When it is not the season, yet your child starts coughing up phlegm after eating every meal right there on the dinner table is something that needs to be looked at. Think about it, does the mystery cough come occasionally or after every single meal?

Usually, coughing is an indicator of an underlying condition. The best way to deal with this issue is to address the cause. Let’s have a look at a few possible reasons for thick phlegm production in general and after eating.

Difference Between Coughing Fits and Chronic Cough

It is pretty common when the child has hasty eating habits. More often than not, food enters the wrong pipe, which leaves them coughing up food and phlegm after eating. This type of cough occurs immediately after eating and is categorized as a fit. It does not happen often and stops when the throat clears.

Having food or water in the wrong way every now and then is something that needs correction. Getting rid of the stimulus is important.

If your child faces this issue only after eating and not anytime the rest of the day, then it may be their body’s way of clearing throat mucus after eating.

Common Reasons for Excessive Phlegm Production after Eating

Some of the very common reasons for this issue are:

Infections of the Upper Respiratory Tract

Coughing is a very common symptom of a respiratory tract infection due to post nasal drip and chest congestion. Certain food serves as a trigger to develop mucus or phlegm, causing cough to clear pathways after eating.


This condition affects the lungs and presents with symptoms like wheezing, chest tightening, and coughing. Some people have the risk of having an attack after eating some triggering foods such as sulfites present in onion, beer, etc.

Food Allergies

Usually, reactions from food happen after two hours of eating. Reactions can range from mild to severe, from coughing phlegm after eating to anaphylactic shock.

Acid Reflux

Stomach acids move up the esophagus in this condition, causing irritation and cough. Other signs that indicate acid reflux is heartburn, sore throat, etc.


It is more like a much severe version of acid reflux. A GERD patient has a chronic cough and spits phlegm after eating every time.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Abbreviated as LPR, a condition in which the acids move high enough to reach the nose or larynx. Your child might need to clear the throat often with LPR.


Mostly, dysphagia is connected to other conditions that affect swallowing. It takes effort for the body to move food around, activating the gag reflex.

Diet Changes To avoid coughing

  • Avoid phlegm causing food items – some children are allergic to dairy. After having cheese, milk, or such material, those individuals have mucus production causing cough.
  • Spicy food – spice aggravates acid reflux and may trigger an adverse response in GERD patients. Avoiding spices and peppers can help a lot in such conditions.
  • Citrus food – citrus foods tickle the throat during ingestion, leading to phlegm production and coughing after eating it. Excluding this category from the diet can help.


In case of any emergency or in situations when cough gets worse, reach out for the best pediatrician in all of Houston from Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest Houston PA. Feel free to contact us if you are looking for a good pediatrician in Conroe, Tomball, Louetta, Cyfair etc. Call now at 936 539 8190 or 281 655 1500

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