People who have trouble swallowing thin liquids often thicken their liquids to help prevent choking and stop fluids from entering the lungs.\nRead below for tips on getting your liquids nectar-thick, as well as common thickeners and recipes.\nWhat Are Thickened Liquids?\nThe three consistencies of thickened liquids are:\n\nNectar-thick liquids \u2014 are easily pourable and comparable to apricot nectar or thicker cream soups.\nHoney-thick liquids \u2014 are slightly thicker, less pourable, and drizzle from a cup or bowl.\nPudding-thick liquids \u2014 hold their own shape. They’re not pourable and usually require a spoon to eat.\n\nYour doctor or speech therapist should tell you what consistency your liquids should be.\nBasic Tips for People Who Need to Thicken Liquids\nAvoid thin liquids and some foods.\n\nThin liquids often cause choking and are harder to swallow than thick liquids.\nExamples of thin liquids are water, coffee, milk, soda, broth, and soup.\nDo not eat anything that melts, such as ice cream or ice cubes.\nDo not add ice cubes to thickened liquids. When the ice melts, it makes the drink too thin.\nYou may need to avoid certain moist and juicy foods. Common examples are oranges, grapes, and watermelon. These have thin juices that can easily enter the lungs.\nYou may also need to avoid gelatins (like Jell-O\u00ae) and scrambled eggs.\n\nTalk to your doctor, speech therapist, or dietitian to help decide which foods and fluids you tolerate best.\nDrink\u00a0enough daily fluids.\n\nPeople who have problems swallowing liquids often don’t get enough daily fluids. You should drink 6 to 8 cups of fluid every day, unless your doctor restricts your fluids because of a health condition.\nThickened liquids are still part of your fluid intake. It’s important to drink enough fluid so you don’t get dehydrated.\nWhen thickening hot drinks, be aware that the beverage tends to get thicker as it cools off.\nYou can thicken carbonated drinks, but the drink will lose its carbonation through the stirring process. See below for ideas on how to thicken these beverages.\n\nTake your time.\n\nRemember, it’s very important to take your time eating and drinking.\nStay in an upright position while drinking. Stay upright for 15 to 30 minutes afterward.\nDo not use a straw. It may cause you to choke or have trouble swallowing.\n\nKnow the best thickness.\n\nKnow the best thickness for you, so you can tell when a drink is too thick or too thin.\nDo not “under thicken” liquids. It’s better to drink a liquid that is too thick than too thin.\nMost commercial thickeners include directions for getting the right consistency.\nIf your brand of thickener doesn’t have directions, use the following as a guideline for nectar-thick liquids:\n\nAdd 1 1\/2 teaspoons of commercial thickener to 1\/2 cup of thin liquid.\nStir vigorously for 20 seconds.\nAllow the drink to sit for at least one to two minutes to get the right thickness before serving or drinking.\nIf the liquid is too thick, you can add thin liquid to reduce it to a thinner consistency.\nIf the liquid is too thin, add a small amount of thickener.\n\n\n\nCommercial Thickeners\nYou can buy commercial thickening powders at your local drug store (ask your pharmacist) or from companies that make them. Brand names include Thick It, Thick n’ Easy, and Thixx.\nYou may also be able to buy pre-thickened beverages \u2014 such as juice and milk \u2014 from various companies.\nCommercial thickener companies\n\n\n\n\n\nAliMed\u00ae\n800-225-2610\nwww.alimed.com\neDietShop, Bernard Food Industries\n800-325-5409\nwww.edietshop.com\nBruce Medical Supply\n800-225-8446\nwww.brucemedical.com\nLeahy-IFP\n847-904-5250\nwww.leahy-ifp.com\n\n\n\n\nMed-Diet\u00ae\n800-633-3438\nwww.med-diet.com\nNestl\u00e9 Nutrition Store\n888-240-2713\nwww.nestlenutritionstore.com\nThick-It\u00ae\n800-333-0003\nhttp:\/\/thickit.com\/\n\n\n\n\n\nCommon Liquid Thickeners\nIf liquids are too thin, add one of the following common thickeners to get your liquid nectar-thick.\n\n\n\n\n\nBanana flakes\nCooked cereals (like cream of wheat or cream of rice)\nCornstarch\nCustard mix\nGravy\nInstant potato flakes\n\n\n\n\nMashed potatoes\nPlain, unflavored gelatin powder\nPureed fruits (baby food)\nPureed meats (baby food)\nPureed vegetables (baby food)\nRice cereal (baby food)\n\n\n\n\n\nWhat thickeners work best for certain types of liquids?\nFor hot, milk-based liquids use:\n\nBaby rice cereal\nPlain, unflavored gelatin\n\nFor other hot liquids (soups, sauces, and gravies) add:\n\nPotato flakes\nMashed potatoes\nFlaked baby cereal\n\nFor cold liquids, add:\n\nPlain, unflavored gelatin\nPureed fruits\nBanana flakes\n\nNectar-Thick Liquid Recipes\nThe following recipes include basic ingredients that you can conveniently make at home using a blender.\nNone of the products listed contain commercial thickening agents.\nSome do contain baby rice cereal in order to make the right consistency. Baby rice cereal has a neutral flavor and does not affect the taste of the final product. It’s also less expensive than commercial thickening agents.\nUnlike products made with commercial thickening agents, most of the products listed do not change consistency after refrigeration. So, you can make these recipes in larger quantities and store them in the refrigerator.\nDiet and nutrition notes about these recipes\nNote to people watching their weight: Some of these recipes include high-fat and high-calorie ingredients that may cause weight gain.\nExamples of high-fat or high-calorie ingredients include:\n\n\n\n\n\nIce cream\nWhole or 2 percent milk\nPeanut butter\nPudding made with whole or 2 percent milk\n\n\n\n\nNutrition drinks, like Boost and Sustacal\nMaple syrup\nPie filling\n\n\n\n\n\nIf you don’t want to gain weight, you can make substitutions. To reduce calories and fat, try using light versions of these foods and 1 percent or fat-free milk. You can also try decreasing portion size.\nNote to people with diabetes: Some of the ingredients in these recipes contain sugary foods. When possible, we provide a substitution.\nIf there is no substitution available:\n\nUse the product sparingly (two to three times per week).\nAlways drink these recipes with a source of protein \u2014 such as meat, peanut butter and crackers, nuts, or legumes.\nYou may also choose to drink them along with a meal. Eating sugary foods alone may cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise too high, too quickly.\n\nNote to people with lactose intolerance: Some of these recipes contain milk or ice cream that may upset your stomach.\nBefore eating these foods try:\n\nReplacing regular milk with Lactaid milk.\nUsing the Lactaid pill (follow directions on the bottle).\n\nChocolate milk\nMix in a blender:\n\n\n\n\n\n1\/4 cup milk\n\n\n\n\n1\/2 cup chocolate pudding (prepared)\n\n\n\n\n\nPeople with diabetes: Use sugar-free pudding.\nChocolate, peanut butter, banana shake\nMix in a blender:\n\n\n\n\n\n1\/2 small banana\n1 tablespoon peanut butter\n3 tablespoons baby rice cereal\n\n\n\n\n1\/2 of an 8-ounce can of chocolate-flavored\nBoost or Sustacal\n\n\n\n\n\nPeople with diabetes: Replace Boost or Sustacal with sugar-free Carnation Instant Breakfast (CIB).\nMaple, pumpkin, cinnamon shake\nMix in a blender:\n\n\n\n\n\n1\/2 cup canned pumpkin pie filling\n4 tablespoons maple syrup\n1\/2 cup vanilla ice cream\n\n\n\n\n1\/2 teaspoon cinnamon\n1\/2 of an 8-ounce can of vanilla-flavored\nBoost or Sustacal\n\n\n\n\n\nPeople with diabetes: Replace Boost or Sustacal with sugar-free CIB, and use diet maple syrup.\nFruit juice (any flavor)\n\nAny flavor of strained fruit juice is already a nectar-thick consistency.\n\nMixed fruit juice\nMix in a blender:\n\n\n\n\n\n1\/2 banana\n1\/4 cup canned or fresh pineapple\n\n\n\n\n1\/4 cup fresh strawberries\n1\/2 cup pineapple juice\n\n\n\n\n\nPeople with diabetes: Use pineapple packed in juice or water.