Care Home Management

The Care Home Decision Makers’ Magazine

Insight & Analysis

Aria Care

Making IDDSI appetising

By James Clear, hospitality director at Aria Care Group

Food and drink are key to social interaction and comfort in care homes, but for residents with dysphagia the challenge is to meet their nutritional needs while still making food a pleasurable experience.

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) scale grades food texture and fluid from 0-7, guiding chefs to texture-check food.

The Aria team uses a Thermomix machine for levels 3, 4 and 5 but as level 6 is soft and bite-sized cubes, 1.5cm x 1.5cm, these can be crushed with a fork with minimal effort.  In-person training also helps to ensure consistency and ensure the guidelines are being met.

Stephan Shin, head chef at Abbeycrest, believes there are no limitations to what someone with dysphagia can eat – and the IDDSI guidelines help us to deliver exactly that.

Presentation is also important. He says: “We always try and replicate the visuals of the original dish so it looks appetising.”  

Want to know about the food trends for 2024? Or how to safely involve kids in the kitchen? Read more on food & nutrition in our November/December issue – online now

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