• Thick & Easy® Vanilla Cream Cheese Pumpkin Squares

    Those with swallowing difficulties shouldn't have to miss out on the delicious desserts and treats that the holiday season has to offer.

    Our *Vanilla Cream Cheese Pumpkin Square* recipe uses THICK & EASY® Pureed Bread & Dessert Mix to create a delicious seasonal dessert that meets the IDDSI Level 4 (pureed) standard, and most importantly, will be a gift to your taste buds.

    Thick & Easy Vanilla Cream Cheese Pumpkin Square

    Vanilla Cream Cheese Pumpkin Squares ingredients


    1. 1. Spray each pan with non-stick cooking spray
    2. 2. Stir together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and cold water in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
    3. 3. In a separate bowl, combine THICK & EASY® Pureed Bread & Dessert Mix and pumpkin pie spice. Add to pumpkin/water mixture and whisk rapidly with a wire whip until well combined.
    4. 4. Immediately pour into prepared pan(s) and spread evenly with metal or rubber spatula to smooth the surface.
      NOTE: Mixture must be mixed and poured rapidly, otherwise it may become too thick to handle.
    5. 5. Combine softened cream cheese with pudding and mix until smooth. Spread evenly over pumpkin mixture in pan.
    6. 6. Spread whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover in plastic wrap.
    7. 7. Refrigerate or freeze pan(s) for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. (This will make it easier to remove portions from pan.)
    8. 8. Cut each loaf pan into 6 - 2 1/2 x 3-inch pieces.
    9. 9. Serve one individual dessert or one 2 1/2 x 3-inch piece.


    Serving Size: 1 2 1/2 x 3-inch piece

    Calories: 190

    Total Fat: 9g

    Saturated Fat: 5g

    Trans Fat: 0g

    Cholesterol: 15mg

    Sodium: 200mg

    Total Carbohydrates: 25g

    Dietary Fiber: <1g

    Total Sugars: 11g

    Added Sugars: 4g

    Protein: 4g

    Vitamin D: 0% DV

    Calcium: 8% DV

    Iron: 0% DV

    Potassium: 4% DV

    Vitamin A: 25% DV

    Vitamin C: 0% DV

    Now get cooking and show the rest of your family, swallowing difficulties or not, that pureed treats don't have to be bland and flavorless. You can find the THICK & EASY® Pureed Bread & Dessert Mix here along with the rest of our innovative Thick & Easy® products. Happy holidays from the Hormel Health Labs family to yours!



  • Healing Through Food

    Even on the most difficult days of Lucy Bernas’ long road of cancer treatment, including 17 surgeries and counting, she found ways to give back to others. Read and watch her story below to learn how cooking for others became her therapy--and find out why she is one of the most inspiring fans people we have ever met.

    Read the whole Story


  • Getting Enough Protein During Cancer Treatment

    Getting the right nutrition is essential during cancer treatment. This can be a challenge because chemo and radiation treatments can significantly affect your appetite and can make it more difficult to eat. Therefore, ensuring you still get enough protein, hydration and energy is important.

    Protein has a role in building and maintaining lean muscle mass and other bodily tissues. It also has a role in maintaining the function of various other body systems. Protein is a critical building block for your health, especially during cancer treatment when you need to maintain your strength and muscle mass.

    vital cuisine protein drinkWe created HORMEL VITAL CUISINE ™ products with the guidance of top nutritionists, dietitians and physicians, to help you through the challenges of cancer treatment. We’re dedicated to making sure that we provide you with much-needed nutritious protein to help maintain lean muscle mass and maintain your strength throughout treatment.

    Our convenient, ready-to-drink shakes have 25g of essential protein while also delivering a great balance of carbohydrates, fats and hydration. Our protein powders can be added to drinks, desserts or other foods to get you a solid 25g added dose of the protein you need.

  • Dysphagia in the Elderly

    Are you 65 years and older or do you have family members in this age group?  If you said yes to either one of those questions, the following information may be beneficial to you and/or your loved ones.


    As we get older there are many physiological changes that occur in our bodies. Our ability to swallow is one that tends to decrease with advanced age. The difficulty to adequately swallow is also known as dysphagia. Continue reading

  • Spot the Warning Signs of Dysphagia

    Individuals with dysphagia or difficulty swallowing can often have signs of dysphagia long before they are diagnosed. Unfortunately, undiagnosed dysphagia can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and respiratory problems.

    Dysphagia can also be a symptom of an underlying condition. Older adults and individuals with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, as well as those with head and neck cancers are at high risk for developing dysphagia. Continue reading

  • Are You Staying Adequately Hydrated?

    Dehydration is a form of malnutrition that can be over looked.  Many older adults do not meet their daily fluid requirements.  There are many physiologic changes related to aging that increase your risk of dehydration.  These include dysphagia, decreased kidney function, decreased thirst sensation, changes in mental status, and decreased mobility.  Some older adults also fear incontinence or desire to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom due to pain. Medications can also contribute to dehydration.  Most common are those used to treat hypertension, as they often work as a diuretic causing increased fluid loss.  Dehydration can lead to constipation, electrolyte imbalances, kidney damage, and in some cases even death. Continue reading

  • 6 Tips to Stimulate Your Appetite

    Many patients I work with in the hospital tell me that they are not eating due to lack of appetite. Decreased appetite can lead to unintentional weight loss in older adults.

    Loss appetite can have many causes, some directly related to aging and others are not. As we age our sense of smell and taste change. If food doesn’t taste or smell good, our desire to eat may decline. Older adults often have early satiety, and feel full after eating only small amounts. Constipation can also make a person feel full even if they haven’t eaten recently. Additionally, medications can decrease appetite and alter taste. Individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s may just not remember they need to eat. Many older adults are also less active which can be a contributing factor.

    Continue reading

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Health Disclaimer

Information accessible on this Site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Information is many times general in nature and may be helpful to some persons but not others, depending on their personal medical needs.

You should always consult with your personal physician prior to changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.