Foods that help soothe a sore throat

Updated February 21, 2017

When your throat is painful and aching, eating and drinking is painful. However, eating correctly will provide you with energy, help you avoid dehydration and decrease your healing time. A sore throat may be caused by tonsillitis, strep throat or even the common cold. The condition is referred to as pharyngitis, because the pharynx located in the back of the throat is infected or inflamed. A sore throat is very common and rarely serious. According to the National Health Service, most cases clear within three to seven days, with no medical treatment besides over-the-counter pain relievers. A minority of cases may require antibiotic therapy.


Drinking liquids throughout the day will soothe a sore throat. Choose liquids that are cold or warm. Avoid hot beverages, which may cause further throat irritation. Warm water with honey and lemon as well as warm teas and juices may relieve your sore throat. Avoid extremely acidic beverages such as lemonade, citrus drinks or even acidic soft drinks. Take small sips instead of drinking large amounts all at once. Sucking on ice chips and iced lollipops are an additional way to numb your irritated throat and provide hydration as well as pain relief. Warm chicken or vegetable broth is also an alternative.

Creamy foods

Eating hard, crunchy foods when you have a sore throat is not comfortable. During the most painful stage of your condition, opt for smooth, creamy foods. Ice cream, sorbet, custard and jelly are ideal. However, do not rely on these foods too long, as they provide a small amount of calories and nutrients. Pureeing foods in a blender can make them easy to swallow. Ideal foods to puree include bananas, apples and plums.

Soft foods

Avoid hard foods such biscuits and crackers, which may scratch the back of your irritated throat. Instead, switch to pasta, beans, mashed sweet potatoes or baked apples for additional flavour and nutrition. Scrambled eggs, soft bread and soft breakfast cereals are ideal for a morning meal. Remember to eat foods at room temperature or slightly warm. Avoid spicy or seasoned foods until your throat heals.

Additional suggestions

Gargling with salt water throughout the day is an old remedy to relieve throat pain. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt to a warm glass of water, rinse your throat, spit and repeat. Small children should not use this method, however, as they are unable to spit out the solution safely. Use a humidifier next to your bed at night for extra moisture to soothe a dry throat. Visit a doctor if your sore throat is extremely painful and accompanied by additional symptoms such as fever and chills.

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About the Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.