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August-September 2006

Volume 24, Issue 4

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I-Can't-Chew Cookbook

by J. Randy Wilson, with a forward by Mark A. Piper, DMD, MD

book cover

More than 40 million people in the U.S. have chewing, swallowing, and dry-mouth disorders. Some of them are people with MS. People who must modify their diets to accommodate one of these problems often report relying on food combinations that are bland, repetitious, and generally uninteresting. The time, energy, and culinary creativity required to keep soft meals healthy and interesting become burdensome.

When faced with his wife's oral surgery and six-month recovery period, J. Randy Wilson took it upon himself to create nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals that were not only easy to chew, but could be enjoyed by the entire family.


Originally printed in 1985 (as the Non-Chew Cookbook), the I-Can't-Chew Cookbook includes updated information and additional recipes. Chapters 1 and 2 contain general information on nutrition, instructions for calculating body mass index, and caloric recommendations for age, gender, and activity level. Chapter 3, "Tips for Getting the Most Out of Meals," provides a nice repertoire of suggestions for meal preparation, including tips on boosting intake of protein, calories, and fiber.

The remainder of this essential book presents an array of appetizing and easy-to-make recipes. These are not, as one might imagine, all made in a blender. In addition to a variety of soups, shakes, and puddings, Wilson covers casseroles and dishes featuring beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood, potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach. Most have a cooking time of 20-40 minutes.

The recipes were developed in collaboration with dental, nursing and dietary specialists as well as with a home economist.

A word of caution: Conditions involving neurological or cognitive impairment often require a formal evaluation of drinking, chewing, and swallowing (called a dysphagia evaluation) by a speech-language pathologist prior to dietary modifications. Not all of the recipes in this book are suitable for all people with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Talk to your health-care providers.

Hunter House Inc. Publishers (2003), 240 pp., $16.95 (paperback) or $22.95 (spiral bound). P.O. Box 2914, Alameda, CA 94501; 800.266.5592


For additional information
 MS-related Books

Reviewed by Patricia A. Bednarik, MS, CCC-SLP, MSCS, Speech-Language Pathologist, MS Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Copyright © National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2006