A soft food diet may be recommended by your doctor if you have swallowing difficulties, or if you’ve had surgery of the jaw, mouth or gastrointestinal tract.
While it can be difficult, especially in the early days, your soft food diet doesn’t have to be boring.
Thankfully, it’s much more than just soup and jelly!
Variety in a soft food diet
It is however, important to make sure your diet has lots of variety, as this will help you get all the nutrients you need for good quality of life.
Try to base your daily meals around the food groups:
- At least 5 servings of soft fruit and well cooked vegetables.
- 2 servings of tender meat, poultry or fish (take care with bones), eggs, peas, beans, or lentils.
- 2 servings of milk and dairy foods — calcium fortified soy or rice milk can be included here if you prefer.
- Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, or potato should be included at each meal.
- Have small amounts of foods containing fat and/or sugar.
- Drink around 8 to 10 cups of fluid per day — water, tea, coffee, juice, or milk.
Soft Food Diet Menu Ideas
- Porridge or other cereals (without nuts or dried fruit) and milk
- Scrambled egg
- Baked beans
- Stewed fruit with natural yoghurt
- Coffee or hot chocolate made with milk
- Fruit juice
- Casseroles and stews made with lean meats, which are cooked until tender
- Soups made with lots of veggies and legumes, pureed with a swirl of cream before serving
- Shepherds or cottage pie with gravy
- Moussaka or lasagne served with extra sauce or gravy
- Fish pie with potato topping, or baked fish with sauce or gravy
- Cheese omelette or cauliflower cheese
- Egg or tuna mayonnaise
- Pasta dishes made with small pasta shapes (or noodles) and plenty of sauce
- Lentils made into dahl
- Dips such as hummus, guacamole, and cream cheese
- Mashed potato — sweet potatoes are slightly more nutritious
- Mashed vegetables — carrots, turnip or other root vegetables
- Broccoli or cauliflower florets cooked until soft — these could also be mashed into potatoes
- Milky puddings — rice, semolina or tapioca
- Crème caramel or egg custard
- Natural or Greek yoghurt
- Fruit mousse
- Milk jelly or blancmange
- Bread and butter pudding
- Home made trifle
- Pureed or stewed fruit with Greek yoghurt
- Mashed fruit with ice cream, custard or evaporated milk
- Ice cream or fruit sorbet
- Coffee, malt drinks, or hot chocolate made with milk
- Milk shakes, fruit smoothies or drinking yoghurts
- Nutritional supplements — ask your doctor or dietitian about these
Soft Food Diet: Putting it all into Practice
One of the most important things to remember is to eat small meals, regularly.
This way, you will be getting more nutrients into your body, and it will be in volumes which you can tolerate.
It’s completely fine to have 5 or 6 small meals per day, if that suits you. Just try to make sure they are healthy and nutritious most of the time.
Also, if you find you can’t eat much in one sitting, try having your drinks separate to your main meals, perhaps 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to main meals.
Have you been on a soft food diet? What are your tips? Or, do you have any questions? Share them in the comments below…
Please note: you should not be on a soft food diet unless prescribed by a healthcare professional.