What To Eat With A Sore Throat And What Foods (And Drinks) To Avoid

11+ Things To Eat And Drink When You Have A Sore Throat (And 6 To Avoid)

March 12, 2021 Updated July 2, 2021

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No one likes having a sore throat, and as a mother, you especially hate seeing your little one sick. You know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. That raw and scratching feeling makes everything hard to manage, including eating and drinking, which, for obvious reasons, can be particularly difficult with a sore throat. Everything feels like you’re swallowing rocks if you’re not careful or aware of the right foods to consume. As a result, your kiddo might not want to eat anything at all.

RELATEDYes, Babies Can Get Cold Sores On Their Lips — Here’s What To Know

However, it’s imperative to continue eating with a sore throat to help fight off further illness and keep your little one satiated and hydrated. So what can your child eat with a sore throat? Thankfully, there is a slew of delicious and soft (!) foods that kids will not only enjoy but can also help treat their sore throat.

What to Eat With a Sore Throat

When it comes to eating with a sore throat, it’s crucial to eat soft and soothing foods that are easy to swallow. Warm foods can be particularly pleasing.

  • Warm, cooked food. From pasta to warm oatmeal to mashed potatoes, these are all good (and filling) options for a sore throat.
  • Cooked vegetables: Soft veggies like carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and broccoli are easy-on-the-throat and healthy to eat.
  • Yogurt and/or fruit or vegetable smoothies: These are packed with protein and nutrition and can be sipped through a straw to make it easier.
  • Chicken soup: This is a go-to for its inflammatory properties, although any broth and cream-based soups are a good idea.
  • Scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs: The soft texture makes these eggs easy to consume, and they’re also a great source of protein.
  • Bananas: A soft fruit that’s perfect for sore throat as it’s filling and nutritious.

Drinks for Sore Throat

Drinking the right fluids can help ease the scratchiness of a sore throat, too. Plus, they offer a much-needed boost of nutrients and/or antioxidants to speed up healing.

  • Warm water with lemon and honey: Warm (not hot) water is crucial to help quench thirst and stave off dehydration while soothing the throat. Adding a bit of honey can help speed up the recovery of a sore throat due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. A squeeze of lemon helps provide a dose of vitamin C to boost your immunity.
  • Pomegranate juice: Some studies have suggested pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation and fight off infection.
  • Ginger tea: A warm cup of tea is soothing to the throat, and ginger is gentle on a sore throat and can reduce congestion.
  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile is known to reduce inflammation while also helping with relaxation and sleep — the latter of which boosts your immune system. And you know what that means, right? A faster recovery!
  • Peppermint tea: Peppermint can help ease swelling and congestion.
  • Slippery elm tea: This tea is called slippery for a reason. When mixed with water, it turns into a gel-like substance which is great for soothing a sore throat. The gel coats your throat, which helps to protect it as well.
  • Licorice root tea: This tea works best when gargled. After it cools down, gargle it for 10 seconds before spitting it out. But before trying this remedy, run it by your doctor first.

DIY Methods to Get Rid Of Sore Throat

Sometimes the best way to get rid of a sore throat is by using old-fashioned remedies. Here are few DIY mixes you can gargle with to soothe your pipes.

  • Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and soothes a sore throat. It can also break down phlegm. Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water. Then add a teaspoon of salt.
  • Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey.
  • Crush two cloves of garlic and blend it with a cup of water. Garlic acts as an antibacterial and antiviral remedy.

What Not to Eat With a Sore Throat

Just as certain foods and drinks expedite recovery and reduce irritation, others can exacerbate the situation. So, when you have a sore throat, you should avoid:

  • Any citrus or acidic foods: Foods like oranges, lemons, lime, tomatoes, and grapefruits can irritate and worsen a sore throat.
  • Crunchy foods: Any crunchy or coarse foods like crackers, chips, granola, or even dry toast can scratch and worsen your already raw throat.
  • Spicy foods: Spicy foods that contain hot sauce, chili powder, curry, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves can aggravate your sore throat.
  • Fatty foods: Some studies show that consuming high-fat foods, like anything deep-fried or processed, can weaken your immune system. Instead, focus on soft and full-fat foods like avocados and eggs.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol and mouthwashes that contain alcohol can sting a sore throat. Additionally, alcohol can be dehydrating, which isn’t good for your sore throat.
  • Tobacco: Smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke will only aggravate your sore throat.

Foods That Cause Phlegm

With a dry cough, foods like yogurt, and ice cream can soothe your sore throat. However, if your throat’s irritated because of a phlegm-filled cold, avoid these foods that cause mucus build-up:

  • Red meat
  • All dairy products (ice cream, cheese, milk, etc.)
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Corn and corn products
  • Soy products
  • Candy
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

What to Eat With Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. While different from the common cold (a virus), the symptoms and soreness are similar to a sore throat from a cold — which is why the foods and drinks mentioned above would be just as effective for treating strep throat. And remember the foods and drinks you should avoid consuming when you have a sore throat? Avoid those with strep throat, too.

Ice Cream and Sore Throats

Last but not least: Ice cream. Who hasn’t heard the age-old home remedy that ice cream can heal a sore throat? It’s essentially the only reason why anyone would welcome a sore throat: The excuse to eat dessert all day. But is ice cream really good for a sore throat? Good news! Yes, eating ice cream is soothing for a sore throat.

However, while its creamy and cold texture will alleviate your pain, ice cream will not help cure you. Since it’s devoid of any nutritional value (sorry), it’s best to supplement the occasional treat of ice cream (or popsicle) with healthy and nutritious foods like the ones mentioned above. And, of course, if you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan, choose the appropriate ice cream that’s best for your palate. And get well soon!

How Long do Sore Throats Last

Usually, a sore throat should last no more than three to 10 days. However, if you find your achy esophagus has lasted for weeks, it could be something more serious. You may have an infection or tonsillitis which is caused by a bacterial infection or virus. If you suspect this is the case, see your doctor. They usually prescribe antibiotics like penicillin.