Meals for Easy Swallowing

March 2005

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Swallowing can become a significant problem for people with muscle weakness, and the joys and pleasures of eating become replaced with discomfort and anxiety. At an early stage, individuals with muscle disease may begin to have difficulty with foods such as popcorn, cornbread or nuts, and choking episodes may occur. Subsequently, other foods can't be swallowed readily, and the effort of chewing and swallowing turns a pleasurable experience into a burden.

When the act of swallowing becomes compromised, eating can become a time-consuming ordeal. For the caregiver, the task of preparing edible and appetizing foods poses an increasing challenge.

The following collection of recipes is derived from people with neuromuscular diseases and their creative caregivers, who translated their caring into foods that look good, taste good, are easy to chew and to swallow, and minimize discomfort. Included are recipes for meats and other protein-containing foods, fruits or fruit drinks, vegetables or dishes containing vegetables, as well as breads. Selections of beverages, desserts and sauces are provided to add needed fat and calories to the diet.