduce the risk. The thickener has no impact on taste. Really. But it is a weird texture. I thickened water and juice and tea and wine and beer for my husband. Depends on how seriously you take the risk, and how offensive you think the thickened beverage is. I think at the very least a patient with a "slow flap" should at least try the thickener for a bit. If drinking thickened beverages is a fate worse than having aspirational pneumonia, then go back to the riskier regular beverages.

GardenArtist you are so right that a speech therapist will have some suggestions about the mechanics of eating that can be helpful without regard to what is being eaten. I highly recommend consulting that specialist.
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Smoothies are a great idea! Personally I think it's better to go with foods that are as close to "normal" as possible rather than pureeing everything in sight. Applesauce is fine as applesauce, but fish or steak with the texture of not so great. Better to go with lentil soup, bean soup (run in the blender)soft meatloaf or refried beans, chili, etc. - things that could normally be expected to have a smoother texture (if losing weight is an issue, Ice cream or milk-shakes with a bit of protein powder)
Some NH do great things with mashed potatoes (add cottage cheese, etc), while others add "thickener" to everything giving it a a weird sticky texture. (yuck!).
"Thickened water" is also popular with NH & therapists...just not so popular with patients (IMHO tiny sips of real water that get into the patient are better than all the thickened water in the world that stays in the glass)
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Ask the doctor who treated her for the stroke to write a script for speech therapy. A speech therapist or speech pathologist can offer clues on swallowing, such as taking tiny portions, chewing thoroughly and swallowing before putting anything else in her mouth.

You might raise the issue with a speech therapist (or speech pathologist) about soft foods, avoiding harder to chew foods such as meats. If you do, ask for recommendations as well on how to get protein and iron rich foods, as cutting out or cutting back on the meat without substituting some good protein foods could cause her to become weaker.

Some of my organic gardening friends make smoothies, with a blend of fruits as well as high iron foods such as spinach.

Pureed foods are another option, but be careful what you puree. Some foods become inedible when pureed. When I broke my jaw after an encounter with a tree, I was on soft foods for several weeks. I had a real craving for potato salad, made it and pureed it. Yuck. It was inedible.

Soups are a good option though.

A speech therapist can also arrange for a videoscopic swallow test to determine if she's aspirating food into her lungs.
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