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, beans, pulses and vegetables.
- Try soft meals such as shepherds pie and fish pie or scrambled eggs with baked beans.
- 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.
- Use dairy free alternatives to butter, milk, cream and icecream if required.
- 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.