• Avoid hard foods: popcorn, nuts, hard candy, hard raw vegetables (such as carrots), hot dogs (unless finely diced), grapes, apples.

  • Avoid foods that require a lot of chewing: celery, steak, chips.

  • Avoid sticky foods such as peanut butter.

  • Mash up foods or puree them in a blender or baby-food grinder; finely dice meat and cheese.

  • Choose nonsolids, such as puddings, gelatins, applesauce, small-curd cottage cheese.

  • Try nutritional supplement drinks (such as Ensure).

  • Be sure liquids aren’t too thin; they may be drunk too quickly, causing a choking hazard.

  • Choose thicker soups, purees, and smoothies, which are easiest for seniors with chewing and swallowing problems.