Tackling Dysphagia
in Foodservice

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a condition which often affects older adults. Studies show that between 10-33% percent of older adults are affected by dysphagia.* The IDDSI framework was developed to help better serve these individuals, by providing a scale for measuring food and drink thickness.

* Source: “What is Dysphagia, or Difficulty Swallowing? Everyday Health, 2021

How It Works

Watch this brief video overview with Chef James Bickmore-Hutt to learn more about dysphagia and how you can implement the IDDSI framework into your healthcare foodservice operation.

Why Smoothies?

Smoothies are ideal for patients with dysphagia because you can easily change the thickness to meet the individual’s needs.

  • Smoothies fall between 1-4 in the IDDSI framework, offering an ideal menu solution for those with dysphagia.**
  • 80% of consumers who have tried smoothies like/love it. (Source: Datassential, 2021)
  • Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are under consumed. Smoothies provide a delicious and simple way to consume more fruits and can be a good source of vitamins,minerals and other nutrients the body needs.
  • Smoothies can be pre-made and held refrigerated for up to 4 hours before service.
  • Using frozen fruit means no ice needed for premium flavor and easier consumption.

DOLE® Smoothie Cuts

Pre-cut IQF fruit, crafted specifically for smoothies to help extend blender life.


The flavor combinations for smoothies are infinite, but we’ve included a list of suggested ingredients along with some of our favorite combinations to help inspire.

Step 1: Choose Your Base

Step 2: Choose Your Fruits

Nutritional information based on 1 cup serving of DOLE IQF Fruit, except avocado (1/2 cup)

Step 3: Blend & Serve

Portion into cups and serve or keep in refrigerator for up to 4 hours before service. Using frozen fruit instead of ice to cool the smoothie also helps keep it from separating and becoming watered down

Suggested Pairings

Ditch the Dairy

Bananas and avocado give smoothies a rich and creamy texture without the need for dairy.

Spice It Up

Introduce aromatic spices such as ginger, cinnamon or turmeric into your smoothie for an added layer of flavor with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Taste the Tropics

Tropical fruits provide a burst of vibrant flavor and are often high in potassium, which helps to counter the effects of sodium in diets.

Go Blender-less

With DOLE Chef-Ready Frozen Fruit Purées

Don’t have a blender or trying to reduce labor? Use Dole Chef-Ready Fruit Purées for a delicious blender-less smoothie. Just whisk with yogurt and juice and serve!

For more information or if you have any questions,
contact 1-800-723-9868