What Are Soft Food Diets?

Soft diet food items are typically mashed or blended together.
Soft diet food items are typically mashed or blended together. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Soft diets contain easily digestible food items that have low fiber residue and soft texture. Soft food diets are well tolerated and have vital nutrients in the form of liquids and semi-solid foods. They generally do not include fried, hard to swallow and spicy foods. It is often suggested to blend, cook, chop and mash the food to achieve soft consistency.

Who Should Follow

A soft diet is usually prescribed to patients who have undergone surgery or a dental procedure such as installation of braces -- or gastric bypass surgery. Doctors also recommend a soft food diet to people having gastrointestinal disturbances, acute infections and trouble swallowing or chewing food. Soft food diets may be suggested to patients undergoing radiation therapy to head, neck and abdominal areas.

Recommended Food

Soft food diet contains smooth, creamy, slightly crispy and low in fiber food items. Under the category of grains, patients are often recommended cereal without nuts or dried fruit, white refined wheat or breads, soft crackers, pancakes, pasta, barley and plain white rice. The fruits and vegetables category include soft cooked vegetables, cooked potatoes without skin, raw salad greens or tomatoes, cooked and canned fruit and soft fruits such as bananas, avocados, melons, peaches, grapefruits or oranges. Milk, coffee, juices, tea, carbonated beverages, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cakes, pies, puddings, custards, plain chocolates, soups, honey, jelly, jams, eggs and marshmallows are also included in soft diet foods. Meat can be eaten as long as its cooked well and tender. Poultry, pork and fish can also be integrated. Salt, mild sauces, spices, herbs and pepper can be used as seasonings for cooking these particular items.

What to Avoid

For people following a soft diet menu, tough meats, fried and spicy cuisine, nuts and seeds, crispy breads and raw fruits and vegetables are not recommended. It is often suggested to avoid alcoholic beverages, fruit skins, coconut, doughnuts, fritters, fried eggs, coarse cereals, whole grain breads and biscuits. Garlic, chili sauce, chili pepper and other spicy condiments are not used in cooking since they may be difficult to digest. Other omitted foods contain highly seasoned meats, cheese or fish, bacon, popcorn, corn chips, pickle, whole kernel corn and gas producing vegetables.

Suggested Menu

If you seriously want to follow a soft food diet and completely eliminate other items from your menu, create a menu that focuses on suggested food items only. For instance, breakfast may include two slices of white toast, a cup of coffee or skim milk, a scrambled egg, margarine or half cup orange juice. For lunch, patients can consider taking lean roast beef, iced tea, green beans, potatoes, applesauce and dinner rolls. Patients can eat baked chicken without skin, rice, white bread, banana pudding or coffee for dinner.

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