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Six weeks on liquid diet

My daughter is having jaw surgery today. She will be on a liquid diet for six weeks. Looking for ideas to keep her happy and food interesting while she recovers at home in the next 3 weeks. Last 3 weeks will be away at a dorm and dining commons--next challenge.

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  1. Gazpacho maybe one healthy and tasty idea.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Yes, soups may be one of the best ways to get a balance of nutriton, especially proteins. I use the boxed soups from Trader Joe's as a base and add from there. You can go in any direction you like with flavorings and add-ins.

      Egg drop soup, too, or milk based veggie soups. Also smooties based on yogurt or other low-fat dairy.

      Since she'll be denied texture, go for robust flavors. This may be the time for her to try new flavor combos!

      There are lots of soup cookbooks out there, and almost anything can be liquified. Maybe get her an immersion blender to take with her to school?

      here's a link I found googling 'eating after jaw surgery'

      best of luck to you and your daughter!


      1. re: toodie jane

        Depending on liquid the liquid has to be, it may be worth getting a chinois to strain - you end up w/ a flavorful but thin soup.

    2. Would very thin porridge count as a liquid? You could cook it in chicken/pork/beef stock, or even puree small amounts of beef and vegetables into it. I drank a lot of porridge after having my wisdom teeth out.

      I love avocado milkshakes. Calorie dense, and you can add honey for sweetness. It's a great breakfast and sticks with you longer than other shakes. Papaya works well too.

      Almost any soup can be blended into a "bisque." Sometimes I cook whatever vegetables I have (carrots, onions, tomatoes, and something green is a good basic) in chicken stock until soft, then puree it in the blender.

      Cauliflower soup or asparagus soup are delicious. Somehow the flavor of the vegetable changes a little when it's pureed. Again, cook in chicken stock until soft, then puree. Salt and pepper to taste.

      1. Quite a number of years ago, after some serious jaw surgery requiring wiring, I was also restricted to liquids. By liquids, I mean anything that came easily through a straw. Thick liquids, milkshakes and creamy soups, were out. During the three months (!) of this, clear soups and Ensure were my friends. I finally invested in a juicer and my diet improved greatly. Strained ginger-carrot juice, strained fresh mint-pineapple juice and strained mixed fresh herbs were delicious, they also saved my sanity when I was despairing of ever eating again. It will finally go away and your daughter will be able to eat again. Good Luck to you both.

        1. rule number one: use a blender, not a food processor.

          1. I love my chowhound community! You people are amazing! Thank you for all the ideas and the kind encouraging words. You've given me a great start. Keep the ideas coming! Thanks so much.

            1. I agree with the juicer suggestion. Also you can make cold and hot soup from the fresh juice to get different flavors. Soup made from juiced veggies is very quick and has a lot more of the veggie flavor. Basically you just add some salt and bring to a boil and then simmer a few minutes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JMF

                The juicer idea is great for a lot of things, but don't forget to do some whole fruits and vegetables in a blender. That's the only way you're going to get bulk (fiber), and the only way you'll be able to stay full on liquids without having to constantly drink all day long.

                1. How about some fruit and yogurt shakes? You can thin them down as needed with fruit juice or milk. Fresh mango, vanilla yogurt, orange juice and some banana with a touch of honey? Play around with her favorite fruits.

                  Wish her well.

                  1. When I had my wisdom teeth out, many years ago, I recall my mother making some sort of shake-like drink by blending mashed potatoes with lots of garlicky beef broth. It sounds kind of dreadful, but it really was very good, and it went right up the straw. (Get one of those big fat milkshake straws if you can, not the regular thin kind.)

                    1. Never tried this -- just a thought -- how about flan and other puddings, before they set?

                      Agree with the juicer idea. I have a Breville, and you actually get quite a bit of fiber in the juice, just minced very finely.

                      1. DORM FOOD

                        I just realized you haven't gotten much responses about what to do once she's in the dorms! Maybe you were planning to repost, but it occured to me that it really depends what kind of meal plan she has. If it's a school with an a la carte pay as you go system, she might just have to find whatever soups and yogurts they have out that day.

                        If she's at a school where every meal's an all you can eat buffet, send her to school with a blender and she'll be set. We used to take fruit, yogurt, juice, milk, ice cream, etc. out of the dining halls and keep them in the mini fridges everyone has. Then we'd have ingredients to make smoothies, milkshakes, (and margaritas, shhhhh!) whenever the dining halls weren't open. Sometimes I would just pile all the ingredients into a Nalgene bottle, refrigerate, dump it in the blender in the morning, pour it back into the bottle, and take it to class.

                        I used to also make rice porridge and stir in a raw egg at the end, then sprinkle with nori or furikake.

                        Can cosmos be a healthy part of a liquid diet?

                        1. This may sound disgusting, but Mrs. ricepad swears that the tastiest 'meal' she had while recovering from oral surgery (that similarly limited her to liquids for weeks) was a combination of canned green beans and hot dogs, blendered up into a slurry and warmed to eating temp. She thinks her mom added just enough of the bean liquid to thin it out enough to drink through a straw.

                          1. Since the chewing will be an issue but the digestion of solid food won't be a problem, I suggest beans as an option, esp after she returns to school. Canned Blue Runner creole cream style red beans, thinned with a little beef or chicken broth, are packed with protein and certainly taste like real food, esp when you add some hot sauce. So maybe you could cook a bunch of beans (black beans, red beans, lentils) and puree/mash them and freeze in small containers for dorm fridge storage. They'll heat in a few minutes in the microwave and also increase her protein intake (can definitely be a problem on a liquid diet).

                            1. chilled pumpkin porridge. Sorry don't have the recipe.

                              1. Jello with Sprite. Slurp it in a straw.

                                1. Hi, Im adding to this post very late, but I've become so familiar with this, I want to add something.

                                  I run a post operative recovery home here in Santa Barbara, and our main clients are folks who come in from all over the world for Dr. Arnett, the preiminant jaw surgeon of our day ( he wrote most of the precedures done today ). And they stay post op with us for from 3 days to a month if international.

                                  The word for health for the first 10 days is quantity, not quality. You have to keep your patient hydrated, and 10 days of an unbalanced diet will not terribly affect your patients health. Having said that, keep plenty of 7-UP on hand, nice and cold. It will cut the flem, sooth the throat and keep airways open. Not ginger ale, sprite, etc. 7-UP. It has more bubbles we think.

                                  Particle free liquids at first (10 days about ), then the doc will graduate them to particle liquids, and the blending begins! But theres still good variety even in particle free days. A blender and good strainer are a must,and most soups can be used, once strained. Cranberry's good to keep the plumbing dis-infected. Dont neglect making your own chicken broth for them. The bird you boil can feed the family and the stock is so appreciated by the patient, nice and salty and herbed.

                                  Then, after the 10 days, the stuff that tastes the most like what it did before being tossed in a blender we found was italian fare. Raviolis blended down with stock or milk is fab. All italian foods seem to work. Shakes help put the weight back on ( if needed ).

                                  About 8 weeks out its scrambled eggs and overcooked pasta, but by then, that sounds like a million bucks.

                                  Hope this helps someone. We always have 2-5 patients here for Arnett, where its comfortable and safe for these recoveries. Call us anytime, 805-451-2222. Dave at the Peppers Estate.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: peppersestate

                                    So very kind of you to post. Thanks for your suggestions. Now that she is living in the dorm, she is having to make do with the food that is available there. She is about 5 weeks out from surgery. Raviolis have been great and eggs, omelets, etc. are terrific. We won't see her again until later this week but it helps that her dining commons is open from 7 AM until 1 AM so she can get small meal bites throughout the day. Thank you Dave. I may call you later this week for more ideas.