Soft Food Diet Menu Options

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What is a soft diet?

A soft diet is made up of foods that are soft and easy to chew and swallow. These foods may be chopped, ground, mashed, pureed, and moist. You may need to follow this diet if you have had certain types of surgery, such as head, neck, or stomach surgery. You may also need to follow this diet if you have problems with your teeth or mouth that make it hard for you to chew or swallow food. Your dietitian will tell you how to follow this diet and what consistency of liquids you may have.

How do I prepare soft food?

  • Cut food into small pieces that are ½ inch or smaller in size because they are easier to swallow.
  • Use chicken broth, beef broth, gravy, or sauces to cook or moisten meats and vegetables. Cook vegetables until they are soft enough to be mashed with a fork.
  • Use a food processor to grind or puree foods to make them easier to chew and swallow.
  • Use fruit juice to blend fruit.
  • Strain soups that have pieces of meat or vegetables that are larger than ½ inch.

Which foods should I include?

  • Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta:
    • Breads, muffins, pancakes, or waffles moistened with syrup, jelly, margarine or butter
    • Moist dry or cooked cereal
    • Macaroni, pasta, noodles, or rice
    • Saltine crackers moistened in soup or other liquid
  • Fruits and vegetables:
    • Applesauce or canned fruit without seeds or skin
    • Cooked fruits or ripe, soft peeled fruits, such as bananas, peaches, or melon
    • Soft, well-cooked vegetables without seeds or skin
  • Meat and other protein sources:
    • Poached, scrambled, or cooked eggs
    • Moist, tender meat, fish, or poultry that is ground or chopped into small pieces
    • Soups with small soft pieces of vegetables and meat
    • Tofu or well-cooked, slightly mashed, moist legumes, such as baked beans
  • Dairy:
    • Cheese (in sauces or melted in other dishes), cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese
    • Milk or milk drinks, milkshakes
    • Ice cream, sherbet, or frozen yogurt without fruit or nuts
    • Yogurt (plain or with soft fruits)
  • Desserts:
    • Gelatin dessert with soft canned fruit, pudding, or custard
    • Fruit cobbler with soft breading or crumb mixture (no seeds or nuts), or fruit pie with soft bottom crust only
    • Soft, moist cake or cookie that has been moistened in milk, coffee, or other liquid

Which foods should I avoid?

Avoid any foods that are hard for you to chew or swallow, such as the following:

  • Starches:
    • Dry bread, toast, crackers, and cereal
    • Cereal, cake, and breads with coconut, dried fruit, nuts, and other seeds
    • Corn, potato, and tortilla chips and taco shells
    • Breads with tough crusts, such as bagels, French bread, and sourdough bread
    • Popcorn
  • Vegetables:
    • Corn and peas
    • Raw, hard vegetables that cannot be mashed easily, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery
    • Crisp fried vegetables, such as potatoes
  • Fruits:
    • Raw, crisp fruits, such as apples and pears and dried fruit
    • Stringy fruits, such as pineapple and mango
    • Cooked fruit with skin and seeds
  • Dairy, meats, and protein foods:
    • Yogurt or ice cream with coconut, nuts, and granola
    • Dry meats (beef jerky) and tough meats (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and bratwurst)
    • Casseroles with large chunks of meat
    • Peanut butter (creamy and crunchy)

Care Agreement

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

A soft diet is usually recommended by doctors after certain medical procedures such as gastric bypass, mouth surgery or other dental procedures or even as preparation for certain medical tests. Keep in mind that the foods in a soft diet menu are not the same as the ones in a bland diet menu. A soft food diet is basically a diet that contains foods that have been softened by chopping, cooking or mashing and are easy to eat and swallow. Soft textured foods are included in this diet as well. Examples of such foods are soft breads, muffins, dairy products, scrambled and soft boiled eggs, tomatoes, bananas and so on.

Soft diet recipes

Soft food diets are also recommended for old people because as one grows old it becomes more difficult to eat whole, hard food. There are many soft diet recipes that one can give elderly people. Once such recipe is rice pudding, details of which are given below:-

½ cup well cooked rice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

Add the egg, cornstarch and beaten sugar to a saucepan blend until smooth. Gradually add in the milk, stirring all the while and then add in rice. Mix this well. Cook this mixture over a medium heat, stirring constantly, till it comes to a boil. Remove from heat then and add the vanilla. Let it cool and then sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top before serving.

Mechanical soft diet recipes are those recipes that involve using a blender or a knife to make the foods soft and easier to swallow.

Soft diet food list

The mechanical soft diet is usually recommended for patients who are recovering from mouth, neck or head surgery, those who are too ill or weak to chew, those who have dysphagia or those who have a narrowing of the esophagus. A mechanical soft diet food list comprises of the foods given below:

• Canned milk shakes

• Fruits like banana

• Dairy products such as cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream and milk

• Soft scrambled eggs

• Ground meat or pureed meat

Soft diet after oral surgery:

A soft diet is often recommended after oral surgery as this kind of diet involves soft foods and liquids which are easy to swallow. Such a diet does not cause any strain on the wound and healing takes place even more quickly. A soft diet after oral surgery should include foods that are soft in texture and can be swallowed with minimal force being applied to the teeth or jaws. Soft foods do not damage the stitches either. Here are some options for foods after oral surgery.

• Broiled or stewed chicken

A soft diet after surgery is recommended as this eliminates certain foods which are difficult to digest and chew. Patients who have undergone neck or head surgery, intestinal surgery or even those who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation benefit from a soft diet. Foods that should be avoided on this soft diet include gas forming foods such as cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts and so on. Spicy or acidic foods like chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, barbecue seasoning, and orange juice are not advisable either. Fried greasy foods should be avoided especially fried chicken, French fries and so on. Soft fish or stewed meats are better options in this case. Soft cooked fruits and vegetables are good too.

Foods that are easy to chew and swallow are included in the soft diet food list. Such foods should not be high in fiber content and also not gas inducing. Keep in mind that this soft food diet list will vary depending on the reason for the soft food diet. A person who has just had oral surgery will have certain foods in his diet than a person who has had a gastric bypass. Some basic guidelines to keep in mind are:--

Fruits: All fruits that contain seeds and skin should be avoided. Pureed berries, bananas and applesauce are acceptable.

Vegetables: Raw vegetables are taboo as are gas forming ones as mentioned above.

Grains: include cooked cereals

Breads: - soft breads without crusts.

Meat: should be stewed, broiled or ground

Soft foods are those foods which are easy to chew and swallow. However, this does not mean that you have to compromise on flavor while on this diet. One example of a soft diet menu plan is:-

Spinach and cheese quiche or a soup and salad combination.

Vegetable soup with peas, carrots and broccoli.

Baked scallops in butter

Gravy mashed potatoes

Mousse, ice cream or custards.

Soft diet for diverticulitis:

Diverticula refers to bulging pouches in the lining of the digestive tract. It is a common condition and many people have this in the large intestine. This condition is most common in people over 60 when the colon and the intestines weaken. Symptoms include fever, stomach pain, constipation, bleeding, vomiting and bloating. Treatment for diverticulitis includes treatment and a soft food diet which then progresses to a fiber rich diet later on. This kind of soft diet for diverticulitis includes eating foods that are first chopped, ground, blended, mashed or pureed. Such foods should always be moist and easy to chew and swallow.

A mechanical soft diet is one that involves hard food that has been put through a food processor or chopped or ground to make it soft and easy to diet. A mechanical soft diet food list would consist of the following foods:-

Custards and puddings

Canned fruit and fruit juices

Soft cheeses like cottage and ricotta

Cooked dry beans and peas

Ready to eat cereals that have been softened in milk

Foods that should be avoided are hard and thick breads, tough meats, dried fruit, raw fruit and vegetables, fruits with skin or seeds and foods that have nuts or seeds.

Soft Food Diet After Surgery: Soft Food Recipes And Menu Options

After a successful surgery, doctors often recommend switching over to soft food diet from a liquid diet. One reason is that, soft food diet is easily digested in the intestine while the patient is still recuperating. Secondly, soft food diet does not harm the recently sutured wound of mouth and abdomen surgery. The diet is suggested especially when the surgery involves your jaw, gastrointestinal tract and other organs of abdomen.

Soft diet is always preferred in any digestion related problems. Soft foods are those that can be swallowed easily without chewing. The diet consists of foods that can be well cooked, easily mashed, blended or pureed.

Soft Foods Diet To Eat After Surgery

Food is necessary to regain strength from the stressful surgery one has undergone. If you have been advised to eat soft food diet it is healthy for you, as your body requires a healing period. Surgery of any body organ involves lots of cuts and injuries to the tissue, it takes time to heal. If you eat solid food after an oral surgery or tooth extraction, it may damage the sutured tissue causing bleeding and pain. Eating soft food during this period allows an uneventful healing.

Soft food diet is also easier to eat when your mouth, throat, esophagus is sore after radiation or chemotherapy procedures. Puddings, sherbets, soft eggs, overcooked pastas, buttermilk, yogurt, chives, variety of clear soups such as vegetable soup, tomato soup, oatmeal, baked potato, gelatin, thickened broths, mashed rice are some of the soft foods that are easy to digest and also have less of fat. Fat food items should be avoided as it may cause bloating and gases.

Soft Food Recipes And Menu Options

Here are some of the soft food recipes that are useful after surgery:

Breakfast: Breakfast needs to be healthy and sufficient to keep your strength till your lunch time. In breakfast you can have cup full of yogurt, flavored or non- flavored as per your choice. Milk, soft eggs and gelatin is a good breakfast diet. Pancake with honey, or white bread with cream cheese is also good soft food breakfast recipe after surgery.

Lunch: Tomato soup, chicken, sweet corn, vegetable soups, can be taken as a starter. Pureed vegetable gravy along with soft rice forms a good menu for lunch. You can also include baked potato and over cooked pastas as they are soft and they are easily digested by the body. This diet is generally advised after gastric bypass surgery. In case of meat it should be tender and baked, broiled or stewed but not fried.

Dinner: Vegetable soups and broths, mashed rice and pureed tomato gravy, or any vegetable gravy with mashed potatoes or baked potatoes. Plain meatless stews together with boiled and mashed vegetables are also allowed in soft diet menu.

Desserts: Ice creams, milk shakes, sherbets, custards, milkshakes. Blended fruit smoothie is very good source of vitamin. It can be added to a protein shake for extra nutritional benefit. You can also drink a glass of fruit juice such as watermelon juice or sweet lime juice.

This soft food diet can be consumed after any surgery and in particular after oral or gastrointestinal surgery.

6:17 pm Updated by

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