Loading... Please wait...

Eating with a Trach Tube

Tips for Eating and Swallowing

  • Follow all instructions provided by your doctor or speech therapist
  • Keep mealtimes relaxed
  • Sit up straight
  • Take small bites, less than 1 tsp per bit
  • Chew well and swallow before taking another bit
  • If you have a cuffed trach tube, ask your doctor if you can deflate it.
  • If you have a speaking valve, use it while you eat since it will make it easier to swallow.
  • Suction the trach tube before eating. That will keep you from coughing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. They help keep your mucus this and prevent build up.
  • Be aware that your sense of smell may be affected since you are not breathing through our nose and this may affect the taste of foods.

Eat slowly and chew well

When to get help

  • If you aspirate food (breathe it into your airway), stay calm. Try to suction the food out through your trach tube. If you can’t remove the food, call 911 right away
  • Difficulty or refusing to eat
  • Over-reaction or no reaction to food in the mouth
  • Choking and coughing while eating or drinking
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Excessive drooling
  • Evidence of food in tracheostomy secretions
  • Large amounts of watery secretions from trach
  • Congested lung sounds