According to Mayo Clinic, stools can be softened by a person eating high-fiber foods like fruits, oats, bran and vegetables. Eating whole-grain cereal and drinking additional fluids can also help to soften stools.
WebMD explains that additional foods that work to soften stools include whole-grain breads that contain at least 3.5 grams of fiber per slice, beans, lentils and popcorn. Yogurt that contains probiotics helps to balance the digestive system and promote healthy bowel movements. Over-the-counter stool softeners are helpful in relieving moderate constipation, but it is important to take the medication until there is at least one normal bowel movement to ensure that symptoms do not return.