Food Moulds for Pureed Diets

Food Moulds for Pureed Diets

Transitioning from a regular textured diet to a pureed diet can significantly impact on the enjoyment of mealtimes. As a consequence, a persons food intake can decrease, increasing their risk of malnutrition. Presentation of meals plays a big part in the enjoyment of food. The use of food moulds for preparing pureed meals is a fantastic strategy to improve the appeal of food and encourage enjoyment of eating.

Here are 7 easy steps you can follow to produce attractive moulded texture modified meals.


  1. Cook all meal components as per your standard menu.
    Vegetables that have a higher water content (e.g. zucchini) will need to be drained in a colander for approximately half an hour; water can also be further squeezed from vegetables.


  1. Prepare a white sauce or gravy, depending on what type of protein is served that day.
    White sauce will be used when blending white meats (e.g. chicken, turkey), and gravy will be used when blending dark meats (e.g. beef, lamb).


  1. Blend separate meal components to the correct consistency (IDDSI Level 4 or 5).

Place cooked meat in the blender, and add white sauce or gravy. Add a small amount of sauce to begin with and continue to blend and add sauce until the correct consistency is achieved. You will not need to use a thickening agent.

Place cooked (and drained) vegetables into the blender and blend to a puree (refer to above textures). Add your chosen thickener to the puree and blend further. The amount of thickener required will vary depending on what type you have chosen to use. Add thickener gradually until the correct consistency is achieved. Some vegetables will not require the use of a thickening agent if they contain a high starch content, such as potato and sweet potato.


  1. Scoop cooked pureed food into food moulds.
  • Spray oil onto the moulds to prevent food from sticking.
  • Scoop an appropriate amount of the food into the mould.
  • Evenly distribute and press food into the mould.
  • Using a spatula, scrape off the excess to achieve a level finish.
  • Cover food moulds with cling film or a lid.
  • Label appropriately (content, date of preparation, best before date)
  • Place moulds into the freezer overnight.


  1. Retrieve frozen moulded food from the freezer and turn out on to the serving plate.
    At this point you may also choose to pipe or scoop the pureed starchy vegetable (e.g. potato, sweet potato) onto the plate.


  1. Cover the food with baking paper and foil and heat the food appropriately according to the equipment available.
    You may choose to use a steam oven, a retherm system, bain-marie/hotbox or microwave. Note: Do not use foil in the microwave.


  1. Store any left-over moulded and pureed foods safely.
    Be mindful to label containers with their content, date of preparation, and best before date. Only store one type of ingredient per container.

Winter menu ideas

Does your menu change when winter rolls around? The cooler weather provides a great opportunity to add some different meals into your menu that will warm children up after being in the cold. It is also a time to take stock and make sure nutrition intake is being optimised to boost immunity to fight off colds and flu.

Here are some ideas to adjust your menu for the cooler winter months.

  • Foods that are in season have higher nutritional value and are cheaper. Look at your menu and see if any swaps can be made for winter fruit or vegetables that are in season.
  • Serve foods that are rich in Vitamin C to boost immunity. Foods like tomatoes, red capsicum, sweet potato and citrus are all good sources of Vitamin C.
  • Serve warm stewed fruit as a snack with yoghurt or unsweetened homemade custard.
  • Make some roast sweet potato chips to serve with dips for a snack.
  • A warming rice pudding as a snack will provide both grains and dairy. Omit sugar from the recipe, flavour with vanilla or cinnamon, and serve with some stewed fruit for sweetness.
  • Offer vegetables either steamed or roasted as a side with main meals.
  • Warming meals such as stews, casseroles, hearty soups and baked dishes can be packed full of vegetables and require minimum preparation when slow cooked in the oven.

Menu Planning for Special Diets

When planning your menu it is always important to consider the needs of children who require special diets. Special diets can be for children who have an allergy or intolerance, or children who have a special diet for cultural or religious reasons, such as kosher or halal foods.

Planning your menu well to cater for these children will save you time, assist with budgeting and ensure you are meeting nutrition requirements of all of these children.

Here are some considerations when planning for special diets:

  1. Educate yourself on the special diets you cater for. Collate information on all of the special diets you cater for and ensure you understand which ingredients must be excluded and what alternatives can be offered.
  2. Ensure you have standard recipes – this will make it easier to assess if they can be adapted to meet the needs of the children with special diets.
  3. Can you cater for special diets in your standard menu? Wherever possible, provide meals which can also be served to children with special diets. For example, a meat and vegetable stir fry with rice noddles could be suitable for children who are allergic to gluten, dairy, egg and seafood.
  4. Do you have enough equipment? Will you need more cooking equipment to prevent cross-contamination of meals for children with special diets? For example, do you have a second toaster that can be used for children who are coeliac?
  5. Do you have enough time? Do you have sufficient time to prepare an allergy-free meal prior to cooking the regular meal?
  6. Check the labels of ingredients in your pantry – are there particular ingredients you use that can be replaced with an allergen-free alternative? For example, using a gluten free soy sauce.
  7. Communicate with families of children with special diets – they may be able to offer suggestions on how they have adapted recipes at home to meet their child’s dietary needs. Allergies and intolerances can often change, so make sure parents provide regular updates.