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Puree food

Patient information A-Z

Swallowing recommendations for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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What is puree food?

Some people who have swallowing problems (dysphagia) may need puree food. This means that it does not have to be chewed and is easier to swallow.

Puree food is:

  • A ‘normal’ diet that has been blended / liquidised until it is smooth in consistency.
  • There should be no lumps, but it should not be runny like soup.

Top tips when making puree food

  • You will need a blender, liquidiser or sieve.
  • Ensure there are no lumps in the food.
  • Add extra moisture to your food, for example with white sauce, cheese sauce, gravy, tomato pasta sauces, milk, cream, custard, apple sauce or butter.
  • Puree foods separately if able, for example, meat, vegetables and potatoes, to give more variety and improve flavour.
  • Present foods separately on the plate to make it more appealing.
  • Add more flavour with ingredients such as grated cheese, soft cheese, hummus or pesto.
  • Do not puree foods with skins, seeds, bones, gristle or cartilage.
  • If you are making puree food for someone else, you may wish to puree half the food and eat the other half in its ‘normal’ form yourself.
  • Puree food can cool down quickly, so may need to be reheated.

Meal suggestions


A spoon in a bowl of porridge


  • Porridge / Ready Brek
  • Weetabix (ensure it is well soaked in milk)
  • Yoghurt
  • Puree stewed fruit and yoghurt / cream
  • Mashed banana and yoghurt / cream
  • Puree baked beans, mushrooms and peeled tomatoes
  • Puree scrambled egg
  • Puree smoked haddock with plenty of butter / cream or milk

Main meals

A hot meal


  • Puree scrambled eggs with puree baked beans, mushrooms and peeled tomatoes
  • Puree pasta with cheese or tomato sauce for example macaroni, lasagne, ravioli or bolognese
  • Puree curry and rice puree with plenty of sauce
  • Puree casserole / stew with plenty of gravy
  • Puree sausages (with skins removed) with gravy
  • Puree fish in lots of sauce
  • Puree cooked meat with plenty of sauce/gravy
  • Puree cottage pie / shepherds pie with gravy
  • Puree cottage pie / shepherds pie with gravy
  • Puree Ratatouille
  • Puree chilli and rice puree with sauce
  • Puree mince and potato with gravy
  • Puree thick soups (add potato to thicken. Add drinks thickener if recommended thickened fluids)
  • Puree risotto

Potatoes / vegetables

Mashed potato in a bowl


  • Smooth mashed potatoes (add cheese, butter, cream, gravy, cream cheese or soft cheese)
  • Puree carrot, swede, butternut squash (add cheese, butter, cream or gravy)
  • Puree broccoli or cauliflower cheese
  • Mashed avocado
  • Puree mushrooms with peeled tomatoes or baked beans
  • Puree beans, peas, broccoli, parsnips, cauliflower, leeks etc with gravy


Stewed fruit


  • Mashed bananas
  • Puree stewed fruit (no skins)
  • Puree fresh / tinned fruit


Three yoghurt pots


  • Crème caramel
  • Milk jelly / blancmange
  • Angel Delight
  • Puree rice pudding
  • Puree fruit with yoghurt, cream or custard
  • Mousse
  • Custard
  • Fruit fools
  • Jelly (not suitable for people who need thickened fluids)
  • Thick and creamy yoghurts, fromage frais
  • Ice cream (not suitable for people who need thickened fluids)


Mashed Avocado in a bowl


  • Smooth pâté
  • Puree tinned spaghetti
  • Puree egg mayonnaise
  • Puree tinned tuna/tinned salmon puree with salad cream, mayonnaise or cheese sauce
  • Hummus
  • Smooth, mashed avocado
  • Thick fruit smoothies (not always suitable for people who need thickened fluids – ask your speech and language therapist).

Ready meals suitable for puree options

Soup in a bowl


  • Puree the following ready meals with a blender, liquidiser or sieve after purchase:
  • Curry
  • Chilli con carne
  • Pasta and sauce, lasagne, macaroni
  • Ready-made mashed potato, mashed swede, mashed butternut squash
  • Casserole / stews
  • Thick soups (add potato to thicken. Add drinks thickener if recommended thickened fluids)
  • Fish in sauce
  • Cottage pie/shepherds pie

Soaking solutions

  • Soaking solutions can be used to alter the consistency of normal foods such as cakes, crackers, cereal, potatoes, sandwiches and biscuits.
  • Foods are soaked with thickened fluids (thickened milk, water, fruit juice or stock) so that they become very soft like puree foods.
  • Thickened fluids are made using prescription fluid thickeners such as Resource ThickenUp Clear. See your GP for a prescription.
  • Soaking solutions make foods safer and easier to eat, however they have the appearance of normal foods so can look more appealing.


  • Soaking solutions only work with cereals, biscuits and cakes that have no pieces in them such as fruit, nuts and chocolate pieces.
  • Sandwiches must have puree fillings and the crusts removed before the soaking solution is added.

How to make soaking solutions

  • To make the soaking solution take 125ml of your chosen fluid and one level scoop of Resource ThickenUp clear fluid thickener. Mix until you have a syrup consistency, this is the soaking solution.
  • Dip the food in the soaking solution or pour the soaking solution over the food until it is thoroughly soaked.
  • Cover the food and refrigerate for two hours before serving to allow it to soak.

Puree moulds

  • Moulds can be used to shape puree food so it looks more like its normal state, and is therefore more appealing to eat.
  • The moulds should be used with thick purees as they hold their shape better.
  • Moulds can be bought from shops and the internet.

Useful resources

  • The Caroline Walker Trust for information and guidance to encourage eating well: The Caroline Walker Trust
  • Wiltshire Farm Foods for ready prepared, frozen puree meals that can be delivered to your home: Wiltshire Farm Foods
  • Book shops for recipe books about puree foods. For example:
    • The Dysphagia Cookbook by E. Achilles
    • Easy to swallow, easy to chew cookbook: over 150 tasty and nutritious recipes for people who have difficulty swallowing by D. Weihofen
    • Puree Foods with Substance and style by J.W Richman
    • The Puree Gourmet: A cookbook for puree food that look and taste delicious by J.W Richman

If you have any questions please speak to your speech and language therapist directly or contact the speech and Language therapy department on 01223 216200.

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151