How to Cook For Someone Needing a Soft Diet


Coming up with a list of items for someone needing a soft diet (such as after dental surgery) can be a bit challenging. Oral surgery can leave the mouth tender for quite a few days and stitches are never fun. I'm hoping the ideas in this eHow will help you get creative in cooking for someone requiring a soft diet.

Post dental surgery can be a painful time alleviated slightly by a soft diet. There's nothing better than a bowl of hot soup. Prepare a clear broth chicken soup which can be used as a base for many other types of soups. Strain the soup so there are no vegetables, chicken, nothing but clear broth (in fact, when I'm making a clear broth, I bundle up all of the solid parts, including the whole chicken, in cheesecloth so I can easily lift the whole thing out). Place the soup in the refrigerator and, once congealed, skim the top of the fat. Add rice or very small, thin egg noodles, or saltine crackers (which will soften to mush) to mix it up a bit. You can scramble an egg in a bowl and swirl it into the soup to make egg drop soup which adds in additional protein.

Make different types of soups from your basic chicken soup - such as potato soup or cheese soup. I always hop on to get other ideas. Make sure that the person with the affected mouth will eat the types of soup you're cooking up. Also, it's great to make enough to freeze. My chinese friend, Sophia, makes a Congee soup which is basically rice cooked in A LOT of water. She'll throw in some small pieces of ginger or hamburger meat to add protein for my mother.

Stock up on ice cream, sorbets, pudding, jellos. Yogurt is not always recommended as it contains live yeast cultures that can affect healing - check with the doctor before you serve this to your patient.

You can easily mix up a crustless cheese cake to add some additional calories to the diet. Cakes are also easy to whip up and satisfying too. Freeze 1/2 of the cake for later consumption.

Also, when we were younger (and before the advent of processed baby food), my parents would put anything they were eating for a meal in a blender and add a little liquid. It might not be totally appealing to suck beef stew through a straw, but it can be done. Scrambled eggs are always easy as is egg salad with the egg chopped very fine. Mashed potatoes with some cheese are always good also.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to mix up the diet as a soft diet can become boring very fast. Add some cheese to the grits or some brown sugar and cream to the oatmeal for a more satisfying meal.
  • Make sure to check with your doctor before eating yogurt when on a soft diet. Live cultures might not always help with healing mouth wounds.

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