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Learn how IDDSI diets can help manage dysphagia patients

IDDSI diets stand for the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative. This is a standardized framework that defines modified foods with texture and thickened liquids. As a result, home care providers who treat dysphagia residents may see new terms and techniques for serving foods and liquids. Often times, these new methods are required by a physician, speech pathologist, or dietitian to help the patient maintain a safe swallow ability. In fact, most speech-language pathologists recommend IDDSI diets. This is because, IDDSI terminology is becoming the standard framework to handle food items based on the level of safety for the resident. So, with a continuum of 8 levels (0-7) this new method replaces outdated terminology. As such, it will be important to understand and follow these new practices.

Tips to maintaining modified foods for dysphagia patients:

  • Temperature control – the temperature can alter a meal’s IDDSI levels. Generally, the colder a meal is, the thicker it gets.
  • Cover it – foods left uncovered too long become stickier. So, covering meals helps foods to maintain moisture and softness.
  • Add moisture – the addition of sauces and gravies as the food cools helps guarantee every bite has the appropriate texture and cohesion.
  • Test for IDDSI consistency – when questioning texture or viscosity, use the IDDSI testing methods to test the consistency for appropriateness.

Read more about nutrition for patients.

img src=“diet pyramid.jpg” alt=“Learn how to better manage dysphagia patients using new IDDSI diets” title="Learn how to better manage dysphagia patients using new IDDSI diets”

The content in this presentation is for informational purposes only. Thereby, information and views expressed herein may change without notice. As such, we encourage you to seek appropriate, regulatory, and legal advice on any of the matters covered.


Amy Wootton
Amy Wootton

Amy Wootton, RDN, is a registered dietitian licensed in the state of Florida with over 18 years of experience in clinical nutrition leadership for senior communities as well as acute care, food service management, nutrition informatics, and wellness education. Amy is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was appointed Vice Chair on the Interoperability and Standards Committee, and is the leader of the Academy’s Nutition Care Process Workgroup. Amy most recently accepted a Leadership Award from the Florida Academy of Dietetics. She has achieved years of diversified experience in all spectrums and disease improvement and prevention throughout each lifespan. Amy is a dedicated leader and is passionate about the success of nutrition interventions as an electronic solution to healthcare crises’.


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