Supporting safe and enjoyable meals

Mealtimes are an important part of our daily lives. Having access to meals that are safe and enjoyable is important to minimise the risk of choking and serious health problems for people with swallowing difficulty; and to improve their quality of life.

Under the NDIS Code of Conduct, NDIS workers have to provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill.

So how can NDIS workers best support someone who needs mealtime support?

An elearning module is available to help NDIS workers understand how to best support safe and enjoyable mealtimes.

The module was co-designed and developed in consultation with the sector, including people with disability and NDIS providers and workers.

Module content

Supporting safe and enjoyable meals is an elearning module that aims to improve NDIS worker awareness and understanding of how to provide safe and enjoyable mealtime assistance to people with disability.

It demonstrates - from the perspective of NDIS participants - what effective mealtime support looks while enabling choice and control.

This module is an introduction to mealtime support. It looks at:

  • Mealtime assistance and the Mealtime Plan
  • Identifying, preventing, and responding to swallowing difficulties
  • Planning food and food texture modifications
  • Mealtime positioning and assistive technology.

The four topics provide information, tips, scenarios and actions that can be taken to:

  • reduce the risks associated with mealtimes
  • provide a safe and enjoyable environment for people with disability.

The module includes a downloadable ‘Supporting Safe and Enjoyable Meals Checklist’ and links to useful resources and further training.

NDIS worker learning

This elearning module is designed to support NDIS providers and workers in meeting their obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct. It also supports registered NDIS providers in meeting their obligations under the NDIS Practice Standards, in particular the new NDIS Practice Standard for Mealtime Management.

This module provides an introduction to the role of workers in supporting NDIS participants at mealtimes. It does not replace the need for NDIS providers to ensure that workers have the required training and experience to support and meet the specific needs of individuals requiring mealtime assistance.

All NDIS providers are encouraged to include the module in their induction process for workers, and to encourage existing workers to undertake the module over time, as part of their ongoing learning.

This training forms part of a suite of learning modules available for NDIS workers, including the Worker Orientation Module ‘Quality Safety and You’, Supporting effective communication, and the New Worker – NDIS Induction Module.

Before completing the Supporting Safe and Enjoyable Meals module, workers should complete the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s Worker Orientation Module – Quality, Safety and You.

Completing the module

The module is free and available to any persons or professionals interested in this topic, taking approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Once completed, workers will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Access the Modules

Preview – Supporting safe and enjoyable meals

e-learning module support

Having trouble completing our e-learning modules or need help accessing your certificate? You can read frequently asked questions or submit an online help query via our e-learning modules support page.

Module accessibility

The Supporting Safe and Enjoyable Meals module is screen-reader accessible and mobile device compatible.

An Auslan version of the module will be released in June 2022.

An audio described version of the module will be released in June 2022.

Resources and training

Guidance for NDIS providers and workers is also available in our Practice Alerts on the following related topics:

These resources are available in several formats including short animations, quick reference guides and the original text-based, short research summaries. Easy Reads will also be available soon.

There is also a video in the ‘Make is known, make it better’ videos series – empowering people with disability to raise a concern or complaint if they are not happy with the quality or safety of their NDIS supports or services &ndash and a corresponding poster, that addresses the importance of safety during mealtimes.

Make it known, make it better – NDIS Code of Conduct: Taking steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse

The Disability Research Network at the University of Technology Sydney, through an Australian Government grant, has produced a suite of resources and training modules called 'Co-Creating Safe and Enjoyable Meals for People with Swallowing Disability'.

The resources and training are designed to support people with swallowing difficulties in their mealtime decisions and mealtime assistance needs, and promote the co-creation of safe and enjoyable meals. Visit the website www.enjoysafemeals.com to find out more.