Specialist food range for Meals on Wheels

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A NEW specialist food range for people with eating problems is now being offered in West Sussex – thanks to the County Council’s Meals on Wheels service.

It has been developed for people who have difficulty chewing or swallowing – a condition known as dysphagia which commonly affects victims of stroke and dementia.

The textured food, created by a team of professional chefs, is made from fresh ingredients softened or pureed before being remoulded into attractive and easily-digested dishes.

John Figgins, who oversees the Meals on Wheels service, said: “People who find it hard to chew or swallow risk dehydration and malnutrition so it is vitally important they eat high-energy food.

“Textured meals are crammed with nutrients and vitamins and come in a range of dishes from salmon and mashed potato to chocolate pudding with vanilla.

“There are many reasons why people choose to eat the dishes – they may have just come out of hospital and feel they can’t cook on their own.”

There are more than 50 main dishes and desserts on the menu, which cost the same as the standard Meals on Wheels dinners, and provide a third of people’s daily calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin C requirements.

They can be delivered frozen and are available for vegetarians, diabetics as well as gluten and dairy-free.

Peter Catchpole, County Council Cabinet Member for Adults Services, said: “The inability to eat solid food can have a big effect not just on the sufferer but their family and friends as well.

“The textured food menu is well presented and helps people who cannot swallow to eat with dignity.

“Our Meals on Wheels delivery drivers also carry out ‘safe and well’ checks on residents who use the service to ensure they are in good health.”

To find out more about textured food or other meals on offer contact the service on: 01903 237 790.

Alternatively visit the website at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/mealsonwheels