Methods for fixing foods that make eating, chewing, and swallowing easier and reduce the risks of choking and aspiration (entry of food particles into the lungs, which can cause pneumonia). Classic symptoms of Parkinson’s such as bradykinesia (slowed muscle movement), rigidity (muscle stiffness), and tremors (involuntary, rhythmic, repetitious movements) often affect the face, mouth, and throat as the disease progresses. As well, these symptoms affect fine motor control of the fingers and hands, making grasping and manipulation of eating utensils difficult. As a result, the person’s ability to prepare as well as eat food is affected.
Food preparation needs change as the Parkinson’s progresses. In the early stages of the disease, the person with Parkinson’s may have little or no trouble eating his or her usual foods. It is still prudent for the person to cut food items into smaller bite sizes, to reduce the risk of choking. As the disease enters its mid stages, swallowing becomes more of a challenge for many people with Parkinson’s. It is easier and safer for them to eat foods that are soft, such as well-cooked or mashed potatoes, and cooked rather than raw vegetables. In the later stages of Parkinson’s, the person may have difficulty in swallowing anything other than pureed foods and liquids. Such foods should have no lumps or chunks.