A few weeks ago I’d tweeted about attending a cookery demo for people with swallowing difficulties, being run by our Education officer Bob.
And so here’s the blog, as promised…
MND can affect the ability to swallow, and so both weight loss and choking can become very serious issues. Foods often need to be liquidised or pureed, with the consistency being carefully monitored in order to avoid choking – not too thin, not too thick, not jelly turning to liquid too soon… Nutritional content is also an issue, with fat, carbs and sugars needing to be packed into food in order to maximise calorific intake – to make every mouthful worth more.
Chunks of papaya held in the mouth can help break down thick saliva
As I’m sure you can imagine, liquidised and pureed food isn’t always the most appetising, and can become very boring very quickly. One of the things that our Education officer Bob does, from time to time, is to run demonstrations of food preparation for those with swallowing difficulties. It’s not only about choosing the right foods for the person with MND, but also about making that food appetising, maintaining the pleasure of food – it’s a quality of life issue. Bob talked about the look and shape of food too – like putting pureed chicken into a mould the shape of a chicken leg, to maintain for the person with MND the perception of eating the same food as everyone else at the table.
The evening included discussion of those prescription foods available – like fortified mousses and drinks, and special thickeners, but also those products available in your local supermarket which will do the job just as well. Coming back to the quality of life issue, there’s a gentleman we know who would add thickener to his pint of Guinness so that he could still go down the pub of an evening…
There are a number of different publications available, including one that MND Scotland has produced (written by Bob) which includes some general information as well as recipes – if you’d like more information or would like a copy please email us on info [at] mndscotland [dot] org [dot] uk
If you’re interested in our cookery demonstrations and would like to register your interest please also drop us a line! info [at] mndscotland [dot] org [dot] uk / 0141 945 1077