What Is Safe to Swallow on the National Dysphagia Diet?


Quick Answer

Level one of the national dysphagia diet includes pureed foods while level two also allows moist soft foods cut into very small pieces, according to Drugs.com. These diets are for people with swallowing difficulties.

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Full Answer

All foods recommended on level one of the national dysphagia diet are pureed until smooth with a pudding-like consistency and no lumps, states Drugs.com. Thickening thin liquids and very thin purees with cornstarch, flour or potato flakes make them easier to swallow for some people with dysphagia. There are also special thickeners available especially for this purpose. Conversely adding liquids, such as gravy, juice or milk, to solids before pureeing them helps give them the proper consistency. Foods that puree well include cooked cereals, soft baked goods, well-cooked pasta, cooked vegetables and fruits, and cooked meats and eggs.

Level two adds very soft, moist solids, says Drugs.com. For example, pancakes softened with syrup cut into very small pieces are acceptable. Other options include well-cooked vegetables in 1/2-inch pieces, ripe banana slices, cottage cheese, soft tuna salad and scrambled eggs. The diet excludes hard, dry or coarse foods. Patients avoid seeds and nuts, dried fruits, raw vegetables and most raw fruits, fried foods, and solid cheeses. Casseroles are a good choice as long as they do not include any undercooked vegetables or rice or chunks of solid meat.

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