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Soft diet tips

A soft diet can help you to cope with chewing or swallowing problems.

What you can do

It can be difficult to eat the right variety of food if you need a soft diet. You need enough calories to stay healthy and keep your weight up.

The following tips can help you make the most of a soft diet.

Eat slowly, little and often

  • Having small frequent meals with snacks in between is often easier to cope with. And it will increase your nutritional intake each day.

Try soft foods

  • Eat more stews and casseroles. Long, slow cooking softens meat and vegetables.
  • Use more sauces, gravies, cream, butter, milk or custard to soften foods. Moist food is easier to swallow than dry food. Try fish with a parsley sauce or sponge cake with custard or cream.
  • Make milkshakes (banana, chocolate, strawberry) and add ice cream for extra calories.
  • Eat cereals such as porridge and other soft cereals.
  • Avoid foods that need a lot of chewing and are hard to swallow such as nuts, raw vegetables, dry biscuits, tough meat.

Use a liquidiser to process solid foods

  • You can eat most of your favourite foods this way, with a few changes here and there.
  • Mince meat or finely chop meat and vegetables in a food processor before or after cooking.
  • Liquidise meat or vegetable casseroles or curries to make tasty soups.
  • Try pureeing vegetables and mashed potatoes.

If you are trying to put on weight

  • Use milk or cream instead of water when mashing or liquidising foods.
  • Have plenty of high calorie drinks.
  • Add butter to liquidised foods.
  • Have more soft snacks between meals.

Have your food at the right temperature

  • Let very hot meals or drinks cool before you eat or drink them. Warm foods may be more soothing.
  • Cold foods such as ice cream, yoghurt, mousse or jelly can be smoothing too.

Information and help