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Dining with dignity: How an innovative startup is plating up life-changing texture modified food



Kinela, an Australian allied health and healthy meal delivery service for people on the NDIS plan, has today launched an innovative range of texture modified meals which will deliver a safe, delicious and dignified dining experience to tens of thousands of Australians living with a disability who experience difficulties swallowing (dysphagia). It is estimated that more than 1.25 million Australians (5% of the population) are impacted by swallowing concerns, and as a result, suffer from reduced health, nutrition and wellbeing, causing health complications and social isolation. 


The range - which features 12 carefully curated chef-created meals - have been designed to be safe for people with dysphagia to swallow (IDDSI complaint) without compromising on flavour, health or convenience; offering a more sophisticated and enjoyable option for those requiring a texture modified diet. 


The addition of the texture modified range to Kinela’s health service makes it the first company in the Australian market to offer a full service health solution for those with dysphagia, providing members with healthy meal preparation and allied health services, including dieticians and speech therapists.


Kinela Senior Speech Therapist and Disability Health expert, Christina Ho, said it was often difficult for carers to create safe and appetising meals for people with dysphagia.


“Time-poor carers sometimes struggle to create safe meals that are also healthy and appetising. This can create a disappointing dining experience for people with swallowing difficulties that can be isolating and demotivating over time. Requiring a texture modified diet shouldn’t stop you from being able to enjoy meals that are thoughtfully prepared, healthy, tasty and safe,” said Ms Ho. 


Developed by a team of nutritionists and prepared by chefs, Kinela’s texture modified meals can be delivered direct to the doors of NDIS participants across NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and QLD for just $2 co-payment per meal. The meals go from freezer to fork (or spoon) in under 10 minutes, which offers significant time savings compared with DIY alternatives. Kinela also offers companions unmodified versions of the same meals at a discounted rate, to allow for greater inclusion and connection at mealtimes.


Kinela CEO, Karn Ghosh, said the new texture modified menu was another step towards making Kinela’s menu as inclusive as possible.


“We’ve known for some time that people with chewing and swallowing challenges have lacked access to genuinely enjoyable nutritious food choices that don't compromise on safety and compliance. We’ve also been aware that distressingly, this has led to malnutrition and challenging mealtime experiences, which is why we were committed to creating a range that would set a new standard in texture modified meals and bring back the joy of eating for so many people,” said Mr Ghosh.  


“Given eating is such a sensory experience, we created our meals using vibrant and colourful ingredients in separate compartments so the consumer can easily smell, see and touch them in the same way as a solid meal. With classics like ‘mac and cheese’ and ‘roast pork and apple sauce’, we’ve created a menu that people will love—and not just tolerate,” he added. 

Kinela’s textured modified meal range has 12 nutritious and tasty meals on the menu, including: 

    Chicken and creamy mushroom sauce
    Roast chicken and gravy
    Chicken parmigiana
    Homestyle chicken rissole
    Roast beef and onion gravy
    Beef and mushroom gravy
    Roast pork and gravy with applesauce
    Tuscan pork meatballs and risoni
    Roast lamb and rosemary gravy
    Lamb shepherd's pie
    Salmon pasta
    Mac and cheese

Kinela is the only service provider in Australia to offer a complete package of support for people with dysphagia, including meals, speech therapists and dietitians. Using an innovative online therapy service, Kinela’s team of speech therapists and dietitians work with recipients to help improve swallowing safety, nutrition and diet, and communication skills to help people achieve a better overall quality of life - with no waitlists or travel required. 

 

About Kinela:

Kinela is on a mission to radically change healthcare for people with disabilities and older Australians—giving them the tools to live happier, healthier and more independent lives. We support thousands of people across Australia to achieve their health and wellbeing goals through affordable, convenient and nutritious meal-delivery services, and innovative allied health programs. As a certified B Corporation business, and a registered provider in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Kinela is an industry leader in driving significant positive change for the disability community. Visit: kinela.com

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