How to Choose Safe Foods for Someone Who Can’t Swallow

If your loved one is at risk of choking, careful food selection is necessary. 


- Posted on Nov 22, 2019

A woman in her golden years outside drinking a smoothie.

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

When Alzheimer’s disease makes it difficult for someone to swallow food, choking becomes a concern. If your loved one has this issue, it is important that you know which types of food to avoid, as well as which can be more easily consumed. The following advice can help you to make the best choices:

· Stay away from hard foods, such as popcorn, nuts, cookies, raw fruits and vegetables (apples, pears, celery and carrots), and hot dogs (unless finely diced).

· Don’t serve foods that require a lot of chewing: steak, chips, crusty bread, salad.

· Avoid sticky foods such as peanut butter.

· Mash up foods or puree them in a blender or baby-food grinder; finely dice meat and cheese.

· Select nonsolids, including puddings, gelatins, applesauce, small-curd cottage cheese.

· Test out nutritional supplement drinks (such as Ensure).

· Serve liquids that aren’t too thin; they may be consumed too fast, which can cause choking.

· Go instead with thicker soups, purees, and smoothies, which are much less difficult for someone who has trouble chewing and swallowing.

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