Soft Diet

Author: OncoLink Team
Last Reviewed:

What is a soft diet?

A soft diet is a diet that includes soft, chopped, ground, and pureed foods that can be easily mashed with a fork. They are easily chewed or don’t need to be chewed before safely swallowing them. 

Who should eat a soft diet?

After some surgeries, you have to ease your stomach back into a regular diet. In this case, you often start with a liquid diet, then move to a soft diet, and then to a regular diet. A provider will tell you when you should change your diet. 

In other instances, a soft diet may be easier to manage and tolerate. If you are missing teeth, have recently had dental surgery, have had radiation to the head, neck or stomach, or have sores and pain in your mouth and throat, a soft diet can be easier to tolerate than a regular diet. 

What foods can you eat on a soft diet?

Foods that can be easily mashed with a fork are considered soft. Chopped, pureed, and ground foods that are easy to swallow are also considered soft. 

Examples of soft foods include: 

  • Yogurt.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Soft breads.
  • Well cooked pasta.
  • Cottage cheese or other soft cheeses.
  • Ground and cooked meat.
  • Tuna or egg salad.
  • Fish.
  • Eggs.
  • Tofu.
  • Vegetables that are cooked enough that they can be mashed with a fork.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • Avocado.
  • Apple sauce.
  • Cooked, diced, or canned fruit. 
  • Many foods can be softened further with sauces and gravies.  

If you have questions about your diet, ask to speak to a registered dietician. They can help you to make sure you are getting the nutrients that you need and that a soft diet is appropriate for you. 

References

Canadian Cancer Society. Difficulty Swallowing. 2020. Found at. http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/managing-side-effects/difficulty-swallowing/?region=bc 

National Institute of Health. Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®). 2018. Found at: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-pdq#section/_125

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