5 Suitable Foods for People with Difficulties Swallowing

by Carter Toni

For those who have difficulties swallowing, the medical term for this is known as dysphagia. Some people with dysphagia have issues swallowing particular foods or liquids, whereas others cannot swallow at all. While you may have been told about the kinds of foods that pose a risk to those with swallowing difficulties, you may not know what foods are suitable to consume.

To ensure your diet is dysphagia-friendly, here are five suitable foods you should have no trouble eating.


There are a variety of carbohydrates that those with difficulty swallowing can eat, which will provide tons of fiber and energy into your diet. These include mashed potatoes, porridge oats, whole-grain biscuits with a lot of milk, as well as boiled pasta with sauce.

Protein-Rich Food

Your body requires protein to repair and build body tissues, so if you have problems swallowing, there are plenty of protein-rich foods that can be incorporated into your diet too. Tinned fish like salmon or tuna (without bones), eggs that are poached, boiled, fried, or scrambled, minced meat cooked in casseroles or stews, as well as pulses, lentils and beans can fill you up and give you the energy you need for the day ahead. For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can also eat tofu and hummus.


Consuming dairy products provides all kinds of health benefits, such as maintaining strong bones, and ensuring you have plenty of calcium in your diet. For those who have difficulty swallowing, there are lots of dairy products you can consume, including cheese sauces, milk and milkshakes, and yogurt.

Fruits and Vegetables

We all understand the benefits of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday for looking after your mental and physical wellbeing. If you have difficulty swallowing, you may be turned off the idea of eating fruits and vegetables. However, as long as they’re cooked, mashed, and peeled, vegetables like butternut squash, parsnips and carrots are suitable choices. There are lots of soft, ripe fruits you can eat too, including berries, pears, and bananas. You can also get your 5 a day by drinking smoothies and fruit juices. If you enjoy eating tinned fruit in juice, it may need to be mashed first. Whatever fruits and vegetables you like, ensure all skins are removed before consuming.


There are lots of people who have difficulty swallowing who enjoy indulging in sweet treats. If this sounds like you, there are many desserts you can still consume and enjoy. These include milk puddings, custard, and mousses. There are thickeners from Simply Holahan that you can add to your desserts to give them a thicker consistency, meaning they’re less likely to cause aspiration.

If you have difficulty swallowing, that’s not to say you can’t still eat a balanced, tasty diet from a myriad of soft foods. Depending on the severity of your problem, there will be certain foods and textures you must avoid. If in doubt, it’s always best to speak to your doctor first.

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