Food to avoid if you are able to eat some solid food

  • Meat, unless it is well cooked and casseroled

  • Fresh fruit

  • Uncooked vegetables

  • Sticky types of bread: white bread and doughnuts, for example

  • Fruit yoghurts with pieces of fruit

Tips for serving food

  • Serve your food on small plates: anything large looks intimidating and can kill off your appetite

  • Serve small portions – you can always come back for more

  • Make sure fluid is at hand, making sure it is of the correct texture

  • Make sure you can eat in peace and quiet

If you are preparing food and feeding someone who cannot feed themselves

  • Always make sure the patient is sitting upright

  • Place the plate near to hand so that they can reach it easily

  • Do not rush, or hover over them

  • If they wear glasses, a hearing aid, or have false teeth, check that all are in place before food appears

  • Check that you can be heard

  • Sit below the person so they can see you

  • Let the person see, smell and taste the food to encourage saliva to flow and to improve their appetite before you start feeding

  • Avoid contact with teeth to avoid biting the spoon

  • Put a small amount of food on the spoon

  • Place food in the middle of the mouth in the front third of the tongue, and push tongue down (this stops the tongue falling back into the mouth and getting in the way of the swallow)

  • Give plenty of time for chewing and swallowing

  • Make sure the mouth is empty before offering next portion

  • The patient should remain upright for at least 20 minutes after they have finished their meal.


Thickened coffee or tea; suitable cereal e.g. porridge or rice pudding (served with brown sugar and whipped cream)*

Thickened juice, smooth full fat yoghurt or fortified milkshake

Thickened soup; mashed potato, pureed spinach, pureed fruit


Thickened coffee, tea, soft cakes and biscuits

Thickened soup; pureed meat, mashed potato; soft-boiled vegetables; fruit (banana or stewed fruit) Thickened tea
Late evening

Thickened juice
* For people requiring fortified meals to reduce the risk of malnutrition