The soft food diet consists of soft textured foods that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest. You may have to be on a soft food diet if you have undergone stomach, head, and neck surgery or have dental problems.
These foods are prepared by mincing, fine chopping, grinding, and mashing and are mostly low in fiber. In this article, you will know about foods to eat and avoid, yummy recipes, tips to prepare soft food, and a diet chart. Read on!
Soft Food Diet At A Glance
- What Is The Soft Food Diet?
- What To Eat On A Soft Food Diet
- Foods To Avoid
- Who Should Follow A Soft Food Diet?
- Best Tips For Preparing Soft Foods
- Yummy Soft Food Recipes
- How Long Should You Be On A Soft Food Diet?
What Is The Soft Food Diet?
The soft food diet is a short-term diet plan that gives the digestive system a bit of rest. The foods are generally low-fiber, soft, chopped, mashed, or blended so that there is no need for them to be chewed.
You may need to be on a soft food diet temporarily or permanently, depending on your medical condition. When you are on the soft food diet, you must be careful about what foods you eat. To know what you should eat and avoid, take a look at the following sections.
What To Eat On A Soft Food Diet
You must choose foods that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest. But they should also be nutrient-rich. Here’s a list of nutritious foods that you may include in your soft food diet:
- Well-cooked veggies without skin or seeds
- Mashed potato
- Boiled and mashed veggies
- Vegetable juice
- Strained fruit juice
- Canned and peeled fruits
- Poached or scrambled eggs
- Ground or finely chopped cooked meat and fish
- Canned fish
- Boiled and mashed lentils and beans
- Grated or finely chopped tofu
- White rice, mashed
- Egg noodles
- White bread, mashed or finely chopped
- Well-cooked pasta
- Porridge oats
- Milk and milkshakes
- Cottage cheese, mashed
- Ricotta cheese, mashed
- Crème fraîche
- Ice cream
- Custard with ground or finely chopped fruits
- Very, very, moist cake
- Vegetable or chicken stock
- Bone broth
- White sauce
- Cheese sauce
You have a lot of food options in this diet and will not be bored with the sameness. BUT be cautious with a few foods. Here’s a list of foods you must avoid.
Foods To Avoid
- Veggies that cannot be mashed easily like broccoli, carrot, celery, and cauliflower
- Fried potatoes
- Kale or beetroot chips
- Fruits, raw or cooked with the peel
- Pear and apple
- Dry fruits
- High-fiber fruits such as sapodilla
- Fibrous fruits such as mango
- Fatty and overcooked meat
- Fried meat or fish
- Processed meat like sausage, salami, and chorizo
- Beef jerky
- Hot dogs
- Peanut butter
- Cooked, whole lentils or beans
- Sourdough bread
- French bread
- Unsoftened cereals
- Toasts and crackers
- Ice cream and yogurt with nuts, coconut, fruits with skin, and granola
- Dry cakes
- Peanut butter cups
- Hot sauce
- BBQ sauce
You must avoid foods that can potentially irritate your stomach and/or are difficult to chew and swallow.
Specific health issues require the patients to be on a soft food diet. The next section will help you understand if a soft food diet is for you. Take a look.
Who Should Follow A Soft Food Diet?
Here’s when your doctor will recommend you to be on a soft food diet:
- Post Surgery
If you have recently undergone head, neck, or stomach surgery, your doctor will ask you to be on a soft food diet.
A few examples of these kinds of surgeries are bariatric surgery and gastrectomy.
- Dental Problems
Wisdom tooth extraction and loose dentures are very common. During this time, you must be on a soft food diet so that you do not have to make an effort to chew. The soft texture of foods will allow you to swallow the food directly.
This will also prevent the possibility of food getting stuck and infection.
- Difficulty Swallowing
In cases of difficulty in swallowing or dysphagia, doctors recommend consuming soft foods. The soft, liquidy texture of the food will allow you to consume it without putting too much stress on the muscles that aid swallowing.
- Cancer Treatment
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy mostly cause inflammation of the digestive tract. This condition is also known as mucositis, and patients are recommended to be on a soft diet during this time.
Now, the question is, how to prepare soft foods? Find out in the next section.
Best Tips For Preparing Soft Foods
- Wash and peel the veggies and fruits.
- Cut the foods (including meat, eggs, tofu, and cottage cheese) into small pieces.
- Cook the veggies, meat, fish, lentils, and beans until they are soft.
- Puree the foods using a blender.
- Pass the soup veggies through a sieve.
- Do not keep any lumps in mashed potato, veggies, or fruits.
- Cook egg scramble with butter or crème fraîche.
- To prepare sauces, add milk, cream, and/or melted cheese.
- Add stock to your food to moisten it.
- Moisten bread with milk or soup.
Now that you know which foods you can consume and how to cook them, let me give you a few quick soft food diet recipes to try. Scroll down.
Yummy Soft Food Recipes
1. Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
Prep Time – 5 mins; Cooking Time – 3 mins; Total Time – 8 mins; Serves – 1
- 1 ripe banana
- 3 tablespoons porridge oats
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 drop of vanilla essence
How To Prepare
- Blitz the oats in a dry blender jar.
- Add milk, banana, and vanilla essence.
- Blitz well (make sure that there are no banana lumps).
- Pour into a glass or bottle and drink up.
2. Mashed Potato
Prep Time – 15 mins; Cooking Time – 45 mins; Total Time – 60 mins; Serves – 2
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and halved
- 4 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons cottage cheese, pureed
- Salt to taste
How To Prepare
- Place the potato halves in a large soup pot containing water.
- Close the lid and let the potato boil and become soft.
- Take the potatoes out with a ladle or fork.
- Peel the potatoes and toss them into a large bowl.
- Use a masher to mash the potatoes well.
- You can also use the back of the fork to mash the potatoes.
- Add in the crème fraîche, pureed cottage cheese, unsalted butter, and salt.
- Combine well.
- You may add finely chopped herbs, but make sure they don’t irritate your stomach or make it difficult for you to swallow the food.
3. Blended Couscous Mushroom Chicken Soup
Prep Time – 15 mins; Cooking Time – 25 mins; Total Time – 40 mins; Serves – 4
- 200 g boneless chicken cubes
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- ½ cup button mushrooms, halved
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 inch ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons fresh cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
How To Prepare
- Add a tablespoon of stock to a soup pot.
- When it starts to sizzle, add garlic powder, grated ginger, and chopped onion.
- Cook until the onion becomes soft.
- Add the chicken and vegetable stocks, chicken cubes, couscous, and salt.
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium flame.
- Use a hand blender to blend the soup.
- Add fresh cream and butter before removing from the flame.
- Serve hot.
Now, the main question is, how long should you be on a soft food diet? Let’s find out!
How Long Should You Be On A Soft Food Diet?
You will be on a soft food diet as per your doctor’s recommendation. It is best to avoid eating anything solid that might aggravate the pain or inflammation. Yes, being on a soft food diet will be a tad boring, but you must design your meals in a way that there’s sufficient gap between two meals, and the foods that you consume are tasty.
When it comes to recovering from surgery, reducing inflammation of the stomach or GI tract, and dealing with the pain due to wisdom tooth extraction or loose dentures, a soft food diet is the best. It will help you get all the nutrients and accelerate your recovery. Make sure to go on this diet only if your doctor advises you to. Get well soon!
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