Foods easy to chew and swallow come under the soft diet food list. They are mostly eaten by people who have had oral surgeries or gastritis, who are unable to chew hard foods and digest heavy food.
Soft foods as the name suggests are foods that are soft in texture, making them easy to chew and swallow. Besides being soft in texture, the soft food umbrella also entails foods that are not high in fiber content and also those that conduce to gas. Mostly people with chewing and swallowing problems or those who have just undergone a surgery will need to be on a soft food diet. Let’s have a look at the soft diet food list to get a greater understanding of which are the foods that come under this soft food category.
A List of Soft Foods
The soft diet food list will vary slightly depending on the reason for resorting to the same. For example, if a person has just had an oral surgery, he or she cannot chew and swallow hard foods. However, he can very well digest all foods. Thus, pureed and mashed foods come in his list of soft foods after tooth extraction. On the other hand, for a person who has just had a gastritis bypass, the kinds of foods his or her stomach can tolerate will be different. The gradual progression from a completely pure liquid diet to a soft food diet and then to a general diet is to be made. Fried foods and spicy or highly seasoned foods are also not good for post-operative or immobile patients. Moreover, most raw foods, breads and cereals are eliminated from their diet as well. Thus, depending on one’s condition the list will vary.
All fruits containing skin and seed should be avoided. The fruits one is permitted to have are:
- Apple sauce
- Pureed berries (de-seeded, de-skinned and pureed)
There are only some vegetables that are permitted to be eaten, as vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, pinto beans, onions, etc. are gas forming vegetables. Moreover, eating raw vegetables is forbidden. The vegetables one is permitted to have are:
- Skinned tomatoes
- Skinned and mashed potatoes
- Mashed pumpkin
- Baked beans
- Soft breads without crust
- French toast without crust
The best way to consume breads would be by soaking them in milk or juice. Plain, soft bread (excluding bread edges) soaked in sweetened milk will make a good soft food. You can also soak pancakes in apple juice or any other fruit juice of one’s choice. Less viscous custard can also be used to soak the bread and pancakes.
In the grain category, cooked cereals are soft and easy to chew and swallow. The cooked grains one is permitted to have are:
- Cream of wheat
- Cooked pasta
- Smooth peanut butter
- Rice cooked in milk
- Rice balls
- Rice pancakes
Meat and Eggs
- Ground meat
- Tender cooked beef, lamb or veal
- Tender cooked liver
- Cooked tuna, salmon or white fish without bones
- Broiled or stewed turkey or chicken
- Soft boiled or scrambled eggs
- Yogurt (Plain or flavored)
- Cottage cheese
- Mild cheeses
- Cream cheese
- Herbal tea
- Strained lemonade
- Chocolate milk
- Fruit juices
- Vegetable juices
- Soups (creamed soups)
People recovering from gastritis should drink only caffeine-free drinks and should also have low acid juices such as apple, grape or pear juice. Carbonated drinks and alcohol are strictly not to be consumed after any surgery. No matter which drink you consume, never use a straw to suck the drink if you have just undergone a tooth surgery. This is because the force can dislodge blood clots, thereby causing dry socket.
Desserts with coconut and nuts should be avoided. The desserts one is permitted to have are:
- Gelatin desserts
- Homemade trifle
- Fruit mousse
- Cream pies
If you have just undergone a tooth extraction, it’s best to have egg pudding, which is extremely soft. Bread pudding is comparatively chewier and can be had by those who haven’t undergone any kind of surgery in the mouth. However, ensure the bread pudding doesn’t have dry fruits added to it. Mousse is soft enough to be consumed, nevertheless, people who have undergone tooth surgery must stay away from mousse (especially chocolate mousse), because it is quite sticky and can conduce to further problems.
While considering soft foods, always remember one is to consume a high protein diet rather than consume foods high in fiber, fat, carbohydrates, etc. To make the foods in list mentioned above soft, one can grind, blend or puree them. Avoiding highly seasoned or spicy food is recommended. Nuts, pickles, olives or dried fruits should also be avoided. Strong spices, mustard and horseradish must also be avoided. Mild spices, salt, pepper and herbs are allowed. Moreover, try not to eat three large meals in a day, but divide the meals into smaller portion six times a day. Chewing the food slowly and thoroughly is also important.
Soft diet food list basically entails those food items that can be easily cut, mashed, chewed and swallowed. Depending on the tolerance and taste preferences of the patient, the list of soft foods allowed after surgery should be formulated.