The Dysphagia Diet Level 7, also known as the Easy to Chew Diet, is a dietary plan designed for individuals with mild swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). This level of the diet allows individuals to consume a diet that is closer to a regular, everyday diet, but soft or tender in texture, also looking to ensure safe swallowing and reduce the risk of choking or aspiration.
Here are the characteristics of the Dysphagia Diet Level 7:
- Foods at this level can include a wider variety of textures and consistencies compared to previous levels, given they are developmentally and age appropriate.
- Foods that pose a higher risk of choking or aspiration may still be modified or avoided.
- Individuals at this level can eat a more diverse range of foods.
Examples of Foods:
- Soft-cooked meats that are easy to chew and swallow (e.g., tender steak, roast chicken)
- Cooked vegetables (e.g., steamed carrots, cooked peas)
- Soft fruits that can be broken down without much difficulty (e.g., sliced apples, ripe melon)
- Pasta dishes, rice, and other dishes with a variety of ingredients
- Individuals on the Dysphagia Diet Level 7 still should continue to work closely with healthcare professionals to monitor their improvement or decline.
- The focus is on providing a balanced diet that is safe to swallow while maintaining adequate nutrition and hydration.
It's important to note that the Dysphagia Diet Level 7 does allow for a lot more dietary variety and less preparation effort while still considering the individual's swallowing limitations. The diet should be followed under the guidance of healthcare professionals who can help tailor the plan to the individual's specific condition and needs. Please refer to IDDSI.org for more information.