Eating with Dysphagia

Your speech & language therapist may recommend for you to go on a texture modified diet. This is where your food is softened or puréed to allow easier and safer chewing and swallowing. They will recommend which food descriptor you must follow.

What are food descriptors?

The following descriptors detail the types and textures of foods that you are required to follow to ensure a safe diet. Guidance taken from the National Patient Safety Agency Handbook, endorsed by the British Dietetic Association (BDA), Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), Hospital Carers Association (HCA) and the National Nurses Nutrition Group (NNNG)1

Your speech & language therapist will tell you which stage to follow, they are prescribed on an individual basis by a speech & language therapist following an assessment so it is very important that you wait for them to tell you which stage.

Dysphagia diet food texture descriptors
1 Dysphagia Diet Food Texture Descriptors. National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) Dysphagia Expert Reference Group in association with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. April 2011
Texture Descriptor Description
B Thin puree Food is smooth, moist and pourable texture.
C Thick puree Food that has a moist, thick puree texture. It does not need chewing, it may need sieving. It will hold its shape on a plate. Food must be an even consistency with no lumps.
D Pre-mashed Food that is soft, tender and moist and needs very little chewing. It has been mashed. It usually need a very thick smooth sauce or gravy.
E Fork mashable Food is tender and moist but needs some chewing. Food can be easily mashed with a fork. It usually needs a thick smooth sauce or gravy.