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Huntington's Disease Caregiving

Texture & Consistency/Thining & Thickening Foods
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Texture & Consistency of Foods

The following are examples of medium and thick liquids and foods.

  • Medium (nectar consistency):
    • eggnog
    • fruit nectars
    • (apricot, peach, pear)
    • honey
    • thick creamed soups
    • soft set pudding with added
    • milk
    • tomato juice
    • buttermilk
    • ice cream
    • (no nuts or fruit chunks)
    • milkshakes
  • Thick (yogurt or pudding consistency):
    • cooked hot cereal
    • pudding
    • custard
    • gravy
    • yogurt (no nuts or fruit chunks)
    • cottage cheese mixed in
    • blender with milk or fruit
    • thick malt and milkshakes
How to Thin Liquids
  • Add hot milk-based liquids (hot milk or cream) to puréed soups, puréed vegetables, or cooked cereal.
  • Add other hot liquids (broth, gravy, sauces) to mashed potatoes, puréed or ground meats, and puréed or chopped vegetables. Butter or melted margarine may also be used.
  • Add cold milk-based liquids to cream, yogurt, cold soups, puréed fruits, or puddings and custards.

How to Thicken Liquids and Foods

  • Add baby rice or commercial thickener to hot milk-based liquids.
  • Add potato flakes, mashed potatoes, or flaked baby cereal to other hot liquids (soups, sauces, gravies).
  • Add plain unflavored gelatin, puréed fruits, banana flakes, or a commercial thickener to cold liquids.
How to Thicken Liquids and Foods continued
  • Add potato flakes, mashed potatoes, thick sauces or gravies, canned puréed or strained meat (baby food), or a commercial thickener to puréed soups.
  • Add flaked baby cereal, flavored gelatin, cooked cream of rice or wheat cereal, or a commercial thickener to puréed fruits.
  • Add mashed white or sweet potatoes, potato flakes, sauces, or commercial thickener to puréed vegetables.

Thickening and Thinning Agents
Foods can be thickened or thinned to individual requirements. Many foods can be used to change a liquid to a different consistency. The amount of thickening agent needed to reach a certain food consistency varies depending on the food being thickened and on the thickening agent used.

If a Food is Too Thin, Add One of the Following:

  • baby cereal
  • banana flakes
  • bread crumbs
  • cornstarch
  • cooked cereals (cream of wheat or rice)
  • custard mix
  • graham cracker crumbs
  • gravy
  • instant potato flakes
  • mashed potatoes
  • plain unflavored gelatin powder
  • plain sauces (white, cheese, tomato)
  • puréed fruits (baby food)
  • puréed meats (baby food)
  • puréed vegetables (baby food)
  • saltine cracker crumbs

If a Food is Too Thick, Add One of the Following:

  • broth
  • bouillon
  • gravy
  • juice
  • liquid flavored gelatin
  • melted hot butter/margarine
  • milk (hot or cold)
  • plain yogurt
  • strained puréed soups
Other Tips to Make Foods
Easier to Chew and Swallow
To avoid forming a hard crust on the top of a food or around the edges, cook the food in a covered casserole dish. To make soft scrambled eggs, cook the eggs in the top of a double boiler.
 
To keep meat or fish moist, cook in tomato juice or tomato soup.
 
To make puréed meat, first drain soft, cooked meat. Place meat in a food processor or blender to make a paste. Add hot liquid (broth) to the paste and thin to desired consistency