Equipment for Dysphagia Diets

Essential Reforming Equipment for Dysphagia Diets using IDDSI

It can be difficult to know where to start when choosing equipment for dysphagia diets. The finished dishes must meet exacting standards that follow clinical recommendations to reduce risk – this can be daunting!

The common use of IDDSI in clinical recommendations also requires that food and drinks pass critical testing methods set out in the IDDSI Audit Sheets. – There are serious consequences and you want to get it right.

Ensuring that the equipment for dysphagia diets that you use is up to the job can lead to hours searching the web, reading articles and watching videos – The suggestion can be that expensive industry standard kit is essential, or you are likely to fail.

What should you consider?

Context is everything here.

If you are producing multiple food items every day, for many people, as in a care home or a hospital setting, the equipment for dysphagia diets used will differ from a home environment. It will need to be up to producing greater volumes as well as robust enough for constant use over long periods of time.

In a domestic kitchen, at home, volumes will be lower, and use may be less frequent. The equipment for dysphagia diets you choose for these circumstances will still need to be efficient and able to reform ingredients effectively and quickly.

Our Essential Tool Kit

With our experience in training and supporting people to develop a great variety of delicious meals for dysphagia diets across all IDDSI Levels here is our recommendation of an essential toolkit of equipment for dysphagia diets

There are lots of useful equipment out there and you may have a preferred piece of equipment to tackle reform processes… Here are some basics:

Knife – Exclude, Resize

A knife is a versatile tool that can carry out many essential reform processes quickly and efficiently, including the exclusion of many unwanted textures and resizing ingredients for IDDSI Levels SB6 and MM5.

We would recommend a selection of knives that are designed for slightly different jobs, such as a small paring knife and a large chef’s knife. If you are carrying out other skills such as boning or filleting, then your selection of knives should increase.

Always ensure you use a knife safely and seek out expert advice for training and knife maintenance.

Chopping Board – Exclude, Resize

A chopping board is an essential base on which to carry out exclusion and resizing processes.

Ensure your board is large enough to accommodate the volume of ingredients comfortably. Make sure it is stable on the work surface by placing it on a flat, wettened towel.

To prevent cross contamination of ingredients (such as raw meat to salad items) different coloured chopping boards can be used.

Peeler – Exclude

A peeler is an essential piece of kit to remove a whole host of skins or tough elements on the surface of vegetables and fruit. Find a model that has a scoop to quickly remove any small, firm aspects that will need to be excluded.

Pressure Cooker – Tenderise

It is important to use cuts of meat that require long and slow cooking processes. This is essential to ensure that the final textures will be both tender and moist. The use of a pressure cooker will greatly speed up this tenderisation process. Pressure cookers will also ensure a better quality of flavour.

Blender or Food Processor – Finely Process

Always top of the list of equipment for dysphagia diets – a must for finely processing foods, so they are completely smooth, or incorporating different ingredients quickly and effectively.

Ensure the blender is powerful and has large enough blades to tackle the range of ingredients you will want to process. Added value will come from standalone models, so you can get on with other things while the food is blending; and a hole in the top, so you can add ingredients while the machine is processing.

Sieve – Finely Process

A very useful piece of kit to quickly ensure finely processed foods are completely smooth. It can also be used to finely processing ingredients that may become sticky if they are blended.

Bowl – Texturise

A good size bowl in a must for effective thickening, thinning or mixing foods together. Working with a bowl that is too small is likely to result in lumpy or inconsistent textures

Whisk – Texturise

A very effective way to disperse ingredients, especially when mixing liquids with fine textured ingredients. In many cases using a spoon or fork will be ineffective and result in lumps or mixed textures

Dinner Fork – Fork Drip Test

A fork is needed to carry out the IDDSI Fork Drip test as set out in the IDDSI Audit Sheets. This is used to test the thickness and cohesiveness of food and drinks. It can also be used to perform the IDDSI Pressure test.

Teaspoon – Spoon Tilt Test, TASTE

A teaspoon is required to carry out the IDDSI Spoon Tilt test as set out in the IDDSI Audit Sheets. This test is used to assess stickiness.

It can also be used to taste! a vital component in ensuring that the food and drinks you provide for people with dysphagia are delicious!

For more details on how this, and other, equipment can be used to make a wide variety of delicious and nutritious food and drinks in any setting you can take our highly recommended ORAL catering course – Online Dysphagia Diets for IDDSI. Also features ingredient selection, presentation and applying ORAL to your favorite dishes.

Including video presentations, demonstrations and focused ‘snippets’ as well as interactive features, quizzes and a certificated assessment – Used widely across hospital care home and domestic settings.