In the healthcare setting, patients can often be prescribed a diet limited to soft foods for a variety of reasons. There are two types of soft food diets: regular and mechanized.
Mechanized soft food diets are often prescribed after dental procedures. On this type of diet, a patient can eat anything that has been blended or otherwise made easy to chew. For mechanized soft diets, see the options outlined in regular liquid diets for more ideas. Keeping a commercial blender on hand is essential to maintain this type of diet. Additionally, a meat grinder can make it possible to satisfy patients’ cravings for protein.
Regular soft food diets are usually prescribed for patients recovering after surgery. On this type of diet patients are relegated to eating foods that are not only soft to chew, but soft on the digestive system as well. This means no spicy foods or fibrous foods that are difficult to digest.
Soft diets, while not as limiting as liquid diets, can be trying upon patients as well as healthcare kitchen staff. Patients must adapt to a new set of foods and often find it difficult to deal with the limited options.
Soups and smoothies are the staples in a diet of soft foods. However, for more variety pick and choose from the options below.
- Scrambled eggs
- Cream of wheat
- Savory soufflé
- Poached or steamed fish
- Vegetables cooked until very soft
- Mashed potatoes
- Refried beans with hummus and melted cheese
- Polenta with tomato sauce
- Curried lentils
- Chili, cooked until very tender
- Egg salad with grated eggs
- Stews (if cooked long enough to achieve proper tenderness)
- Au gratin potatoes
- Ragout and mash
- Indian-style stews
- Baba ghanouj
- Matzo balls in chicken soup
- Tuna fish
- Baked squash
- Savory custards (such as roasted garlic custard)
- Ice cream
- Baked fruits
- Crème brulee
Just because a patient’s diet is restrictive doesn’t meant that it has to lack creativity. Ditch boring dinner routines and give patients something to be excited bout. Taking a little extra care to serve an interesting and tasty soft foods diet will make the months of recovery a little more bearable for your patients.