Full Liquid Diet

Last Modified: April 25, 2004


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My 79 year old father has had bladder cancer for 17 years.  We have just been told that he will not survive until spring, and that he must be on a "full liquid diet".  We want to keep him at home for as long as we can, but are having trouble finding full liquid diet suggestions.  Can you please help me make his last weeks better with food suggestions?  Thank you very much for your help.



Ellen Sweeney Cordes, RD, Registered Dietitian at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

A full liquid diet consists of foods and fluids that are liquid or liquefy at room temperature or body temperature. Foods allowed on this diet include milk, plain ice cream, strained cream soups, fruit and vegetable juices, hot cereals, plain puddings, pasteurized eggs, and all items on the clear liquid diet (i.e. clear juices, clear soda, broth, jell-o). The full liquid diet is used most often post-operatively as a progression between the clear liquid diet and solid food. It can also be provided to patients who are severely ill or who have difficulty swallowing and/or chewing solid foods. The diet consists of many milk or dairy products but can be modified to include lactose-free products for a lactose-intolerant person.  A Full Liquid diet food list is below which may give you more ideas for foods to feed your father.

Foods Allowed

  • Milk : milk, milk shkes, eggnog, instant breakfast, yogurt
  • Meats and other Protein sources : cooked eggs, custards, egg substitutes, puddings, ice cream
  • Breads, cereals, grains : refined cooked cereals such as farina and cream of wheat
  • Vegetable and Fruits : Strained fruit juice or vegetable juice (no pulp), fruit nectars, pureed fruits (similar to baby food), mashed white potato diluted in cream soups
  • Fats : Butter, cream, margarine
  • Desserts : cornstarch puddings, custard, gelatin, plain ice cream, sherbet, fruit ice, plain frozen yogurt, popsicles
  • Miscellaneous : carbonated beverages, cocoa, coffee, instant breakfast, Ensure, Boost, bouillon, broth, strained vegetable soup, strained cream soups with pureed meats, sugar, honey, syrup, hard candy.

From the National Cancer Institute