A diet of soft or semi-soft foods makes eating easier and more comfortable when you are recovering from and illness, injury or surgical procedure. It is also helpful for people who have problems chewing and swallowing because of a dental problem or a disability. Most people think of soft foods as being processed and bland, but there are many tasty and healthy options available for a soft food diet.
Many grains can be cooked until soft, including oats, grits and wheat farina (which is found in products like Cream of Wheat.) Other grains, such as rice, barley and quinoa, can be cooked and then ground in a blender to make them soft. Adding butter, fruit spread or syrup to your grains can make them tastier. Other forms of starches that are acceptable on a soft food diet are soft breads and muffins made from refined flour, well-cooked pasta and baked potatoes without the skin.
Though you should avoid tough or chewy meats like steak and baked chicken, there are several meats that are semi-soft. These include white fish without bones, canned tuna, canned chicken and stewed meats. In addition, other protein sources like tofu, scrambled eggs and well-cooked beans are easy to chew and swallow. Protein powders, which can be added to beverages and puddings, can also help you get enough protein in a semi-soft diet.
Many dairy foods are soft enough for this diet. Milk, yogurt and ice cream are examples of soft dairy foods. Certain cheeses, such as ricotta and grated fresh mozzarella are also very easy to eat. Goat cheese, feta and bleu cheese which are very soft, but the strong flavor of these cheese may be upsetting to people with delicate digestive systems.
Fruits and Vegetables
Juice made from fruits and vegetables is an easy way to get the health benefits of these foods without having to chew them. In addition, some raw fruits and vegetables, like bananas and avocados, are soft enough to be chewed and swallowed easily. Other produce, apples and carrots and sweet potatoes for example, can be peeled, cooked and mashed. Canned fruits and vegetables are usually soft enough for a semi-soft diet, but people with digestive problems should avoid gassy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage.
Puddings, ice cream and frozen yogurt are good options for dessert on a semi-soft diet. In addition, some cakes and cookies may be soft enough. Avoid desserts that contain nuts, seeds, dried fruit or coconut.