Thickening Liquids & Pureeing Foods

See Resources, below.

Pureeing Food

It is difficult to give exact directions for pureeing food for children who have difficulty swallowing as their needs will vary with their abilities. It is easy to use a food processor or blender to puree almost any food, adding liquids as necessary to achieve the right texture for your child. If you are trying to increase calories for your child, use milk instead of water or juice when you do add liquid. Food can be made and blended, then frozen in small containers for convenience, either in small plastic single-serving size containers or ice cube trays. There are also many table foods that can be served without much modification, including mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt. If you are traveling, these items can often be found easily in hotels and restaurants, but try to provide calories balanced between vegetables and fruits, meat and dairy and carbohydrates. Small portable blenders are available in many cooking stores to make traveling easier with a child with swallowing difficulties. Single-serving oatmeal packs, applesauce in individual containers, and single-serving yogurts can also be helpful on trips. In some hotels and cruise ships, staff will mash foods for your child in the kitchen, if this is requested.


Information & Support

For Parents and Patients

Thick and Easy Thickener
Another popular thickener.

Thick It Thickener
Powdered tasteless thickener. Can vary amount to be used easily.

Simply Thick Thickener
Thickener for liquids and foods that comes in individual packets and packets for larger amounts. In gel form. Easy to use and tasteless.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: September 2008; last update/revision: February 2016
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Lynne M. Kerr, MD, PhD
Reviewer: Meghan Candee, MD