Top tips - Enjoying mealtimes when you have Dysphagia

Don’t let mealtimes become stressful

Part of our Top Tips series for Dysphagia management

Mealtimes are a big part of our lives and how we interact with our family and friends. We use meals to celebrate milestones, to celebrate holidays and as a general social outlet. However, what once was a social activity can become challenging, stressful and bring on anxiety for those with swallowing difficulties. It is important to invest time to make sure people with swallowing difficulties enjoy their mealtimes as this will, in turn, encourage them to get adequate nutrition and hydration. Some helpful tips for how to make mealtimes more enjoyable include:

  • Everyone is different so discuss with the person you care for their favourite foods, their usual meal pattern, preferred time to eat and what type of environment they prefer to eat in
  • Involve the person you care for in the meal choice and meal preparation where appropriate, as this can promote interest and increase appetite
  • Allow time to eat the meal. As discussed, mealtimes are a social event so allow time to talk and interact during the meal