What is a soft food diet? List of foods to avoid and the best recipes

Warning: you may have to revert to babyhood at some point.

If you have had any type of oral surgery, your dentist may prescribe a soft-food diet — in other words, food a baby would eat.

In this guide, we’ll be covering when exactly you’ll need a soft-food diet, what types of food you can and cannot eat, and how to prepare your meals.

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When You Should Eat A Soft Food Diet

Eating only soft foods comes in handy in many situations. Typically, this diet is good if you have had any type of mouth, tooth, head, neck, or stomach surgery. Also, you may need to follow this diet if you have a chronic issue that makes it difficult to chew and swallow.

For example, if you have gotten a dental implant placed or any type of oral surgery (wisdom teeth, braces, tooth extractions, etc.), your dentist may recommend a soft food diet. That’s a smart option because, first of all, you’ll have pain and discomfort in your mouth after the procedure. Secondly, it allows the surgical sites to heal better and quicker.

If you’ve had any type of oral surgery (like dental implants, root canal, wisdom teeth removal), your dentist will most likely advise that you eat a soft food diet.

What Foods To Eat

Before you groan at the idea of a soft food diet, you should know there are plenty of soft foods you can eat.

Here are just a few ideas for this type of diet:

Grains

  • Bread, some cereals, muffins, pancakes, or waffle
  • Some cereals (soft and/or moist)
  • Pasta/noodles, rice
  • Saltine crackers in soup

Fruits and vegetables

  • Applesauce
  • Canned fruit
  • Cooked/baked fruits
  • Soft fruits with no skin (bananas, peaches, watermelon)
  • Soft, cooked veggies

Proteins

  • Eggs (poached, scrambled, or hard/soft boiled)
  • Easy to chew meat, like fish, chopped/ground poultry
  • Small pieces of meat in soup
  • Tofu
  • Baked beans

Dairy

  • Cheese (thinly sliced, melted)
  • Cottage or ricotta cheese
  • Milk and milkshakes
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
You should eat food that have a soft texture and are nutritious while on the soft food diet.

What Foods To Avoid

Yes, there are also plenty of foods you shouldn’t eat. And you should be aware of what they are before you bite into anything.

Here are some off-limits foods for those on a soft food diet:

Starches

  • Toast, crackers, and hard cereal
  • Anything with dried fruits, nuts or other seeds
  • Corn on the cob, uncooked potatoes, hard chips
  • Bagels, French bread, sourdough bread
  • Popcorn

Vegetables

  • Corn on the cob
  • Peas
  • Hard, unmashed, raw vegetables

Fruits

  • Hard fruits, like whole apples, raw carrots
  • Stringy fruits, like pineapple and mango
  • Any skin of a fruit

Proteins

  • Steak
  • Beef jerky
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Hot dogs
  • Peanut butter (both creamy and crunchy)
You should avoid any food that’s tough, crunchy, hard, or sticky while on the soft-food diet. You should also avoid eating foods that are spicy, these can upset your stomach and cause bloating.

How To Prepare Soft Foods

So now that you have the list of foods to eat and not to eat, how can you prepare these foods?

Below are some ideas for how to do just that:

  • Cut food into small pieces.
  • Use broth, gravy, or sauce to moisten food. Soup is a healthy and safe option in a soft food diet.
  • Grind or puree foods.
  • Mash foods, like potatoes, veggies, and fruits.
While on the soft-food diet, cut up or mash your food so the chewing process is as easy and minimal as possible.

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Recipes For The Soft Food Diet

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with this new diet, that’s normal with anyone who begins eating only soft foods.

But don’t worry. This is not the end of the world.

In fact, it’s the perfect time to try something new. Here’s the ultimate list of soft food recipes.

These are hand-picked, absolutely the best recipes I could find online.

You will be able to swallow most of this food without chewing, including meat. Just shred it into tiny pieces using a good food processor.

Your teeth will love this food – guaranteed!

soft food ideas

This page will be updated with new recipes, so make sure to pin it for your further reference.

Mashed

Slow cooker buttery garlic herb mashed potatoes

http://lecremedelacrumb.com

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash

http://thefitfork.com

Heavenly mashed potatoes

http://www.spoonforkbacon.com

Protein-packed mashed potatoes & gravy

http://eatwithinyourmeans.com/

Spinach Mashed Potatoes

http://feedmephoebe.com

Irish Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Butter

http://www.cookthestory.com

Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

http://www.justataste.com

Loaded Skillet Mashed Potatoes

http://www.mantitlement.com

Eggs

Eggs are super soft and easy to make. Here are some of the most delicious recipes.

Scrambled Eggs with Kale and Mozzarella

http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Rainbow veggie kale scrambled eggs

http://wholeandheavenlyoven.com

Baked Egg Potato Bowls

http://zoomyummy.com

Rice

Cheesy Rice Balls Recipe

http://natashaskitchen.com

Cheesy zucchini rice

http://www.thebakerupstairs.com

Very Veggie Fried Rice

http://www.cookingclassy.com

Yellow rice with peas

http://thissillygirlslife.com

Texas Hash

http://www.afamilyfeast.com

Cheddar Chive Rice

http://wearychef.com

Baked casseroles, lasagnas and more

Twice baked cheese and bacon mashed potato casserole

http://roxanashomebaking.com

Cheesy cauliflower bake

http://simpleasthatblog.com

Shepard’s Pie

http://www.chef-in-training.com

Classic Lasagna

http://www.afamilyfeast.com

Baked Ravioli

http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com

Soups

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

http://www.fromvalerieskitchen.com

Roasted garlic potato soup

http://www.littlespicejar.com

Homemade Tomato Soup

http://pinchofyum.com

Egg Drop Soup

http://shewearsmanyhats.com

Creamy caramelized leek soup with maple glazed bacon

http://www.howsweeteats.com

Creamy tortellini soup

http://diethood.com

Cheesy chicken enchilada soup

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com

Cold-Fighting Couscous Chicken Soup

http://soupaddict.com

Cream of chicken soup

http://www.taste.com.au

Rosemary chicken noodle soup

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

http://damndelicious.net

Pasta

Everyone can make good pasta. So do you!

Spaghetti fra diavolo

http://bakerbynature.com

Creamy garlic herb mushroom spaghetti

http://pinchofyum.com

One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta

http://damndelicious.net

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

http://damndelicious.net

Bacon-Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

http://homecookingmemories.com

Salads

Mashed chickpea salad

http://www.theglowingfridge.com

Avocado Egg Salad

http://www.inspiredtaste.net

Tomato, mozzarella, and basil quinoa salad

http://www.averiecooks.com

Honey Lime Quinoa Fruit Salad

http://therecipecritic.com

Avocado Tuna Salad

http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Moist Breads

Carrot apple bread

http://www.averiecooks.com

Moist Pumpkin Bread

http://www.kitchennostalgia.com

Apple-Zucchini Bread

http://nancycreative.com

Apple-Zucchini Bread

http://www.averiecooks.com

Almond Milk Bread

http://thediva-dish.com

Meat and fish

Classic Meatloaf

http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Perfect pulled pork

http://www.kevinandamanda.com

Baked Salmon with Parmesan Herb Crust

http://addapinch.com

Lemon and Garlic Tilapia

http://www.shrutisdilectabledilites.com

Pancakes and omelettes

Blueberry cottage cheese pancakes

http://bakerbynature.com

Cinnamon buttermilk pancakes

http://www.thechunkychef.com

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

http://natashaskitchen.com

Oven Baked Denver Omelet

http://therecipecritic.com

Spanish tortilla with ham

http://laylita.com

Moist cakes

Cinnamon swirl loaf

http://lovefoodies.com

Blueberry sour cream coffee cake

http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Moistest Vanilla Mug Cake

http://www.tablefortwoblog.com

Sticky Lemon Cake

http://www.sweetbitesblog.com

Kentucky Butter Cake

http://cookiesandcups.com

Lemon and poppy seed loaf

http://lovefoodies.com

Fruits and vegetables

Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables

http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Brown Sugar Baked Peaches

http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

Mango caprese with basil vinaigrette

http://eatyourvegetable.com

Homemade applesauce

http://tastyoasis.net

Mousses

Lemon Mousse

http://www.scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom.com

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

http://kirantarun.com

Blackberry cheesecake mousse

http://www.snixykitchen.com

Smoothies

Vanilla mint green smoothie

http://www.3boysunprocessed.com

Healthy banana cream pie smoothie

http://bakerbynature.com

Mango vanilla smoothie

http://gatherforbread.com

Cherry Mango Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

http://theprettybee.com

Peach green tea smoothie

http://reciperunner.com

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com

Sherbets

Raspberry Sorbet

http://www.bhg.com

Rainbow Sherbet Cupcakes

http://houseofyumm.com

Lime sherbet freeze

http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com

References and credits

Make sure to visit our homepage for a full list of dental guides!

Summary

You shouldn’t be ashamed if you have to go on the soft-food diet. It’s the smartest thing to do after any type of oral, head, neck, or stomach surgery. Anyone who has that type of surgery most likely goes on this diet, so you’re not alone.

And remember, it’s only temporary. You’ll be eating steak and corn on the cob in no time.

The soft-food diet is pretty self-explanatory, but hopefully, this article gave you some ideas and painted a picture of what you can expect.

14 thoughts on “What is a soft food diet? List of foods to avoid and the best recipes”

  1. This is actually a really good list! I made the mango vanilla shake with vanilla protein powder instead of vanilla extract. It was really wholesome and just what I needed.

  2. All the little tidbits of corn or rice….etc. end up in the war torn holes from having the tooth removed. I disagree with most, but pureeing the food looks like it would help, only if you can swallow it whole.

  3. These look delicious for anytime eating … especially the soups and soft baked savoury recipes… great for after tooth removal and full of good nourishment. I intend to use a lot of these recipes in my general cooking. Thanks for putting this selection together.

  4. After having bone replacement surgery , 4 implants and being told I can’t eat solid foods for 5 more months…no chewing these sound wonderful. I just purchased a food processor so that I can TRY to do things other than smoothies. Thank you for some new ideas!!!

  5. A lot of these look good, but I would have nightmares of the quinoa and some of the smaller items getting stuck, as I already have flaps of my gums where teeth have fallen out and food tends to get stuck inside and I don’t even have the rest of my teeth pulled and haven’t been fitted for my dentures yet! Thanks for the tips though. I really don’t want to live on soup and smoothies and I refuse to puree anything that isn’t supposed to be pureed [i.e. tacos or hamburgers]. =)

  6. Good ideas for food! I just got braces and am really scared of eating anything not puréed! Thanks for the list 🙂

  7. There is no way that crunchy bacon bits, raw diced red onions, firm rice, etc is considered soft. You need to go back to the kitchen and reconfigure all of these as soft, not chewy. How ’bout starting with a stew recipe that is pureed? Or a mild chili recipe that is smooth? Use beef broth instead of chewy bits?

  8. Hi, So glad I found you! I just had oral surgery and must be on a soft food diet for two weeks. Although I love to cook and am not shy to try new recipes, I was as a loss about how eat an interesting diet for the duration. A store-bought quiche was good; cream of rice cereal is also; and watermelon and lemonade. Then what? I can’t eat those for two weeks! And really I was thinking very literally which limited my creativity. So thank you very much for a whole raft of ideas! I never would have thought of meatloaf or shepherds pie or many of the other offerings. Sure, there are few that don’t appeal but many more that do.

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