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Altering the consistency of foods can greatly relieve problems related to chewing, managing food in the mouth, and swallowing. These problems may be due to stroke, head or neck injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, dementia, and other illness, or simply the result of aging. Aspiration (inhaling) of food or fluids into the lungs as a result of inadequate chewing and swallowing is now recognized as a major contribution to respiratory infections and pneumonia among institutionalized children and adults.
Difficulties in chewing and swallowing are often diagnosed as dysphagia, which occurs among all age groups but is seen more often among the elderly. It should be emphasized that the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia requires a team approach, which includes a physician, a swallowing therapist (speech language pathologist or occupational therapist), a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), and a nurse.
This diet is a transition from the pureed textures to mechanical soft textures. Chewing ability is required; biting is not required. The textures on this level are appropriate for individuals with mild to moderate oral or pharyngeal dysphagia. Individuals should be assessed for tolerance to mixed textures. It is expected that some mixed textures are tolerated on this diet.
For more information email the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To purchase the Simplified Diet Manual please check out our store!