General tips to help with swallowing problems:
- Sit up as straight as possible when you eat.
- Take small bites, less than 1 teaspoon of food per bite.
- Chew well and swallow your food before taking another bite.
- If one side of your face or mouth is weaker, chew food on the stronger side of your mouth.
- DO NOT mix solid foods with liquids in the same bite.
- Keep mealtime relaxed.
- DO NOT try to wash down solids with sips of liquids, unless your therapist told you to eat this way.
- Sit upright for 30 to 45 minutes after eating.
- You may need someone to remind you to finish swallowing.
- DO NOT drink thin liquids without checking with your doctor or therapist first.
- Ask caregivers and family members not to talk to you when your are eating or drinking.
Update Date 5/15/2014
Updated by: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.