4 Levels of Dysphagia Diet

Posted on20 Mar 2021
Dysphagia diet is a special eating plan that is prescribed by a speech therapist for patients who experience difficulties swallowing certain foods. Depending on the condition of the patient, a dysphagia diet may be permanent or temporary.

According to the IDDSI Framework, there are 4 main levels of dysphagia diet:

Level 4 - Pureed
Foods in this category are completely smooth, pudding-like and have no lumps. They require no chewing or biting. The food is blended and typically cannot hold its shape when touched or moved around. With extensive research and development, Level 4 products from GentleFoods are moulded into shapes that resemble the actual foods. Examples of pureed foods are yogurt, soups and GentleFoods’ pureed products.

Level 5 - Minced & Moist
Minced and moist foods may have lumps and require some chewing. They should measure about 4mm in size for adults and can be easily smashed with a fork or spoon. Examples of moist foods include mashed vegetables, soft or ground meats and peanut butter. Adding gravy to the mashed food can help enhance its flavour and moisten it for easier swallowing.

Level 6 - Soft & Bite Sized
Soft-solid foods require biting and should measure about 15mm in size. Food should not be sticky. Examples of soft-solid foods include meat and fruits that are easy to cut or mash. Avoid adding crunchy or very dry foods such as nuts and crackers to your meals.

Level 7 - Regular / All Foods
There are no food restrictions for Level 4 diets, though it is recommended to opt for foods that are easy to chew. Foods should be tender and moist, but not sticky.

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