You may be told to follow a soft-foods diet as a step up from clear liquid and full liquid diets after surgery or illness when a gradual return to a regular diet is necessary. Other reasons to eat this way include having difficulty chewing or swallowing, recovering from oral surgery or undergoing cancer treatment.
Make your soft-food meals small and frequent. Prepare them without pepper and spices.
It can be challenging to obtain complete nutrition on a soft-foods diet since you are not allowed raw vegetables, dried fruit, whole grains and other fiber-rich healthy foods. As part of a transition to regular food, a soft diet does not have to meet long-term nutritional needs. Consult a nutritionist or dietitian if you must follow a soft-foods diet for an extended period to be sure your health does not suffer from deficiencies, particularly of niacin, thiamine and iron.
Soft foods include well-cooked root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, cassava, yams and potatoes (without skins). You may include canned or peeled soft fruit, such as pears or peaches, and applesauce are allowed. Very ripe, fresh bananas and avocados are good foods to add vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Eat cold cereals that have been well-soaked in milk or soft, cooked cereals, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat. You may also have white rice or risotto. Custard, yogurt and pudding are soft foods.
Protein foods include cottage cheese, scrambled eggs and refried beans. Steam and puree tender lean meats and fish to make them appropriate for a soft-foods diet.
Depending on the reasons you are following a soft-foods diet, you may have to avoid gas-producing foods such as beans, peas and vegetables in the cabbage family. Ask a health care professional before including citrus fruits in your diet.
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