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Helping Patients with Dysphagia: Tools & Resources

Dysphagia affects millions of people throughout the U.S., but many Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of dysphagia and how to properly address it. Dysphagia can lead to complications including pneumonia, choking, malnutrition, dehydration and even death. Fortunately, with proper food and drink modifications, individuals with dysphagia can enjoy a wide variety of foods safely. The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) has set clear guidelines on how to safely nourish patients with dysphagia. General Mills Foodservice is committed to providing products, recipes and resources to help you implement IDDSI guidelines in your operation.

At General Mills, we're dedicated to supporting those impacted by dysphagia, from ensuring appropriate textures of our products to working with operators to seamlessly care for patients and residents who need them most. We're a proud sponsor of IDDSI and are here to assist as you implement the IDDSI framework into your operation.

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. It impacts millions of people and can turn the everyday pleasure of eating into an embarrassing, even scary, experience.

Who does it impact?

  • Kids: An estimated 25-45% of children have a form of pediatric dysphagia¹
  • Adults: Dysphagia affects 1 in 6 adults, more among cancer & stroke patients²
  • Elderly: It's estimated that 40-60% of nursing home residents have a form of dysphagia³

What Yoplait® yogurt products can I use?

Our yogurt products deliver good nutrition, in the right consistency, with the brands your consumers know and love. See our dysphagia levels in the NEW Yoplait® Dysphagia Product Guide. Download below to get started.

YOPLAIT® DYSPHAGIA PRODUCT GUIDE

What other resources are available?

Our Introduction to Dysphagia handout is a great place to learn about dysphagia, the levels and how to translate previous structures to the new International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework. General Mills is a proud sponsor and active member of IDDSI. For more information, visit iddsi.org.

INTRODUCTION TO DYSPHAGIA HANDOUT

How can I cater to dysphagia needs in my operation's recipes?

The product guide above is a great resource if you are serving Yoplait® yogurts as-is to your patients or residents. We also have great tips from Chef Gilles Stassart on how to create visually attractive, flavorful dishes with the correct texture and consistency for those with dysphagia:

  • Look for recipes that can be enjoyed on a regular diet following a dysphagia modification such as pureed soups and fruits as well as desserts
  • Use ground meat or minced fruit and vegetables instead of diced or chopped options; this will safely add flavor and variety to the food
  • Omit one contraindicated ingredient and replace it with something smooth
  • Avoid crunchy toppings
  • Add extra moisture and flavor with sauces and spices

¹Children's Hospital Association, Pediatric Dysphagia (Swallowing Disorder)
²Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, "Prevalence and Characteristics of Dysphagia Based on a Population-Based Survey"
³National Institutes of Health (NIH), "Dysphagia among nursing home residents: an assessment and management protocol"