International Dysphagia Diet Standards Initiative – Commonly Asked Questions

May 1, 2019 In: Blog Comments (None)

International Dysphagia Diet Standards Initiative (IDDSI) – Commonly Asked Questions

From May 1, Australia will start using new Dysphagia Diet Standards. Here we’ve collated a list of commonly asked questions that many have asked us about the new International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI).

All across Australia, Loqui Speech Pathologists are educating care, clinical and catering teams on IDDSI. Contact us to arrange a webinar, in-house education session or book us for a 3-hour comprehensive in-house practical compliance workshop for your teams.


Q: Can someone on thickened fluids have ice-cream and jelly?

A: No. If someone is on thickened fluids they cannot have ice-cream and/or jelly. This is because the warmth of our mouth melts the ice-cream and jelly, turning it into a thin liquid which can be aspirated. There are some ice cream and jelly recipes and products available that will hold their form and not melt to thin liquid in the mouth.


Q: What fruit is appropriate for a Soft & Bite Sized – Level 6 IDDSI diet?

A: Soft, peeled fresh fruits chopped into pieces no bigger than 1.5cm x 1.5cm. E.g:

  • Banana
  • Strawberry

Tinned fruit (e.g. two fruits, peaches), cut into 1.5cm x 1.5cm with the juice drained.

Avoid fruits with the following

  • Fibres such as pineapples and oranges.
  • Pith of citrus fruits
  • Seeds
  • Skins, such as grape and apple


Q: Can someone on Level 7 – Regular Easy to Chew have toast?

A: No, only individuals on a regular diet can have toast. This is because chewing toast requires a lot of strength and stamina. Individuals on an Easy to Chew diet may have bread with no crusts. Toast requires the same amount of chewing as nuts and apple to break it down and moisten.


Q: What causes swallowing problems?

A: Swallowing problems (dysphagia) can have a variety of causes:

  • Neurological: Stroke; Progressive neurological disorders (Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis).
  • Surgical: Affecting head/neck or oesophageal regions; radiation therapy.
  • Behavioural: Loss of appetite; Loss of understanding and order of how to eat; Inability to recognise food; Easily distracted; Anxiety; Agitation.
  • Other: Age-related factors; Reflux or respiratory conditions; Diabetes; Thyroid dysfunction.


`Q: What can be done to help my swallowing?

A: To help improve swallow safety, a Speech Pathologist might:

  • Recommend changes to diet or fluid consistencies.
  • Suggest swallowing strategies (e.g. chin tuck, effortful swallow).
  • Prescribe exercises to support your swallow (e.g. base of tongue exercises).


Loqui Brief Description of IDDSI Standards – download your complementary poster 

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