A soft food diet includes only foods that don't require chewing. A person may need to be on a soft food diet because of illness, after some types of surgery or when undergoing radiation therapy of the neck and throat. People with new or ill-fitting dentures might also follow a soft food diet. You can still enjoy many of your favorite foods, including appetizers, as long as you prepare and serve them properly.
Soft Food Diet
Avoid foods that are difficult to chew like tough meats, raw and dried fruits and vegetables, breads with thick crusts, nuts and seeds. Serve cooked fruits and vegetables, ground meats, thoroughly cooked legumes, soft cheeses and dairy products and softened breads and cereals. Liquids are fine, too. Use a blender or food processor to puree foods to the right consistency. Keep in mind that a person on a soft food diet may have other dietary restrictions to consider.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fully ripened bananas, peaches and mangoes can be served raw because they're already easy to chew, but it's a good idea to cut them into bite-size pieces. Other fruits should be cooked and pureed if necessary, like apple sauce, but avoid fruits with skins or seeds. Fruit juice and sorbets are acceptable. Raw vegetables are hard to chew, so cook them until they're soft. Top cooked cauliflower with melted soft cheese or serve soft tomatoes with small pieces of lettuce.
Grains and Cereals
Soft refined-grain bread with no crust can be served as an appetizer if it's cut into small pieces, or it can be soaked in milk or water to make it easier to chew. Prepare small bite-sized sandwiches with bread and peanut butter or egg salad. Fully cooked pasta, rice, pancakes or crackers work as well, but avoid whole-grains or breads and cereals that contain nuts, seeds or dried fruits. Serve cold pasta salad with tuna or chopped chicken and mayonnaise on crackers.
Dairy Products and Meats
Soft cheese can be served with the ripened fruit, crackers or bread. Yogurt should be served plain or flavored with honey, although you can add any ripe or cooked fruits that are allowed on the diet. Serve creamed soups without chunks of meat or vegetables. Canned tuna or salmon and pate might be served as savory appetizers with crackers. Cooked ground beef or turkey is also acceptable for a soft diet. Make bite-sized meatballs with tomato sauce or tiny burgers. Make sure the meat isn't overcooked and dry.