Mother’s Day Dessert – Safe for the Whole Family

When I saw the cover of the May 2016 Better Homes and Gardens® magazine, I was inspired!

Mother’s day is right around the corner and what better idea than to make a delicious modified dessert for the mom who’s having trouble swallowing but that the whole family can share and enjoy.

The recipe in the magazine is for “Showstopping Meringue Desserts”. Crispy, marshmallow-y meringues are unsafe to consume for someone on a puree diet because they consist of several different textures and dissolve on the tongue, making it impossible to control the swallow. Add whole fruit and the original recipe is definitely off the list of “okay” foods if you are having trouble swallowing.

So I created a recipe that is every bit as beautiful and delicious.

The whole family can eat this and not feel like they are being cheated…just ask my girlfriends who ate these for dessert at our “girls’ lunch” yesterday!

This recipe is easy to make ahead and scale up or down, as needed.

  • 1 – 8 oz. brick Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 – 8 oz. container Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 1 jar Lemon Curd
  • Seedless Blackberry Jam
  • Blueberry Syrup
  • Mint for garnish, optional

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Drop rounded half cup portions on a parchment lined sheet pan that will fit in your freezer. Form a well in each mound, making a shell, and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, peel the frozen shells off the parchment and place on individual plates or on a platter. Place the shells in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or allow them to sit at room temperature for about 10 minute so they can soften.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon curd to each shell and top with small dollops of seedless blackberry jam and drizzle with blueberry syrup. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 8

The shells can be made ahead up to a month ahead, just freeze them until they are firm before you cover them with plastic wrap

.

If you are concerned about carbohydrates and fat, you can easily substitute Neufchatel cheese and “lite” whipped topping.

Nutritional Info each: 325 calories; 17.25 gm fat; 40 gm carbohydrates; 135 mg sodium; 0.33 gm protein

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Raising Awareness for National Dysphagia Awareness Month

June is Nationa Dysphagia Awareness Month so I made this “shout-out” to Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb so they can help us raise awareness. I hope this helps you and other who struggle with dysphagia and swallowing disorders. Enjoy!


Tips for Thickening Nutritional Supplements

If you are on thickened liquids, how can you safely drink pre-made nutritional shakes like Boost and Ensure? This video will help answer your questions.


NEW Dysphagia Support Group in the Greater Phoenix Area

On Friday, March 11, from 3:00 pm to 5;00 pm, the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders is kicking-off a support group for those with swallowing disorders.

Future meetings are scheduled for the second Friday of the month from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Morningstar Senior Living has graciously offered to host our meetings. Morningstar is located at 21432 N 75th Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85305. http://www.morningstarseniorliving.com/communities/morningstar-at-arrowhead/

As this is our first meeting, this will be a planning meeting where we discuss the needs of the community.  Future topics will include:

  1. Feeding tube management
  2. Thickening products and thickening procedures
  3. Oral Care
  4. National Dysphagia Diet
  5. Compensatory swallowing techniques
  6. Social/emotional ramifications of dysphagia
  7. Optimizing reflux management
  8. New advances in Dysphagia Management
  9. Role of nutrition in maximizing swallowing function
  10. Dysphagia, from the eyes of the caregiver
  11. Free water protocol
  12. Understanding Aspiration Pneumonia
  13. Long term effects of radiation therapy
  14. Living with Xerostomia
  15. Naturally thickened liquids. Naturally pureed foods
  16. Customizing dysphagia therapy
  17. Understanding normal swallowing function
  18. Stroke and Dysphagia
  19. Voice and Swallowing…How are they connected?
  20. Dysphagia Diet Recipes
  21. Maximizing outcomes through the interdisciplinary team approach
  22. How are swallowing problems diagnosed

This swallowing disorder support group is open to patients, caregivers, clinicians and anyone who has questions and needs support and resources to live their best lives.

If you need more information or plan to attend, please email Laura Michael at: Laura@dysphagiasupplies.com.SSSC 2016 booth

Hope to see you there!


June is National Dysphagia Awareness Month


Perfectly Safe Popsicles

If you’ve been prescribed thickened liquids and you miss eating ice cream and other frozen treats, this video will help you

 


Want to make bread, cakes and baked goods safer for those with a swallowing problem? Watch this video!


Thoughts on “Being Mortal”

being mortal

Atul Gawande’s marvelous book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End”, is a must-read for anyone who plans to age in the USA. Dr. Atul Gawande is a surgeon, a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, a writer for the New York Times, and the author of three bestselling non-fiction books on science and public health. He makes difficult subjects interesting and understandable. You don’t have to be a scientist to understand and enjoy his books.

In “Being Mortal”, Dr. Gawande writes eloquently about the history of how we care for our aging population and the importance of retaining the dignity and freedom to be the “authors of our own lives.” In the end, when all else is said and done, that is what matters.

This book has inspired me. This month, I spoke at the Arizona Geriatric Society’s Fall conference. My topic was “Managing Dysphagia Beyond Acute Care”. Once read this book, I reworked my presentation. I made sure to address the joy of eating, the social aspects of sharing a meal and the cultural significance of food. The medical professionals who attended this conference know the science so I shared with them my thoughts on the art and soul of eating.

“Being Mortal” is a call to action for doctors and other medical professionals to expand our responsibilities beyond trying to “fix” what is wrong and embrace the final years of living. This time period should be about living as fully as possible and having the best possible day (week/month/year); it should not be focused on dying.  As we reach advanced age or fight a terminal illness, much of what happens to our bodies can’t be “fixed”. Yes, we can eat right and exercise but there is nothing we can do to stop time.

For many of us, as we age, our ability to swallow can become impaired. Illnesses like oral cancer and dementia can rob us of more than our vitality; they can steal from us our ability to eat and enjoy food. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in six Americans over the age of 60 is having trouble swallowing. In 2013, over ten million Americans had a swallowing assessment.

In “Being Mortal” Dr. Gawande builds the case that “as our time runs down, we all seek comfort in simple pleasures – companionship, everyday routines, the taste of good food, the warmth of sunlight on our faces”. Not being able to eat and drink like everyone else can interrupt our everyday routines, be isolating and can lead to depression. Food and eating is basic to our survival, but is even more important to our quality of life and our joy of living. How we eat and with whom we eat feeds the spirit.

Caring for someone with swallowing problems is about more than the mechanics of feeding. Doing it right is science combined with art. With the right tools, creativity and information, it may be possible for those with swallowing problems to share and enjoy a meal. Diagnoses and food modifications help to sustain the ability to nourish the body but we should acknowledge that we need to feed the soul, as well.


What to Expect from a Swallow Consultation

By: Kayla Suarez, MS, SLP-C

When swallowing issues are first noticed at home, the primary care doctor is the generally a patient’s first point of contact. When discussing a swallow problem with the doctor, it is helpful to have the following information prepared, so that you can provide the most powerful description of what is happening during mealtimes. A consult may be placed to a swallowing specialist, such as a speech-language pathologist or an occupational therapist.

During a swallow evaluation, a specialist will ask questions regarding the swallow dysfunction and conduct a brief meal trial to observe the problem in the clinic.  If ordered by a doctor (often at the suggestion of the swallow specialist) an assessment called a Video Swallow Study sometimes called a Modified Barium Swallow may be performed. This involves taking food or liquid mixed with barium, a radio contrast, under fluoroscopy, or a video x-ray machine. This is a non-invasive procedure and usually takes 45 minutes or less.

This assessment is the gold standard of swallowing evaluations because it provides the most information. From this x-ray video, a trained specialist can identify the disruptions in the swallow pattern that are involved in the dysphagia. During this assessment, clinicians can observe to see if any swallow maneuvers are beneficial. It also gives the clinician information to determine what type of swallow exercises would be suited for the patient’s individual dysphagia.

After the assessment has been completed the swallowing specialist will give their impressions of the swallow function to the patient and a copy of the report to the primary doctor. Recommendations regarding the texture, position, and rehabilitative exercises may be offered. Exercises are suggested to help recover or maintain swallowing abilities, not unlike recommendations from a physical therapist. It is important to clarify any questions regarding the exercises or diet modifications with your healthcare provider. The ultimate goal is eating safely and preserving swallow function while keeping mealtime enjoyable.

Kayla Suarez received her MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. She has a deep interest in dysphagia and food. You can contact Kayla at kaysuarez@gmail.com or visit her website at dysdine.com.

Dysdine w.forks


Webinar Series for Swallowing Disorder Support

NFOSD Logo 2.1.13

Webinar Series

The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders is offering a series of patient-centered webinars on the latest research on swallowing disorders. Experts in the field of swallowing disorders such as tongue stem cell research, nutrition, aspiration pneumonia, as they relate to swallowing disorders. If you have a swallowing disorder or are Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), please share this information with them. For more information, visit their website: http://www.swallowingdisorderfoundation.com

 Cost: Free for members. Nominal donation required for non-members.

Webinar #1: July 15, 2014

            Adult Human Tongue Stem Cell Research 

                        Dr. Peter Belafsky

Webinar #2: August 27, 2014

            The Role of Electrical Stimulation in the Treatment of Swallowing Disorders  

                        Dr. Christy Ludlow

Webinar #3: September 30, 2013

            How to Find the Right Professional to Help with a Swallowing Disorder

                       Nancy B. Swigert, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S.

Webinar# 4: November 4, 2014

            Aspiration Pneumonia in Patients with Swallowing Disorders

                        Tiffany Mohr, MA, CCC-SLP

Webinar# 5: December 2, 2014

            I-Pro Swallowing Solutions 

                        Dr. JoAnne Robbins

Webinar #6: January 27, 2015

            Nutrition and Dysphagia

                        Laura Michael, BS

Webinar #7: February 24, 2015

            Degenerative Disease and the Impact on Swallowing

                        Dr. Michelle Ciucci & Dr. Emily Plowman

Webinar #8: April 7, 2015

            Clinical Implications of Swallowing Research

                        Molly Knigge, MS, CCC-SLP

 

The NFOSD is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of our family, friends, and members to provide the financial support required to carry out our commitment to providing patient hope and improving the quality of life for those suffering from all types of swallowing disorders. We do this by enhancing direct patient support, education, research, and raising public, professional, and governmental awareness. Our mission is to advance the prevention and treatment of swallowing disorders in our lifetime.