It’s Made For You – Texture Modified Meals

Written by Consultant Allied Health Professionals for It’s Made for You: Caroline Hill, Registered Dietitian, Sandra Robinson, Independent Speech and Language Therapist & Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner

Texture modified foods are often recommended by speech and language therapists for people with dysphagia. Whilst there may be some people for whom this reduces the risk of aspiration pneumonia, for many the reason for this compensatory measure is to reduce the risk of choking.

Evidence demonstrates that the risk of choking on solids increases with age.

This is for people with and without dysphagia. The number of care home residents living with dysphagia is between 50 to 75%, those with dementia up to 57% and those following a stroke up to 78%.

There is often some confusion between what constitutes a coughing fit and choking. Choking is defined as occurring when you cannot breathe, cough or make any noise.

People over 65 have seven times higher risk for choking on food than children aged 1–4 years. After falls, choking on food presents as the second highest cause of preventable death in aged care. A diagnosis of pneumonitis is positively correlated with increased risks associated with choking on food.

Foods that are fibrous, hard, firm, stringy, chewy, sticky, dry, crumbly, crunchy or shaped in such a way that they can occlude the airway (round or long) pose a choking risk.

Foods that are consistently associated with choking and reported on autopsy findings include;

  • meat especially on the bone
  • bread
  • sandwiches
  • toast
  • raw vegetables
  • crackers/rice cakes
  • hard boiled sweets
  • whole grapes
  • nuts and seeds
  • chewing gum
  • cheese chunks

    Sufficient stamina is needed to prepare the solids bolus for swallowing, with bite-sized pieces of meat and bread requiring more than 20 chewing strokes per bolus.

This highlights how important it is that the many people with dysphagia need safe texture modified food, however it is prepared.

It’s Made for You provide a range of 80 delicious frozen meals and desserts for people with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Their meals comply with IDDSI Framework guidelines ensuring each meal can be prepared and enjoyed safely and with peace of mind.

Prepared quickly in a microwave or oven, It’s Made For You can really help make mealtimes delicious, nutritious and easy.

To find out more www.itsmadeforyou.co.uk.

As a speech and language therapist, Sandra recommends the It’s Made for You Range as this provides people on IDDSI diets with an increased choice of delicious meals, which significantly reduce the risks of choking. This means that mealtimes are far more pleasant and enjoyable.

As a registered dietitian, Caroline recognises that up to 50% of people with dysphagia are at risk of malnutrition. She recommends the It’s Made for You Range to ensure the provision of an adequate nutritional intake whilst consuming a safe and appetising textured modified diet.

References:

Carrión S, Roca M, Costa A, Arreola V, Ortega O, Palomera E, Serra-Prat M, Cabré M, Clavé P. Nutritional status of older patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia in a chronic versus an acute clinical situation. Clin Nutr. 2017 Aug;36(4):1110- 1116. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.07.009. Epub 2016 Jul 26. PMID: 27499393.

CE Safety. 2019. Report: The Un-Usual Suspects – Main Causes of Choking Deaths in the UK 2019. Online at: https://cesafety.co.uk/choking-deaths-report-2019/ [Accessed May 2021]

Cichero, J., 2018. Age-Related Changes to Eating and Swallowing Impact Frailty: Aspiration, Choking Risk, Modified Food Texture and Autonomy of Choice. Geriatrics 3, 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040069

Kramarow, E., Warner, M., Chen, L.-H., 2014. Food-related choking deaths among the elderly. Inj Prev 20, 200. https://doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2013-040795 RCSLT. 2020. Giving voice to people with swallowing difficulties. [Online]. Available

from: https://www.rcslt.org/-/media/Project/RCSLT/rcslt-dysphagiafactsheet.pdf?la=en&hash=18AEDA640CDABD6D2CAB1A9293E8F44ED4E9572A [Accessed: September 2020].

Sign up for all the latest news from The Carer!

Sign up to receive the latest issues, along with highlights of the latest sector news and more from The Carer, delivered directly to your inbox twice a week!