A dysphagia cook-off

Delicious, nutritious and easy to swallow.

Graduate students were dishing up meals for their final assignment, The New York University Steinhardt Iron Chef Dysphagia Challenge.

Speech-language pathology and nutrition master’s students in the Interdisciplinary Care-Based Management in Dysphagia course were tasked with creating recipes that maximize flavor, nutrition, texture and taste for people with dysphagia.

“The course was founded in the belief that although individuals may have limitations in their diets, they should not be deprived of the joy and satisfaction of healthy, delicious food,” says Lisa Sasson, clinical associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at NYU Steinhart in a news release.

Students were given a hypothetical patient profile with a medical diagnosis, recommended diet and cultural and psychosocial considerations. And then they were off.

A panel of administrators, professors and a rehabilitation doctor from NYU and chefs Michael Ferraro and Rocco DiSpirit judged the recipes for joy of eating as well as diversity and inclusiveness of cultural flavors.

This year, NYU’s online master’s in speech-language pathology program collected the winning recipes and created “Dining with dysphagia: A cookbook” of eights easy-to-follow and easy-to-swallow recipes, including rosemary mashed potatoes, vegetarian squash chili and chocolate chia pudding.

“Food should always nourish the body and soul,” Sasson says in the cookbook introduction. “We should never assume that because a patient has swallowing problems that their food choices will be limited to pureed mush.”


Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Nutrition