8 Top Products to Help Your Loved One with Dysphagia of 2024

Brianna Maguire

Written by Brianna Maguire on Thu Dec 21 2023.

Women hugging and laughing.

Caring for a loved one with dysphagia can be challenging. Ensuring adequate nutrition and hydration while minimizing the risk of aspiration (food or beverage going down the wrong "tube") is crucial. Thankfully, a range of products is available to make mealtimes more comfortable and enjoyable for your family member. 

This article highlights the best products for people who have trouble swallowing, and all are designed to satisfy various preferences and needs. For more information on dysphagia and how to manage it, check out this comprehensive resource from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Remember that each individual's needs may vary, so it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your loved one's diet or introducing new products.

What Are Dysphagia Products?

Dysphagia products are specifically designed for people with trouble swallowing, also known as dysphagia. Products can range from thickened drinks to powders that change the consistency of liquids. They’re all designed to make swallowing easier and avoid the risk of choking or aspiration (when food goes down the wrong pipe). 

How We Chose

To provide the best recommendations for products that can help those with dysphagia, we relied on real customer feedback, expert opinions, and the experience of caregivers. We prioritized products that have proven effective in addressing the specific needs of individuals with swallowing difficulties while maintaining taste and nutritional value.

Who Are These Products Right For?

These products are ideal for older adults and individuals who have consulted their doctor about their chewing and swallowing needs and are looking for nutritional products that make swallowing easier and safer. 

Common Reasons for Difficulty Swallowing:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Reduced saliva production

  • Neurological conditions

Top Products for a Loved One with Dysphagia 

1) Thick-It Food & Drink Thickener Unflavored

This versatile thickening agent can be added to many foods and drinks, making swallowing easier for your loved one. From water and juice to coffee, mashed potatoes, and soups, Thick-It Food & Drink Thickener helps maintain the taste while providing a safer texture for consumption. 

Key Features & Benefits: 

  • Dissolves easily into food and drinks 

  • Easily digested 

  • Does not bind fluids 

Hear it from a caregiver

"This is a wonderful product added to my mother’s drinks throughout the day to help keep her hydrated. Without it, she struggles with choking on liquids."

- Gloria G.

Thick-It Food & Drink Thickener, Unflavored
Thick-It Food & Drink Thickener, Unflavored

Price: $6.95 - $113.94

2) Boost Nutritional Pudding

This tasty option is designed to provide extra calories and support in a dessert-like consistency. Makes for an enjoyable and nutritious snack for those with swallowing difficulties. 

Key Features & Benefits: 

  • Available in delicious flavors like chocolate and vanilla 

  • Suitable for those with dietary restrictions, including lactose intolerance, gluten-free, low-residue, and kosher.

3) Thick & Easy Hydrolyte Thickened Water 

Staying hydrated is essential, but water can be challenging for those with dysphagia. Thick & Easy Hydrolyte Thickened Water offers a safe, effective solution. This pre-thickened water helps your family member stay hydrated while minimizing the risk of aspiration. 

Key Features & Benefits: 

  • Ready to drink without measuring or mixing 

  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals 

  • Can be enjoyed chilled or at room temperature

Hear it from a caregiver

"Easy to swallow without choking. Dad loves the taste of the apple Juice."

-Cyrus P.

4) Thick-It Clear Advantage Thickened Water 

Another excellent option on our list of best products for swallowing problems is Thick-It Clear Advantage. It provides the same benefits as Thick & Easy Hydrolyte but with a different formulation. 

Key Features & Benefits: 

  • Combines easily with powdered milk, broth, and other drinks 

  • Ready to drink without measuring or mixing 

  • Meets International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative guidelines 

5) Thick & Easy Purees - Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots

Finding pre-pureed meals that taste good can be challenging, but Thick & Easy Purees is a caregiver favorite. This delicious roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots meal offers a tasty and nutritious option for those with swallowing difficulties. 

Key Features & Benefits: 

  • Pre-cooked and ready to eat

  • Convenient solution for those with swallowing difficulties

  • 14g of protein per serving 

Hear it from a caregiver

"My dad loves the food. I ordered several different ones, and he really does enjoy them. It’s the only thing he can really eat without feeling sick afterwards. Other foods have too many spices or seasonings, so they don’t sit well with him."

- Manuela R. 

6) Thick & Easy Nectar Thick Liquids

This caregiver-approved product offers a tasty and safe way to enjoy juice. With a nectar-like consistency, you can use it straight out of the bottle. 

Key Benefits & Features: 

  • Loaded with vitamin C

  • Comes in flavors like apple juice, cranberry, iced tea, and kiwi strawberry 

  • Meets the criteria for level 2 thickened beverages 

7) Thick-It Puree Caramel Apple Pie

Satisfy your loved one's sweet tooth with this pre-thickened dessert option. Thick-It Puree Caramel Apple Pie is a favorite among caregivers and offers a delightful treat for those with dysphagia. 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Ready to eat out of the can or heat and serve 

  • 5 servings per can 

Thick-it Puree Caramel Apple Pie, H317-F8800-EA1, 1 Can
Thick-it Puree Caramel Apple Pie

Price: $6.21 - $80.88

8) SimplyThick Easy Mix Instant Food Thickener Packet

For those on the go, SimplyThick Easy Mix Instant Food Thickener Packets offer a convenient way to thicken food and beverages. These single-serve, unflavored packets can be easily carried in your purse or bag, making it easy to modify the consistency of your loved one's meals and beverages wherever you are. 

Key Features & Benefits:

  • Each packet contains 5 calories

  • Has a shelf life of 12 months 

  • Formula is vegan, kosher, gluten-free and allergen-free

Hear it from a caregiver

"These help my brother swallow. A blessing."

- Angela T.

How to Choose Dysphagia Products 

Start by deciding which level of thickness you need. Next, your doctor will help you determine which consistency is ideal for you or your loved one's needs, and most commonly, you'll fall into one of three categories:

  1. Nectar-thick: Nectar-thick products have the consistency of — you guessed it — nectar! They're thinner than the other options but thicker than your typical liquids.

  2. Honey-thick: Honey-thick products are slightly thicker than nectar-thick and resemble the consistency of honey.

  3. Pudding-thick: Pudding thick products have the thickest consistency, similar to that of pudding.

We offer delicious nutritional products for all three consistency types, and food thickeners can be added to existing meals to hit whichever consistency your loved one needs.

Next, consider your loved one's flavor preference. It's essential to pick a flavor that your loved one will enjoy. Keep trying new flavors from our list of the best products until you find something they enjoy! If they don't like pre-pureed options, stick with thickeners in their favorite foods and drinks.

Commonly Asked Questions

1) Can thickened food products help maintain weight?

If you or your loved one is looking to gain weight, you should speak to your doctor about which products are right for you. For example, certain pre-thickened products have more calories than others, but many powdered thickeners add very few calories to the food or drinks they thicken.

2) Are there any side effects of using thickened food products?

Most people tolerate thickened food products well. However, some individuals may experience minor side effects, such as bloating, gas, or changes in bowel movements. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about introducing a new product to your loved one's diet.

3) How do I know if my loved one needs thickened food products?

If your loved one is experiencing difficulty swallowing, coughing, or choking during meals, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential. They can assess the situation, determine if dysphagia is present, and recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include using thickened food products.


Feeding a loved one with difficulties swallowing can be challenging, but with the right products, you can ensure they get the nutrition they need while lowering the risk of choking or aspiration. By selecting products that are specifically designed for those with dysphagia, you can save yourself time, stress and get your loved one what they need to thrive.  

Need Help?

If you’re deciding what type of dysphagia products your loved one needs but can decide, we can help! Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to support@carewell.com, and our Caregiving Specialist will be happy to help you.

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Brianna Maguire
Brianna Maguire

Brianna Maguire heads up Carewell’s Customer Care Team, and serves as a resource for caregivers that need support. Whether it’s helping customers decide which products are best for their needs, answering caregiver questions, or just providing a shoulder to lean on on a tough day, her job is to make caregivers’ lives easier.