Dysphagia During the Holidays



Consultants in Dysphagia Evaluation and Management

Phone: 817-514-MBS1 or 1-888-514-MBS1
Fax: 817-514-MBS8 or 1-877-514-MBS8
By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP
Dysphagia during the Holidays

If you really think about it, our lives revolve around food and eating.  We do business over lunch, romance over dinner, celebrate with food, and eating together solidifies families. We know PO feeding becomes important on many levels to many of patients around the holidays.  Modified diets are often not popular during the season that we gather around food with family and friends.  Over fifteen million people suffer from Dysphagia in the United States alone and dysphagia does not respect the holidays. Many may be surprised to learn that many of their favorite foods can be apart of their modified diet.  Most soft foods are naturally the preferred choice for a dysphagia diet, but with some simple preparation many foods can be pureed to a consistency that is safe.

There are also many foods that can be used in their regular form and consumed without modification or added thickeners. Consider the following:


  • Grits(creamy)
  • Cream of Wheat or Rice



  • Yogurt ( Custard Style)
  • Whipped Topping
  • Pudding of any flavor
  • Thick milkshakes ( add thickener to maintain thickness as it melts)



  • Mashed bananas
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Applesauce
  • Smooth canned pie filling ( no chunks of fruit)



  • Cooked and  mashed squash
  • Mashed white or sweet potatoes
  • Refried beans



  • Smooth, cream soups – i.e. Tomato, cheese, creamy potato (should be thickened to appropriate consistency for your liquid recommendation)



  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour Cream
  • Taco sauce
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Honey thick syrups
  • Molasses
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Hollandaise and other cream based sauces (i.e. – cheese, white, smooth tomato)


Easy to Puree Foods

  • Quiche
  • Various cooked meats
  • Various cooked vegetables
  • Meat or egg salads used for sandwich filling (i.e. chicken, egg, ham, tuna)
  • Prepared casseroles (i.e. macaroni & cheese, goulash, canned spaghetti, or any soft casserole)
  • Creamed corn, spinach, peas
  • Soups or stews with soft vegetables or meat
  • Prepared burritos
  • Soft pasta salads
  • Canned tamales
  • Bakes beans
  • Potpie fillings
  • Baked Apples
  • Poached pears
  • Chunky pie fillings (apple, cherry, strawberry, blueberry)
  • Soft cookies, brownies, moist cakes ( without nuts, coconut, or baking chips)
  • Bread Puddings
  • Soft Pies
  • Fresh, frozen or canned Fruit



Egg Nog – some very close to nectar, but thickener can be added to ensure this, without changing consistency much. Adding alcohol will thin the consistency.

Warm Apple Cider – this is a thin liquid



You can also find a list of suggested dysphagia recipe books on our website in the Clinical Cafe