A soft diet
is recommended in many situations, including some types of dysphagia
(difficulty swallowing), surgery involving the jaw, mouth or gastrointestinal tract
, and pain from newly adjusted dental braces
A soft diet can include many foods if they are mashed or pureed, covered or placed with in sauces or gravy, or placed in soups, stews, chili, curries.
In some situations, there are additional restrictions. For example, patients who need to avoid excessive reflux, such as those recovering from esophageal surgery for achalasia, are also instructed to stay away from foods that can aggravate reflux, which include ketchup and other tomato products, citrus fruits, chocolate, mint, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine.
Many of the foods listed here can be adapted for a "full liquid" diet (not a "clear liquid" diet) by processing in a blender with an appropriate thinning liquid, such as a vegetable or meat broth, fruit or vegetable juice, or milk.
- Cooked Hot cereals: oatmeal, porridge, Weetabix/Farina/Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice.
- Breakfast Cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Corn_Pops, Corn Chex, Rice Krispies), softened/soggy in milk.
- Macaroni & Cheese (cooked soft, pureed in blender if needed.)
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Pasta cooked soft
- Rice and gravy (cooked soft)
- baked potatoes (skinless) with sour cream or cream cheese
- Lasagna, chopped up with extra sauce over top.
- Asian fried rice or noodles with tiny bits of meat and soft veggies.
- Potato Salad, smooshed.
- muffin, pancake, or waffle. (if needed soften with syrup/butter and reheat.)
Fruits and vegetables
Tips to increase calories
- If you cannot face large meals, try to have 3-4 smaller meals daily with nourishing drinks or enriched soups in between.
- Use cream or whole milk.
- Add 4 tablespoons of powdered milk to 1 pint of whole milk.
- Drinking Milk, add Ovaltine, Chocolate, Protein Powder or Powdered Milk.
- Add grated cheese, butter, margarine, olive oil or mayonnaise to vegetables, potatoes or scrambled eggs.
- Choose full fat or whole milk varieties of yogurt such as thick and creamy or Greek style.
- Add cream to puddings, drinks or soup.
- Add sugar, honey, syrup and seedless jam to cereals, drinks or puddings.
- Add sauce topping and/or Whipped cream to Ice cream.
- Soft canned fruit e.g. peaches, pears, mandarins served with evaporated milk or custard.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil, powdered milk, protein powder, or pasteurized egg whites to milkshakes or fruit smoothies.