Soft diets feature foods that are soft and can be chewed and digested easily. They’re often prescribed to people who have undergone abdominal surgery, those with swallowing difficulties, and those with other medical issues.
Soft diets are used when highly seasoned or regular-textured foods can’t be tolerated, which may happen for some reason.
Soft diets should not be confused with puréed diets, which are totally different, although puréed foods can be allowed on soft food diets.
Here are some types of foods that can be enjoyed on soft diets:
- Vegetables: chopped cooked spinach, soft cooked green beans, carrots, well-cooked broccoli florets, cooked zucchini without seeds, and more.
- Fruits: bananas, avocado, cooked pears, puréed fruits, peeled ripe peaches, cooked, peeled apples or applesauce, and more.
- Eggs: egg salad, cooked whole eggs or egg whites.
- Dairy products: yogurt, soft cheeses, cottage cheese, frozen yogurt, pudding, and more. Lower fat dairy products are more recommended for people who are recovering from illness or gastrointestinal surgery.
- Grains and starches: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cooked cereals like cream of wheat, butternut squash, moistened pancakes, soft noodles, soft, moistened grains like farro or barley, and more.
- Meat, poultry, and fish: baked or broiled fish, soft tofu, soft meatballs, soft tuna or chicken salad (without chopped raw vegetables or fruit such as celery or apples), finely chopped or ground moistened poultry, and more.
- Soups: broth-based or puréed soups with soft-cooked vegetables.
- Miscellaneous: sauces, gravies, unseeded jellies and jams, smooth nut butter.
- Drinks: water, tea, smoothies, protein shakes.
Remember that there are a variety of soft food diets, depending on the condition they are being used to treat. Some people who have further restrictions might not be able to tolerate certain foods for some reasons.
Therefore, you should always consult a registered dietitian or your healthcare provider if you have questions about what foods you are permitted to eat.