Children with Cerebral Palsy may have difficulties eating and drinking. Problems with muscle strength, movement, coordination or sensation may affect the muscles of the mouth, face and throat. This can cause difficulties with chewing, controlling and swallowing certain foods. Modifying the texture of certain foods may assist your child to eat more easily and safely. A speech pathologist can assist you with finding the most suitable food texture for your child.
Minced and moist foods
- Include foods that are soft, moist and can be easily formed into a ball.
- Contain small lumps that can be broken up with the tongue rather than the teeth.
- Should be chopped/mashed into pieces not larger than 0.5cm
- May be presented as a thick puree with obvious lumps that are soft and rounded (no hard/sharp lumps).
What are some examples of minced and moist foods?
||Foods to Encourage
||Food to Avoid
|Breakfast cereal with small moist lumps, e.g. porridge or Weet-Bix soaked in milk
Small, moist pieces of soft pasta, e.g. moist macaroni cheese (some pasta dishes may require blending or mashing).
|All breads, sandwiches, pastries, crackers and dry biscuits.
Rice that does not hold together, e.g. long grain, basmati.
Crispy or dry pasta, e.g. edges of a pasta bake or lasagne.
|Fruit and Vegetables
||Tender cooked vegetables that are easily mashed with a fork.
Mashed soft fresh fruits e.g. banana or mango
Finely diced soft pieces of canned*/stewed fruit, or pureed fruit with soft lumps.
*canned fruit should be drained from the liquid.
|Vegetable pieces larger than 0.5 cm or too hard to be mashed with a fork
Fibrous vegetables that require chewing, e.g. peas
Fruit pieces larger than 0.5 cm or too hard to be mashed with a fork
||Yoghurt (may have small soft fruit pieces)
Very soft cheeses with small lumps e.g. cottage cheese.
|Soft cheese that is sticky or chewy.
|Meat and meat alternatives
||Coarsely minced, tender, meats with a sauce (note: casseroles dishes may be blended to reduce the particle size).
Coarsely blended or mashed fish with sauce
Very soft and moist egg dishes, e.g scrambled eggs or omelettes.
Well-cooked legumes (partially mashed or blended).
|Casserole or mince dishes with hard or fibrous particles, e.g. peas or onion.
Dry, tough, chewy, or crispy egg dishes or those that cannot be easily mashed.
||Smooth puddings, dairy desserts, custards, yoghurt and ice-cream (may have small pieces of soft fruit).
Soft moist sponge cake desserts with lots of custard, cream or ice-cream, e.g. trifle.
Soft fruit-based desserts, creamed rice.
|Desserts with large, hard or fibrous fruit particles, e.g. sultanas, seeds or coconut.
Pastry and hard crumble.
Lollies, including fruit jellies and marshmallow.
Dietitians Association of Australia and The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited, (2007). Texture-modified foods and thickened fluids as used for individuals with dysphagia: Australian standardised labels and definitions. Nutrition & Dietetics, 64, (Suppl. 2): S53–S76
Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service
Queensland Children’s Hospital
Level 6, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101
t: 07 3068 2950
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)
f: 07 3068 3909
In an emergency, always call 000.
If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.