When I came up with the idea for a delicious, high calorie snack, one word came to mind: joy. As a certified speech language pathologist, I had watched countless patients and their families struggle to find food that not only fed the body, but also the spirit. Sure, food is a source of nutrition, but done right, it delights us and connects us. It’s a way of caring for ourselves and others and of showing love.
There may be many reasons a person is concerned about receiving adequate nutrition. Our on-the-go snack is a stress-free way to get the nutrition you will love. Portable enough, they’re the perfect finger food that let’s everyone experience the joy of eating independently.
Whether you are a mother trying to find foods for your child who is a picky eater, a person who recently had a stroke that requires softer foods, or a caretaker to an individual with Alzheimer’s Disease – just to name a few – you may find yourself in a position where you are looking for a snack that is high in calories and easy to swallow.
Since we produced our first product in March of 2017, the response has been humbling. Last November, we conducted a trial at a Memory Care Center in Portland, Oregon that confirmed what we’d been hearing anecdotally from patients and caregivers: on measures of both taste and function, response across the cognitive spectrum were overwhelmingly positive.
Word has continued to spread as well as the excitement. Clinicians from top pediatric feeding clinics around the country have endorsed the same sentiment we’ve heard from adults: patient and families are desperate for quality products. Paulette Wood MS ccc-slp, our product collaborator and highly respected speech language pathologist, states, “This product facilitates oral intake. Watching patients consume the EAT snack is exciting, inspiring, and cause for celebration.”
As a clinician first and foremost, these are the people who drive me. It’s the daughter telling me how her mother, who recently had a stroke, had been so disappointed she couldn’t eat a cookie made for her, then beyond thrilled when she was able to enjoy our EAT snack. It’s the young boy at a pediatric feeding clinic whose speech pathologist told us our snack was the first solid bolus her patient had ever been able to tolerate. It’s the daughter of an Alzheimer’s patient being overcome with gratitude as she watched her mother enjoy the snack and then ask for more. It’s the mother who discovered that her 12-year-old daughter with cystic fibrosis who is g-tube dependent and has limited appetite loves the snack, saying, “My daughter has oral sensory issues and is a very picky eater, we were overjoyed that she was asking for more EAT snacks.”
These stories are the heart of what we do at Nutraphagia: bring dignity and joy through food, regardless of disorder or disease. For me, it’s a vision years in the making. For patients and their loved ones, it’s exactly what I hoped it would be: a better way.