If MND causes difficulty with movement and mobility, this can affect mealtimes. If MND affects the way you swallow, you may find it harder to eat and drink.
If this happens, you are likely to lose weight, which can impact on your wellbeing. As social occasions often involve food and drink, swallowing difficulties can also affect how you feel with other people, but we have information to help.
Our guide: Eating and drinking with motor neurone disease (MND)
This full colour publication reads more like a cookery book than a guide.
“I think the tips given are very useful. The recipes are great and good for the family or carer to try too.” Carer, supporting a person with MND
Packed full of information, tips and easy-swallow recipes, it is designed to help you maintain the enjoyment of eating and drinking with MND, for as long as possible. The recipes include dishes from families affected by MND, professionals and celebrity chefs.
The guide has been endorsed by the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
Watch our video to see how the guide was developed and some cookery techniques in action.
If you have any concerns about your swallow, ask your GP to refer you to the following specialists for support:
a speech and language therapist (SLT) can assess your swallowing ability and help with swallowing techniques
a dietitian can advise on how to meet your nutritional needs and maintain your weight
an occupational therapist can help source equipment and aids to help you when eating and drinking.
We recommend assessment from a relevant health or social care professional before buying equipment or aids. Some items may be available free of charge or on loan from health and social care services.
If you need thickeners to change the consistency of food or drink, you may be able to get these on prescription. Ask your speech and language therapist for advice.
If you begin to experience any changes to the way you swallow, you may wish to find out more about different ways to get the food and fluids you need. See our page on tube feeding for details and our Information for download at the bottom of this page. Being fully informed can help you make timely decisions about treatments.
Information for download
The following publications may be useful:
Eating and drinking with motor neurone disease (MND)
Our guide to help people with MND adapt how they eat and drink, if needed. Including information, tips and easy-swallow recipes, this full colour ‘cookery book’ is about enjoyment and quality of life. (Code: LW004)
Section 9: Eating and drinking (186kb)
This is an extracted section from the Living with motor neurone disease guide. It is designed to help people living with MND adjust to any problems with eating and drinking.
Living with motor neurone disease (1188kb)
Our main guide for people with MND, providing an overview of the disease and how to manage its impact. This can be downloaded or ordered as a printed pack with additional items from our helpline, MND Connect. The guide has been developed to help people with MND achieve the best possible quality of life from diagnosis onwards. It includes top tips, directions to further information and details about accessing support services. (Code: LW002)
7B – Tube feeding
If you have swallowing difficulties, and find it more difficult to eat and drink, this sheet provides guidance on decision making about tube feeding . See the myTube website for further information, which explores tube feeding through video and information content (developed by SITraN – the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience).
11D – Managing fatigue
Weight loss can affect fatigue. This information sheet provides guidance on ways to reduce its impact.
What should you expect from your care? Our pocket sized booklet to support discussions with health and social care professionals. This may help lead to better outcomes for treatment and care with MND and contains the main points from the NICE guideline on motor neurone disease. NICE guidelines are produced by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, providing recommendations to help professionals support specific conditions, such as MND.