Foods for Sore Mouth and Sore Throat

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

A sore mouth and throat may be caused by radiation therapy, certain medications, chemotherapy and/or infections. Eating can be made easier by taking care of your mouth and carefully choosing the foods that you eat.

General Mouth Care

  • Make sure your doctor is aware of any mouth problems you may be experiencing. Your doctor or nurse will be able to give you tips about mouth care and mediations that will ease mouth or throat pain.
  • Rinse your mouth with baking soda and water mouthwash often during the day to help clean and refresh your mouth. See below for the recipe.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of fluids daily to avoid dehydration.
  • Make every bite count. Choose foods and drinks that are high in calories and protein.
  • Eat and drink frequently during the day. Try eating every two hours and sipping fluids throughout the day.
  • Choose foods that are easy for you to chew and swallow. Start with high calorie fluids if chewing is difficult for you. Gradually introduce solid foods as you are able.
Baking Soda and Water Mouthwash

 5 ml

Baking Soda

1 tsp

500 ml


2 cups

Combine baking soda and water and mix well.
Table 1. Homemade Mouthwash Recipe

Food Swaps When You Have a Sore Mouth/Throat

Foods that may be hard to chew or swallow

Foods that are easier to chew and swallow
Rough or Crunchy Foods:
  • dry cereals
  • dry toast, popcorn, nuts, plain rice
  • fried foods
  • raw vegetables
    and hard fruits
  • cooked warm porridge or oatmeal, or dry cereals well-soaked in milk
  • pancakes, french toast, pasta
  • foods cooked or simmered in
    sauces or liquids
  • soft fruits, mashed or cut up such as bananas, canned peaches, pears and fruit cocktail
  • baby foods e.g. vegetables and fruits
  • add butter, margarine or sauces to vegetables
 Dry Foods:
  • baked or fried meats, chicken
    or fish
  • cookies, crackers, bread and
  • dry cakes
  • foods cooked or simmered in liquids (e.g. stews with ground or finely chopped meats, hearty soups)
  • soft casseroles egg macaroni and cheese, egg dishes
  • meats that have been chopped,
    ground or blenderized
  • meats served with gravy, sauces
    or soups
  • baby foods e.g. meats
  • cookies dipped in drinks
  • crackers or bread soaked in
  • add butter, mayonnaise
    or salad dressing to moisten foods
  • pour cream or custard sauce
    over cakes
  • puddings, jello, custards
  • beer, wine, hard liquor
  • milk, homemade milkshakes, and nutritional drink supplements
  • juices (except orange, grapefruit
    and lemonade), fruit nectars
  • add water or milk to drinks if you find them too strong
Tart or Acidic Foods:
  • foods made with citrus fruits
    such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons
  • foods made with tomatoes( e.g.
    juices and sauces)
  • canned peaches, pears, fruit
    cocktail, applesauce, fruit flavoured drinks or
  • sauces made with milk, cream
    or melted cheese
Foods that are too Hot or too Cold:
  • very hot beverages or soups
  • very cold beverages or foods
  •  warm beverages or soups
    (let hot foods cool off to a temperature that is best for you)
  • puddings, milkshakes or melted
    ice cream
Highly Seasoned Foods:
  • pepper, curry, chili seasoned dishes, or salty snack foods
  • garlic, onion or herb seasonings, cream or cheese sauces
Table 2. Food Suggestions and Swaps For Sore Mouth or Throat


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