Resources for people with dysphagia (collection #1)

Maple Custard, a nourishing, tasty, easy-to-swallow food

Last November, an intern's question prompted me to update my inventory of education material for people with dysphagia. Keen, energetic interns never fail to inspire me, but when we're so busy collecting and discussing new information, I don't have much time to refine my notes into a publishable blog post. You may have heard me lament I don't write quickly. You also may recall last week I vowed to finish some of the things I've started, blog posts being one of the main unfinished things.

This morning I pulled out the draft post where I'd compiled dysphagia resources, re-visited each site to refresh my memory about its content, and decided, yes, each one is well worth sharing. Here now, with brief commentary, are three resources.

Please note: Not every tip or recipe in these resources will be appropriate or safe for people with specific types of swallowing disorders who must limit their intake to a particular consistency for solids (e.g., pureed) and liquids (e.g., honey-thick).  Though people who can eat soft and minced/finely chopped foods usually also can eat pureed foods, the reverse is not necessarily true.


Meals for Easy Swallowing (PDF)

This is a publication from the ALS division of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (U.S.). An ALS clinic coordinator, registered dietitian, nurse & speech-language pathologist compiled recipes "derived from our patients and their creative spouses who translated their caring into foods that look good, taste good, are easy to chew and to swallow, and minimize discomfort." In addition to recipes for beverages, soups, breads, entrees, sauces, vegetables, and desserts there are helpful tips on food preparation, service, menu-planning. Most recipes are suitable for a pureed diet but there are some recipes for soft and minced textures, too.

A separate Nutrition Issues page discusses related topics such as maintaining weight, hydration, choking and feeding tubes.


WebWhispers Laryngectomee-Friendly Recipe Collection

WebWhispers is an international Internet group that provides information and support to laryngectomees and those with laryngeal cancer as well as more diverse group of persons with other head and neck cancers, permanent tracheostomies, caregivers and health care providers.

To help its members eat safely and with enjoyment, the website's library includes recipes "specifically tailored to laryngectomees at various stages or abilities." The Food-Nutrition-Recipes section also includes books and articles, practical tips for managing eating problems and more recipe links.


Easy to Swallow

Food stopped being a pleasure and instead became a chore.

~ Claire Wade

And so Claire Wade, a young woman with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), took steps to restore her joy in eating.  She collected recipes from renowned chefs, who included Nigella Lawson, Graham Kerr and Sophie Grigson, and published them on her site, Easy to Swallow. There are recipes for soups, main meals, vegetables, sauces, desserts and drinks.

Though the site hasn't been updated since September 2006, the content remains timely as well as tasty with helpful tips and creative, appealing recipes. I've picked a few to test including the Pumpkin & Ricotta Rotolo and the vegetable mashes and purées.