I have mastered the soft food diet thanks to being on a soft food diet after oral surgery and helping my kids with their soft food diets after surgery. Cleft Lip and Palate Repair, Tonsils and Adenoid Surgery, Dental Implants, Braces, and basic dental work have kept me adding to my long list of foods I can add to the Soft Food List.
There are obviously different tweaks that need to be made to adjust to your particular reason for being restricted to soft food, but for the most part, it’s pretty easy to follow and doesn’t have to be as boring as most people think should be. To date, I have never pureed a meal, so if you’re worried about that, keep reading!
When my son had surgery on his palate (he was born with cleft lip and palate so we’ve had a few surgeries to correct this), his diet was severely restricted for over 2 months.
In the beginning, his diet was very strict and consisted of:
- Ice cream
- Apple Sauce
Eventually we were allowed to increase it to:
- Mashed potatoes with gravy
- Soup with rice (not noodles! and you have to pick the meat out)
- French Toast
Now that a couple of days (or weeks, due to whatever your reason for this diet is) have passed and your mouth has started to heal, you get to level up your soft food diet. Texture can get a bit denser and you can add some more flavour to your food. If you had dental work done, this is usually where you would be 24 hours after the surgery.
Quick Tip: Before surgeries, I typically premake these items so my life is easier.
You will need to cook your pasta a bit longer than el dente, and I wouldn’t get crazy with adding meatballs yet, but pasta noodles with some meat sauce is definitely a nice change at this point. If you had surgery in your mouth though (like cleft lip and palate) I wouldn’t recommend this yet. Tomato sauce is super acidic and could hurt you if you still have stitches. An alfredo sauce though would be okay and mac and cheese is always a good idea!
Oh, potatoes!!! How I love them! They fill you up and there are so many things you can do with them. Mashed Potatoes with gravy, scallop potatoes, hash brown bake, mashed potato casseroles, twice-baked potatoes…. so many choices! My son lived off mashed potatoes and clubhouse gravy for weeks as he was craving meat so bad and this was the closest thing I could get to meat for him at the stage he was in.
Soups are another favourite of mine! Potato bacon soup, hearty minestrone soup, vegetable, chicken noodle, chicken and rice, cream of broccoli, creamy chicken…. Also, chicken stew, beef stew (cut up properly), and chilli are amazing assets to starve off hunger.
I usually pick up a bunch of cans from the store, and then when I’m feeling up to it, I make some soup in the slow cooker.
There are so many amazing casserole recipes out there and I am HERE for them when I’m upgrading myself to normal food. Shephard’s pie is my absolute go-to! Hamburger helper casseroles, chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, and beef enchiladas are all okay in the soft food diet. As long as it’s not crunchy, you can usually incorporate it.
Most seafood you can eat on a soft food diet. Salmon, tuna, haddock, lobster, crab, etc are all soft. Pair it with rice and you’re golden!!! Even fish and chips (As long as the fries aren’t crisp) are soft and you can have them.
Muffins, Banana Bread, soft cookies, etc. are all good options to keep your tastebuds happy!
Eating Out On a Soft Food Diet
This scared me so bad until I realized everything I have been eating at home, I can eat at a restaurant. Order soup or a pasta dish. If they have a casserole you can eat then order that! Don’t allow the fact you have a restriction to be the reason you don’t go out and enjoy a meal. There’s something on that menu that you can enjoy, If you’re going for apps you can order the Mozza sticks instead of the nachos or the spinach dip with pita bread instead of chips. This is honestly not as stressful as you’re original response believed it to be.
Most people lose weight when they have to go on a soft food diet, My family and I gain weight! I refuse to suffer in pain while being hungry. Give me all the starches, baked goods, and cheesy delights! I deserve them while laying in bed watching Netflix and suffering in pain!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional in any capacity. I am also not a dietician. These are simply my observations and ideas I’ve accumulated over the multiple surgeries and dental work procedures I’ve nursed my family back from or endured myself. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a medical professional.
If you have any soft food diet ideas, tips, or even recipes I would love to hear about them in the comment section!
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