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6 Soft Food Ideas for People with Dysphagia

Here are some easy-to-swallow recipes for those with swallowing difficulties or dysphagia.

For dysphagia article

What is a soft food diet?

Soft food diets are usually used to treat swallowing disorders which are also known as dysphagia. The condition is common in older adults and those with neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Usually, soft food diets have to be followed for short period but in some circumstances, the diet may need to be followed for a longer period.


Seniors who suffer from dysphagia often have to start a soft food diet to prevent any choking incident:

  • Level 1 — Dysphagia-Puréed: uniform texture, pudding-like, requires a minimal chewing ability
  • Level 2 — Dysphagia-Mechanically Altered: cohesive, moist, semisolid foods, require some chewing
  • Level 3 — Dysphagia-Advanced: soft foods that require more chewing ability
  • Regular: all foods allowed

Here, we have listed a few soft food ideas for people with dysphagia.

Chicken Noodle Soup


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

8 cups of reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups uncooked whole-wheat egg noodles (about 4 ounces)

3 cups coarsely chopped rotisserie chicken

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  • In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  • Add broth, basil, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in noodles; cook for 12-14 minutes or until al dente. Stir in chicken and parsley; heat through.

Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar Cheese


3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)

1 to 1-1/4 cups half-and-half cream

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese


  • Place potatoes in a 6-qt. stockpot; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat cream, butter, and salt. Stir occasionally until butter is melted. 
  • Drain potatoes; return to pot. Mash potatoes, gradually adding the cream mixture. Stir in cheese.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding


2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup coconut milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch ground cinnamon


  • Blend avocados, cocoa powder, brown sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth.
  • Refrigerate the pudding for 30 minutes before consumption 

Baked Custard


3 eggs

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2½ cups of milk

nutmeg or cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced).
  • Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together lightly.
  • Gently warm milk over the stove, before adding gradually to the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
  • Pour mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish, and sprinkle with nutmeg and/or cinnamon.
  • Place the dish in a water bath, with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, before reducing the heat to 140°C (120°C fan-forced) for a further 20–30 minutes until set.

Maple Sweet Carrot Puree


5 cups fresh, canned, or frozen carrots

1/8th cup butter and ¼ cup maple syrup

salt to taste


  • Place carrots in 1 cup of salted water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender (able to mash with a fork)
  • Drain carrots
  • Blend warm carrots with butter and maple syrup until the texture is smooth

Pumpkin Brownie Puree


1 box brownie mix

¼ cup pumpkin puree

Milk, approximately 3 t per brownie


  • Preheat oven to 350 ° F
  • Grease 9×9 pan
  • In a bowl, mix the brownie mix and pumpkin puree until smooth
  • Spread into greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes
  • Allow brownies to cool
  • Place the desired amount of brownie into the blender. Add milk 1 t at a time and blend until a smooth texture is achieved.
  • If the brownie becomes too runny, add a little bit more brownie and blend to thicken

Eating and feeding tips

Always eat in smaller bites and chew food thoroughly. Special thickening powder might need to be added to drinks since watery liquids can be difficult to swallow.

Sitting upright while eating will reduce the risk of choking. Patients can also learn to tilt the head to make swallowing easier. These techniques reduce the risk of liquid getting into the airway (aspiration).

Clearing the throat with a little cough if liquid or a small piece of food gets stuck.

Book A Caregiver for Your Loved One 

Homage is a personal healthcare solution that connects caregivers, nurses and therapists with seniors who need on-demand holistic home care, allowing them to recover and age with grace and dignity. 

Download the app now to find out more and start booking quality care for your loved one!


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