Dysphagia Ground Diet (“Minced & Moist”)
by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com
Being discharged to home from a hospital or rehab facility can be an overwhelming process especially if your Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and medical team have prescribed a modified diet due to difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). Diet modifications are made to attempt to prevent choking and to avoid getting food stuck in the mouth, throat and/or esophagus.
You may be having difficulty with tough meats and breads, dry-hard textures, and crumbly foods.
Examples of challenging foods: Peas and corn may roll to the back of your throat before you are ready to swallow them. Meat may may be hard to chew, cause significant fatigue, or get stuck in your throat or esophagus. Rice may get stuck in your throat and fall into your airway. Bread can cause an especially high risk for choking. People tend to swallow bread before it is really “swallow-ready.” Breads can really stay in a sticky ball in the throat and actually block your airway.
You may do best with very soft foods that are ground/minced, moist and cohesive.
The diet of Dysphagia Ground (aka, “Minced & Moist,” per the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative or IDDSI) provides foods that can be easily mashed up into a cohesive ball in your mouth. No biting is required, minimal chewing is necessary, and the food should easily mash with your tongue. Moist and cohesive foods stay together while you try to chew them and move them around in your mouth. Imagine the feel of warm pancakes with lots of butter and syrup, a banana, moist macaroni and cheese, or a key lime pie! Per the IDDSI recommendations, minced foods should be cut into food particle sizes of 4mm or smaller, which can be easily swallowed without much chewing.
If you get food stuck in your throat, a cohesive food may stay in a pocket in your throat until you are able to swallow again or use liquid to wash it down. Moist textures may slide down better if your mouth and throat are dry. You may need to get creative with gravies, sauces and condiments. Guacamole or hummus make good additions to add moisture in a healthy way.
The most confusing aspect of this diet texture, as there are way too many terms out there that mean the same thing!
Again these are all the same:
- Dysphagia Ground,
- Moist Ground, Ground,
- Minced & Moist,
- Mechanical Soft,
- Mechanically Altered, and
Do you need specifics on what foods you should eat versus what foods should be avoided?
Click on this link to download the pdf for an educational chart to help you create safe ground, minced & moist meals at home: