Chewing & Swallowing Problems

Many people find some foods hard to eat for a variety of reasons. You may have chewing or swallowing difficulties, or problems with teeth or dentures. If you prefer to have softer meals, or have been told you should eat a ‘modified texture’ diet, please let us know. We have a range of menu options to cater for your needs.

Some people may prefer to have softer foods that are easier to chew. This might be due to:

  • Difficulties with teeth or dentures
  • Discomfort
  • Becoming tired when eating

We offer meals that are softer and may be more suitable if you have difficulty chewing. Our Community Team delivery staff can also help with cutting up foods when they deliver your meal. Please get in touch with your local Support Team for further information.

Texture modified diets
Drinking difficulties
Oral hygiene
Weight loss
Top tips


Texture modified diets

A ‘modified texture diet’ means food with a softer texture and consistency. This is safer for some people to eat. If you need to be on a special softer diet, you would have been advised of this by a speech and language therapist. This may be due to problems with swallowing that are associated with a medical condition. Having the correct texture is important to ensure eating is safe and comfortable.

Are there different types of textures?

Yes – there are a range of textures available. Your speech and language therapist will assess you and advise on which will suit you best.

Texture B: Thin puree
Texture C: Thick puree
Texture D: Pre-mashed
Texture E: Fork-mashable

At HILS we can provide a range of meals and puddings for all the different textures that you might be advised to eat.


Drinking with swallowing problems

You may have been advised by a speech and language therapist to have your fluids thickened before you drink them. It is important to follow their advice. You should thicken your drinks to the appropriate consistency. This is because fluids are harder to control. They can ‘go down the wrong way’ into your lungs, which may cause coughing, and can lead to chest infections.


Good mouth care

Good oral hygiene is important to minimise discomfort when eating. This includes brushing your teeth regularly and cleaning dentures as advised by your dentist. If you are experiencing trouble with your teeth or dentures, contact your dentist for help and advice.


Weight loss

If you are struggling to maintain or are losing weight, get in touch with our Nutrition & Wellbeing team. Our page on Achieving Healthy Weight Gain may also be helpful. You may also want to contact your GP if you are worried about your weight.


Three top tips for eating well:

  1. Take your time over meals and don’t rush
  2. Try eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day
  3. Avoid drinking before a meal as this can fill you up

Speech and language therapists work with people to assess eating and drinking difficulties. They can provide advice on appropriate food and fluid textures and consistencies.


Please discuss with your GP if you:

  • Are having problems swallowing, or coughing when eating or drinking
  • Have not been assessed by a speech and language therapist

Chewing and Swallowing difficulties (PDF)

This resource has been compiled using available current evidence and has been approved by a team of dietitians and nutritionists. The information is for general use and should not replace individual tailored advice given by a healthcare professional.

For further information, please contact your local Support Team or contact our Nutrition & Wellbeing Team directly here.

If you are a health or social care professional and require leaflets for your team or clients, then please contact us.