Service efficiency
Dec 10, 2020

Preparing Food For Dysphagia Service Users

We've partnered with Oak House Kitchen, experts in specialised diets and nutrition, to create this guide to holiday meal-planning for dysphagic service users. Read on to learn how you can keep the holidays inclusive and fun for those with dysphagia.

Food For Dysphagia Service Users with Oak House Kitchen 🍽

We want your service users with dysphagia to have a safe and festive Christmas season while still enjoying all the delicious food we all love to eat over the holidays. That’s why we have teamed up with Oak House Kitchen to show you how you can make holiday treats safe for service users with dysphagia. No more soggy sprouts or tasteless spuds!

Oak House Kitchen are diet specialists known for their expertise and creativity in crafting meals for the healthcare sector. They’ve put together advice for how to craft a dysphagia food menu with all the best tastes of Christmas. Without further ado, let’s hear from the lovely Oak House Kitchen team!

Bringing the Christmas Cheer to your Dysphagic Service Users🎄

It would be no surprise if I was to tell you that food and drink are so very important to us at Oak House Kitchen. Not only the pleasure it delivers to the senses and the social enjoyment of shared experiences with friends and family… but also the anticipation of wonderful things to come!

Christmas encapsulates these feelings of wonder and excitement perfectly. There is great pleasure derived from making plans and imagining the delight others will take from the delicious offerings you will lay on.

For people with dysphagia, this can be a terrible time as it becomes clear that the opportunities available for regular diets are not safe to eat or drink. The Christmas party buffet, that offers so many wonderful foods to choose from, gives little or no choice for them. The party atmosphere and joy of expectations exceeded does not penetrate their isolation, their reality.

But it can do.

Creating a Safe Holiday Spread 🎁

With a little planning and the application of our simplified approach to creating dysphagia diets for IDDSI, nothing is off the menu. Imagine the flavours of Christmas in textures safe for people with this debilitating condition.

By including the needs of all our residents in the planning we can offer everybody that sparkle and delight of a shared Christmas. A shared experience is something difficult to achieve right now, as we isolate, but we must take the opportunities to bring people together when we have the chance!

4 Tips for Planning Holiday Foods with Dysphagia in Mind

We know that trying to do everything on the day is difficult and time-consuming. However, by planning we can do little bits of preparation in advance so it is available when needed.

Here are our top four tips:

  • When planning your Christmas offering, always consider the needs of specialised diets
    In our care home, we offer mince pies and mulled wine over several weeks; as well as a Christmas party and special menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
  • Prepare some foods in advance
    When you have decided what your Christmas offering will be, you’ll need to plan when things will be made in the weeks or days leading up to when they are needed. We do this in our care home not only for regular items such as Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding, but also pies and pastries that we want to serve. Plan for specialised diets; some things may be reformed on the day but others will need to be done ahead of time.
  • Consider making the dysphagia items from scratch
    In some cases, it is important to rely on pre-made foods so you can serve a generous offering over the festive period. It can be very difficult and costly to reform pre-made foods to be suitable for dysphagia diets. By making these from scratch suitable ingredients can be selected and reform processes are quick and easy to achieve.
  • Taste, taste, taste!
    When reforming foods for dysphagia diets ensure you taste it so that you can make it delicious. That Christmas feeling can come from a hint of orange, the aroma of spice or warmth from wine or brandy. By tasting you will find it easy to add that Christmas sparkle!

Want to Boost Your Dysphagia Training?

Our online ORAL training gives you the understanding and skills to do this simply and easily. Not only to bring everybody together this Christmas, but every day! For more details or to start learning visit today.

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