Thick-It / Simply Thick / Thickened Water & Food Thickeners
Individuals with Dysphagia and others who have a hard time swallowing liquids may benefit from a diet of thickened fluids and foods. In this category, you'll find high quality food thickeners and pre-thickened foods including Thick-It, Simply Thick, thickened water and more. Read More...
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Is it Harder to Swallow as you Get Older?
Yes. Most seniors find swallowing to be harder than it was for them in their younger years. This is due to many factors, including dryness and/or reduced strength in the throat and tongue, and a dilated throat which makes swallowing take longer. Dysphagia, the medical term for swallowing disorders, can also occur as a side effect of illnesses common among the elderly, such as osteoarthritis and diabetes. Although uncommon, Dysphagia can occur in people of any age, including young children.
Tips to Ease Swallowing
Individuals who find it a bit hard to swallow can try taking smaller bites and chewing their food extra carefully. If you often find yourself coughing when you try to swallow, start tucking your chin down to your chest before attempting to swallow. If swallowing is more than a little difficult for you, you’ll likely find food thickeners to be extremely useful.
Thickeners are used to thicken liquids, soups and pureed foods. With food thickening agents such as Thick-It powder and thickening gels, you can quickly and easily change liquids and foods to reach the desired consistency - without changing the taste, quality or appearance of the product!
Water is the very thinnest of all consistencies, so if you find yourself often choking on your water, you may want to start adding water thickener or any other liquid thickener into your drink, since thickened water is easier to swallow. Sipping liquids with a straw can also help prevent choking.
Another great option is to buy prethickened products such as thickened water and liquids, pureed food for adults and more, all of which we carry here in an abundance of flavor, size and brand options.
What is a Thickened Diet?
A thickened diet is a diet that is entirely or almost completely made up of products that have been thickened with some sort of thickener to enable easy swallowing. An individual with weak oral muscle tone or a swallowing disorder may be put on such a diet by his primary care practitioner or speech therapist.
What Is Instant Food Thickener?
Instant food thickener is a substance, often available in packets, that is added to liquids and pureed foods in order to thicken the consistency, and make the food or drink easier for the person to swallow.
How Does Thickening Liquids Help Dysphagia?
Liquids with a thicker consistency move more slowly, and therefore are easier for a person oral muscle weakness to control, and smoother to swallow. This is why those suffering from dysphagia, which makes it hard to swallow, often thicken the consistency of their foods and drinks.
Best Food Thickeners
When using thickeners, ask your medical professional whether the liquids should have the consistency of nectar, honey or pudding. Use this information, as well as the type of food or liquid being thickened, and refer to the product's included chart to find how much thickener will need to be added and how long it will take to reach the required thickness.
The four different thickened consistency levels are as follows, from least to most thick:
- Slightly Thick: This level is comparable to breastmilk in its consistency. It’s the most dense of thickened liquids.
- Mildly Thick: This is often referred to as nectar-thick. Nectar thick liquids are easy to pour, and is about as thick as eggnog and fruit nectar.
- Moderately Thick: This consistency is similar to honey; that’s why it’s also known as honey-thick. Like slightly and nectar thick liquids, honey thick liquids can be sipped from a cup.
- Extremely Thick: This consistency is also referred to as pudding-thick. Comparable to pudding in its consistency, Extremely thick thickeners are as thick as pudding, and are not very pourable; they’re usually eaten in a bowl, with a spoon.
Popular Food Thickeners
Thick It, Hormel Thick & Easy, Thicken Up, and Simply Thick are all high quality choices if you’re looking for a thickening agent for food, beverages, or both.
Thick-It, the trusted name in Dysphagia nutrition solutions since 1987, offers a variety of food thickening solutions. Among these products are delicious purees that are the perfect consistency for individuals who have a hard time swallowing solids and thin liquids. Designed by registered dietitians, these convenient meal options are reliably nutritious and sustaining.