What foods can I eat that are easy to swallow since my throat is so sore from radiation?
Katrina Claghorn, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
Radiation can make your throat sore and impact your ability to swallow. Some foods may be hard to swallow and you may need to focus on softer, mushier foods and beverages to meet your nutrition needs during cancer treatment.
Foods to avoid during this time include:
Sharp, jagged foods such as chips, hard pretzels, toasted bread items, popcorn and raw nuts
Acidic foods that may burn your throat such as tomatoes, citrus, vinegars, and pineapple and cranberry juices
Very hot foods and beverages
Cured, processed meats such as sausage, pepperoni, and salami which are salty
Foods that you may tolerate include:
Softer foods like tuna, egg, or chicken salad, scrambled eggs or omelets, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables (lower sodium varieties), canned fruits, oatmeal, cooked cereals (cream of wheat, farina), pancakes, French toast, yogurt, and ricotta and cottage cheese
If you notice increased pain with swallowing you may also try pureeing your foods
High calorie drinks such as fruit smoothies, milkshakes, Ovaltine®, commercial eggnog, Carnation Instant Breakfas® and supplement drinks like Ensure® and Boos®
Soothe your throat with cooler temperature foods such as ice cream, jello, chilled pudding
Split or crush hard tablets and take with applesauce or cool liquids if pills are large and difficult to swallow.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to numb your throat
Sep 23, 2013 - Patients who maintain eating and a regimen of swallowing exercises during treatment for pharyngeal cancers have the highest rate of return to a regular diet following treatment, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.