Pureed Food for Adults [Homemade & Premade]

“Pureed Food for Adults [Homemade & Premade]” was written by Kierra Brown, RD and edited/updated by Aly Bouzek, MS, RDN.

Did you know that pureed food is blended food that has a smooth texture, requires virtually no chewing, and can be eaten with a spoon? A pureed diet can help you get enough food when you are having difficulty chewing or swallowing. 

In addition to maintaining sufficient oral intake, pureed food can even reduce your risk of choking.

Added bonus: pureed foods for adults are easy to make!

This post dives into the specifics of pureed food for adults, how to make your own pureed food, where to buy pre-made pureed foods, and some pureed food recipes to get you started.

Why Do You Need Pureed Food?

Pureed foods are a type of texture change that help with problems related to chewing and swallowing. A pureed diet consists of foods that are blended, whipped, or mashed until they are a “pudding-like” texture.

Pureed Food for Swallowing Problems

For individuals with swallowing problems, making sure the food is the right consistency is important. Pureed fruits and vegetables, milkshakes, pudding, and soups are examples of pureed foods for swallowing problems.

A speech therapist (or speech language pathologist) is often involved with making recommendations for texture modification recommendations. A registered dietitian is involved with providing diet education and supporting the preparation of appropriate foods.

If you are having difficulty swallowing food, then you should talk to your doctor. Certain tests may be required to diagnose swallowing disorders like dysphagia, other health concerns, and to make sure you’re eating the right texture of foods.

Pureed Food for Chewing Problems

Individuals with missing teeth, pain in their mouth, or those recovering from an oral procedure may benefit from a pureed diet. Pureed food benefits individuals with chewing problems since these foods require no chewing.

In addition to pureed foods, there are soft foods that don’t require chewing for those with chewing problems. You can learn more in our posts on 75 Soft Foods to Eat When Chewing Hurts and 15 Best Foods You Can Eat Without Chewing.

High calorie drinks are also beneficial for those who cannot or have trouble chewing, or who have difficulty swallowing foods.

How to Make Pureed Food

Making pureed food is a simple process with just a few instructions. If you have a food processor or blender, then you can start pureeing foods today!

Pureed Foods

Basic Pureed Food Instructions

  1. Remove any seeds, pits, skins, bones, or inedible parts from food.
  2. Cut the food into small pieces.
  3. Cook food until soft and tender, if needed.
  4. Use a food processor or blender to puree. 
  5. Add small amounts of water or liquid to help achieve desired consistency. The more water or liquid added, the thinner the consistency will be.

Liquids for Pureeing Food

Water is the main liquid of choice when pureeing food because it is tasteless – it won’t change the taste of your final pureed food. 

Other liquid options include:

  • Milk
  • Broth
  • Gravy
  • Yogurt
  • Vegetable juice
  • Fruit juice
  • Sauces

The amount of liquid you need to add will vary based on the type of food you are pureeing. Some foods contain a higher amount of water (such as watermelon!) and need less water for pureeing.

Finding the Right Blender to Puree Food

If you’re going to make your own pureed foods, then you’ll need the right tools. A blender or food processor will make it easier. And the stronger the blender, the quicker and easier it will be to puree food.

Keep in mind, a machine is not required to make pureed foods. You can always manually mash foods if they are cooked soft and you take the time to ensure a smooth consistency.

Consider the following characteristics when choosing a blender:

  • Capacity (how much it can hold)
  • Power (how strong the blender is)
  • Functions (special features)
  • Price (low or high)

A quality blender should also be easy to use and easy to clean. Some lower-priced blenders will mix liquids easily, but may not mix whole foods or frozen foods well. Investing in a more powerful blender may be beneficial for making pureed food for adults.

Some people prefer to use a full-sized blender, single-serving blender, immersion blender, or even a commercial milkshake blender. A food processor will also work.

Finding the Right Blender to Puree Food

If you are going to make your own purred foods, you’ll need the right tools. A blender or food processor will make it easier to puree foods. And the stronger the blender, the quicker and easier it will be to puree food.

Now keep in mind, a machine is not required to make pureed foods. You can always manually mash foods if they are cooked soft and you take the time to ensure a smooth consistency.

Consider the following characteristics when choosing a blender:

  • Capacity (how much it can hold)
  • Power (how strong the blender is)
  • Functions (special features)
  • And price (low or high)

A quality blender should also be easy to use and easy to clean. Some lower price blenders will mix liquids easily, but may not mix whole foods or frozen foods well. Investing in a more powerful blender may be beneficial for making pureed foods for adults.

Some people prefer to use a full-sized blender, a single-serving blender, immersion blender, or even a commercial milkshake blender. A food processor will also work.

Recommended Blenders for Pureed Foods

Here are some of our favorite blenders for pureed foods. 

*Note, this section includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Vitamix Blender for Pureed Foods

The Vitamix Blender* is a more high-end blender (i.e. it’s more expensive). However, it’s one of our favorite pieces of kitchen equipment. This blender is powerful and versatile.

You can use this blender for making pureed foods as well as smoothies, shakes, soups, nut butters, dips, and so much more!

The Vitamix Blender is strong enough to puree foods quickly and is easy to clean. To clean, just add some soapy warm water and blend (with the lid on, of course). Then rinse and dry.

Magic Bullet for Pureed Foods

The Magic Bullet* is perfect for making single-serving pureed foods. You can also puree foods or make smoothies or shakes right in the serving cup.

This product is great for convenience, ease of serving, and ease of cleaning. To clean, just toss the cups in the dishwasher!

Cuisinart Smart Stick for Pureed Foods

The Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender* is our favorite immersion blender. The hand blender works great for pureeing foods in a bowl or pot.

If you are cooking foods to make them softer to puree, you can use an immersion blender to blend the food right in the pot. You can also puree foods in the bowl you plan to eat from. Less dishes to clean up is always a nice surprise!

This particular immersion blender set also comes with a whisk and chopper/grinder attachment, which can be helpful for cutting and breaking down harder foods and meats.

Additional Kitchen Items for Pureeing Foods

We discussed blender options for pureeing foods for adults, but a few other kitchen tools will also be helpful to have on hand!

Knives for cutting off stems, cutting out seeds and cores, and chopping foods prior to boiling or blending will be helpful. 

While you can certainly peel foods by hand or with a smaller knife, you could also invest in a simple peeler. A peeler may be more efficient and safe to use – especially if you puree foods frequently. 

Is Your Pureed Food Ready and Safe to Eat?

Creating pureed food may seem easy – and it is! Using a blender, such as those mentioned above, will help speed up the preparation process and you’ll be on to eating your pureed concoctions in no time. 

However easy it is to puree foods, it is also equally important to make sure that they are safe to eat. With all pureed food:

  • You should be able to eat it with a spoon and NOT be able to suck it through a straw
  • It should hold its shape on the spoon and not fall quickly from the spoon (this is a sign that the puree is too thin)
  • It should not be sticky (if it sticks to the spoon when the spoon is tilted, then try adding more liquid to the puree in you blender)
  • It should not separate out into a liquid and solid form (it should remain solid the entire time it is being eaten) 

The Pureed Diet

Pureed Food

With a pureed diet, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet and incorporate as many different healthy choices from each food group as possible. 

Try to focus on providing variety in the diet, particularly if an individual needs to be on a pureed diet for an extended period of time.

Ensuring a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Changing the texture of a food can reduce the variety consumed in a given diet. A healthy, balanced pureed diet should include foods from all food groups. This includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and whole grains.

Experiment with different types of pureed foods and be sure to add seasonings to make them taste good. It can be a shift going from eating a diet with a variety of textures to just eating pureed food.

Foods to Avoid and Foods to Select

Most foods puree well but any foods with lumps, seeds, or chunks should be avoided. This is because they are too hard for your blender, have seeds, or will not result in the pudding-like consistency that we are aiming for. 

Anything that can cause an individual to choke or would require additional chewing should be avoided. 

Some foods to avoid when pureeing include those that are raw, crunchy, tough, dry, gristly, stringy, hard, sticky, pulpy, crispy, etc. These foods include:

  • Raw vegetables
  • Raw apples
  • Dry cereals, dry breads, dry cakes
  • Seeds
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Solid cheeses
  • Candy (hard and soft)
  • Chips
  • Crackers and rice cakes
  • Pudding with chunks (such as tapioca pudding)
  • Steak or skin meats (such as chicken skin, sausage skin, and hot dogs)
  • Any liquids or foods that have raw eggs

Instead, select stewed, boiled, or mashed fruits and vegetables, well cooked pasta, and meats and poultry in sauce or gravy to puree. Adding additional liquids to pureed foods can make them easier to swallow (ex. gravy on mashed potatoes).

A strong blender may be required for a smoother texture (see our section above on recommended blenders for pureed foods).

High Calorie Pureed Food

Some individuals require a high calorie diet to prevent unintended weight loss or to gain weight.

If someone is new to a pureed diet, they might find themselves eating less. Sometimes pureed foods can be less appealing, especially if not prepared right. And pureed foods lack a lot of texture that most people are used to enjoying from their foods.

If you need to add more calories to your pureed foods, you can substitute the water for a liquid with calories. High calorie liquids include:

You can also add butter, olive oil, nut butter, or other high calorie foods to the foods you are pureeing.

Check out our article, High Calorie Soft Foods for Weight Gain, for more ideas. If you require blended foods over just soft foods, then use this article for ideas and inspiration. Start with the soft foods and use them to make a pureed meal.

Best Pureed Meals to Start With

If you are new to preparing or eating pureed foods (or are hesitant about trying the pureed diet), then try some of these suggestions to start. The foods listed below will have a similar texture to their non-pureed version:

  • Chilies or stews
  • Soups
  • Apple sauce
  • Fruits
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt

Delicious Homemade Pureed Food Recipes

Try the following recipes to add variety to your diet! Be sure to check out our articles on high calorie smoothies, high calorie shakes, and high calorie soups for more ideas.

Strawberry Puree Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-pint fresh strawberries
  • Water (small amount)

Directions:

  1. Wash, dry, and remove stems from berries
  2. Place in food processor or blender with a dash of water
  3. Blend until desired consistency, add more water if needed

For more variety or to switch up this recipe you can add juice instead of water (lemon juice or lime juice adds a fun twist) or add some sugar to make it more of a dessert.

Potential add-ins for strawberry puree:

  • Lime juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh basil
  • Banana
  • Honey

Mango Puree Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 mango
  • Water (small amount)

Directions:

  1. Slice mango in half and remove flesh from seed
  2. Cut mango into small cubes and cut away from skin
  3. Place diced mango into blender with a dash of water
  4. Blend until desired consistency, add more water if needed

For more variety with this recipe you can replace the water with half and half or add some sugar. Adding in some coconut or coconut cream can make this a delicious tropical dessert.

Potential add-ins for mango puree:

  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Coconut cream
  • Pineapple
  • Peppers for spice

Apple Banana Puree Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 small banana
  • Water or milk as needed

Directions:

  1. Wash apple and peel skin with a peeler 
  2. Chop apple into small pieces
  3. Boil/steam apple in water for 10 minutes (or cook in the microwave)
  4. Place steamed apple and peeled banana into blender with liquid
  5. Blend until desired consistency, add more liquid if needed

For more variety you can add sugar for dessert or more fruits for more flavor.

Potential add-ins for apple banana puree:

  • Honey
  • Greek yogurt
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Berries

Savory Broccoli Puree Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • Chicken broth, as needed

Directions:

  1. Wash broccoli and remove stalks and florets
  2. Cut into bite sized pieces
  3. Cook broccoli in broth and boiling water, until tender (or cook in microwave)
  4. Drain and add to blender, with chicken broth
  5. Blend until desired consistency, add more liquid if needed

For more variety you can add sautéed onions and butter to this dish to make it extra tasty. Adding sour cream or herbs/spices can add even more variety.

Potential add-ins for broccoli puree:

  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Potato
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
Delicious Pureed Food Recipes

Premade Pureed Food for Adults

Don’t feel like making your own pureed foods? Did you know that there are pre-made pureed foods on the market? 

Sometimes having a stash of premade pureed foods on hand can be helpful if you don’t feel like cooking or if you’re in a rush to get a meal made.

Naturally Pureed Food

Some foods are already in a naturally pureed state and can be purchased off the store shelves and eaten as is. These include:

  • Yogurt
  • Apple sauce
  • Puddings (smooth with no chunks)
  • Hummus (smooth with no chunks or hard pieces)
  • Cream of Wheat

Keep reading for more options on premade pureed food for adults!

Pureed Food from Amazon

We order a lot of things from Amazon. Who knew that you could also order pureed food? Here are some pureed foods from Amazon. 

*Note, this section includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Example of premade pureed food options available through Amazon:

Pureed Food Delivery Services

There are also meal delivery services that will deliver premade pureed foods directly to your door. Here are some meal delivery services that provide pureed foods.

Mom’s Meals Pureed Meal Delivery

Mom’s Meals Pureed Meal Delivery offers fully prepared meals for those with dysphagia. Their menu includes several breakfast meals and even more lunch and dinner options.

The pureed meals are balanced and include desserts to make mealtimes more enjoyable. Check out their Pureed Menu to see current offerings.

Gourmet Pureed

Gourmet Puréed is another website that offers freshly prepared and nutritionally balanced pureed food for adults.

Once you dig around this website you may notice some similarities between Gourmet Puréed and Mom’s Meals. This is because they are the same company! They just market in a few different ways.

GA Foods’ SunMeadow Meals

GA Foods’ SunMeadow Meals offers pureed meals for seniors. While they have a limited selection of meals available, they are nutritious and balanced. The meals are frozen and can be purchased in bulk if needed.

You can check out their menu to see which pureed meals are available.

Pureed Food Adults Will Want to Eat

Pureed foods may not be the most appealing, but presenting the food in creative ways (utilizing containers and food molds) can improve visual appeal and intake.

Think about it, how appealing does a scoop of pureed turkey look? With intention you can make pureed foods look delicious.

Consistency and Containers

Pureed food should be blended to a pudding-like consistency. The food should be one consistent texture and not separate into liquid and solid parts.

You can prepare pureed foods in bulk and placed in appropriately-sized containers. Meal prepping can save time and energy.

Glass containers may work best as they hold their shape, do not absorb odors, and can be reheated. Here is a set of 12 Glass Food Storage Containers* that come with lids and are dishwasher safe.

Food Molds for Pureed Foods

Food molds can help make foods more visually appealing and appetizing. Pre-formed foods compared to un-formed foods are more likely to be consumed thereby increasing calorie and protein intake. 

Food molds can be purchased from several websites (just Google them!). Here are some options from Amazon. 

*Note, this section includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Broccoli Food Mold

To go along with our Pureed Broccoli recipe above, you can use a broccoli food mold*. By using this mold, the broccoli you serve will look more like normal broccoli on the plate.

Pork Chop Food Mold

This pork chop food mold* is a great option for making pureed meats look more like regular meat on the plate. The pork chop and broccoli molds together would make a great looking puree meal.

Premade Molded Puree Food

In addition to buying food molds, you can also buy premade molded puree foods. This pureed shaped fruit mix* includes mixed berry, peaches, pears, pineapple purees.

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Conclusion

Pureed foods can make eating a safe experience for those with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Pureed foods may not appear the most appetizing, but mealtimes can still be a pleasurable experience for those on pureed diets.

Try using food molds and incorporating delicious recipes. You can make your own pureed foods or buy premade pureed foods delivered directly to your door. We hope this article gives you some ideas and next steps for finding the best pureed foods for you. Best of luck! 

5 thoughts on “Pureed Food for Adults [Homemade & Premade]”

  1. My dad is 99 and lives alone in a retirement residence. He eats in the dining room but has increasing difficulty with the food there. He has chewing (losing his teeth) and swallowing problems. But he would never be able to manage preparing his own pureed food. Is there any source of PREPARED pureed food that could be delivered and he could heat up in his microwave?

  2. Hi my mother in law who is 93 has come to live with us she has to be on puree food only same with water and juice has to have a powder thickness to them I would just love some lovely tasty meals for her thankyou so much. Best regards Wendy Cooper

  3. Do you have any recommendation for an easy to clean blender? I am 85 and recently diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis with pretty bad dysphasia. Going to get a blender and start using it soon. Thank you.

    1. I find the Magic Bullet as an easy to clean option. It comes with multiple cups/containers which can be put into the dishwasher when done (I have 6 cups with mine, so even while some are in the dishwasher I still have others to use). I am also a fan of the Vitamix blender. I have both!

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