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Stroke: Tips for Swallowing

Your speech therapist will put you on a special diet to help make swallowing safer and easier. Your diet will change as your swallowing improves. As a general rule, chew thoroughly and don't rush when you eat. This will lower your risk for aspiration pneumonia, which can occur if food or liquid gets into your lungs. This can be very serious. Follow the swallowing guide below. Your speech therapist will check off the boxes that apply to you.

Which side of mouth to use:

☐ Left

☐ Right

Guide for swallowing


☐ None

☐ Puréed

☐ Soft

☐ Regular

☐ Other _________________


☐ None by mouth

☐ Ultra thick

☐ Thick

☐ Thin

☐ Other _________________


☐ None by mouth

☐ Crushed tablet

☐ Liquid form only

☐ With food

☐ With water

☐ Other _________________

Body posture

☐ Sit up straight (90 degrees)

☐ Recline ______ degrees

☐ Face forward

☐ Remain upright ______ minutes after a meal

☐ Other _________________


☐  Turn head left/right

☐ Tuck chin for each swallow

☐ Tuck chin for ___________

☐ 2 swallows/double swallow

☐ Alternate liquids and solids

☐ Other _________________

Online Medical Reviewer: Foster, Sara, RN, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Gandelman, Glenn, MD, MPH
Last Review Date: 6/8/2015
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