Easy-To-Chew is a food blog created by a dentist, a public health professional, and a registered dietitian. Their mission? To cook up delicious recipes dedicated to those who are in need of foods which are easy to chew, easy to swallow, and easy to love!
We have categorized our recipes into three Easy-To-Chew categories, so that you can find the type of recipes that work for your unique eating situation.
Level 1 foods have a single smooth texture and are soft enough that they require no chewing. These foods are great for people who are severely limited in their ability to chew and swallow.
Level 2 foods are soft, moist, and contain multiple soft textures. Any textures requiring chewing (like meat) have been prepared so that there are no pieces larger than ¼ inch (or 6mm). These foods are soft enough that, with minimal effort, they can be easily formed into swallowable-sized portions. These are for people who are moderately limited in their ability to chew and swallow.
Level 3 foods are moist, have multiple solid textures, and can be processed into bite sized pieces without extensive chewing. Textures requiring chewing may be present in sizes larger than ¼ inch (or 6mm) in size. Sticky, crunchy, and very hard/dense foods are not included in this category. Level 3 foods are for individuals who have mild limitations with chewing and swallowing.
Hi, I’m Erik! I am a dentist by day and a cooking enthusiast by night. My Easy-To-Chew journey began when I had 12 baby teeth pulled to start my three and a half year voyage with braces. I started cooking out of necessity, trying to find easy-to-chew foods for my then limited dental situation.
My cooking opportunities expanded when I married my wife Kait during college. She loves to cook, she opened my eyes to the fact that cooking is an art form. After earning my bachelors degree in Biology from BYU, I went on to graduate from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. Cooking was a major source of relaxation and stress relief during the rigors of dental school. It was here that cooking grew into a lifelong hobby that I loved.
Dentistry opened my eyes to how much one’s oral health affects one’s ability to eat. I was working with a number of denture patients who expressed how eating wasn’t fun anymore, it had become a chore. I wanted my patients to enjoy eating as much as I did, so I set out to make a collection of soft food recipes that would be easy for denture wearers to eat. After a year of research, cooking, and compiling recipes, it became clear that eating problems were not unique to just dental patients, but that it was an issue that affected much of society. Here at Easy-To-Chew, we want to help bring the joy back to eating! Food can still be a source of joy and satisfaction, no matter what your eating difficulties are. With a little modification to food selection and food preparation, soft foods can be just as delicious as any other food!
Let’s see……..what else. Oh, I like to go running, anything Star Wars, and am a fan of the ocean. Kait and I are proud parents to three happy children, who I am pleased to say know more about soft foods and dentures than any kid their age probably should.
Hey friends, I’m Kait! When I was young I loved to cook by my moms side. She taught me through instruction and through example that food should look good and taste good. These days we still enjoy cooking together and going to classes to learn new recipes and techniques. When I got married my love for the consumable carried over to my new relationship. My husband Erik and I found ourselves in the kitchen or wandering through grocery store aisles on many of our dates. Cooking is not just a passion of ours but a way of life.
Throughout my career as a public health professional I have worked alongside many people who have had difficulties with their food. From patients who were embarrassed to ask for help glueing their dentures back in because of ill prepared food to patients who had difficulty swallowing. Many years of my life have been spent helping people eat. From infants to teens to young adult to those knocking on deaths door. I have been there watching what is hard for them to eat, what is easy to chew, what looks indigestible, and what I wished I could eat half of myself! I am so excited to help you on your journey to delicious food that fits your needs and helps you make meaningful memories with the people you love.
Hi, I’m Katie! I am a mother of four beautiful children, a registered dietician, and a soft food enthusiast!
Food is a huge part of my life. I have worked in just about every level of the food industry you can think of: dish washer, cook, baker, tortilla wrapper, cafe manager, you name it. I loved it all! When I took my first nutrition class in college, I was hooked. I was selected for an internship with the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) through the University of Michigan, where I helped to manage food services for dorms, sporting events, and university catering. In my training to be a dietician I worked for over 1000 hours doing diet counseling for patients in hospitals (in the ICU and PICU), long term care facilities, and for food delivery services like meals on wheels. I’ve also worked as a consultant to help schools meet the updated nutritional standards for Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
My professional experiences have taught me that good nutrition is a key factor to an individual’s overall well-being and quality of life. It also taught me about the nutritional barriers facing those who have difficulty eating. Little did I know that my professional experience with eating difficulties would soon affect me so personally. In 2013, my daughter was born with Down syndrome. Helping her eat and drink was a daily struggle. She had difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and was constantly at risk of aspirating her food and liquids. She also has Celiac disease and food sensory issues, which made meal planning all the more difficult. But with a lot of work, practice, and trying new things, she has become a great eater! Raising her has opened my eyes to the nutritional challenges faced by those with special needs, and to the challenges faced by their caregivers. It has also made me want to share my experiences with others who are facing similar challenges. I have experienced, first hand, the peace of mind that comes to a parent or caregiver when those in their care are getting the nutrition they need. I am so excited to contribute to Easy To Chew’s mission of helping improve the nutritional well being of those who have difficulty eating!