HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


When a jaw is wired shut... (recipe request)

A friend of mine had a biking accident this past weekend, and has his jaw wired shut for 4-6 weeks.

Lucky for him, his partner used to run her own catering company and is thusly culinarily oriented.

I'd like to drop by their place with a care package, including some recipes for 'thin liquid' food that he can eat. I've searched some previous threads, but none take into account a jaw being wired shut.

Thanks for any recipes you can provide!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Perhaps a seasonal squash or pumpkin soup would be appreciated. Some apple cider too? If I ever find a recipe for porterhouse puree, I'll let you know :P.

    1. i don't have a recipe but congee would work, ive been able to drink congee using a straw while lying down.

      1. if they're gourmands they may not appreciate this, but when I broke my jaw I started craving beef (of course) so one of my favorite meals was thin beef gravy mixed with soupy mashed potatoes.

        7 Replies
        1. re: cgray481

          I did the same thing. By the end of the 6 weeks, I'd put anything in a blender - including eggs and bacon. But I think there is direct correlation between how long your jaw has been wired shut and how adventuresome you're willing to be. In the first week or two, you probably need to keep it traditional.

          1. re: Bluehound

            I ate a rock in Moab mountain biking and had the same issue. At week four it was burritos and hamburgers in blenders.

            Brown shakes are yummy!

            1. re: holy chow

              My boyfriend has had his mouth wired shut for only a week now and he can't get anything even a little solid in. We tried chili and blended it up really liquidy and he kept getting tiny piece of meat stuck. It wouldn't go through his teeth. How were u able to blend up burritos and hamburgers?

            2. re: Bluehound

              I'm interested in knowing why you were wired shut. I'm going on 7 weeks wired shut and would like to hear from someone who has gone through this torture before. Are you back to normal eating and functioning now? I had a bike accident on may 31 and havent eaten since

              1. re: dinobambino

                My son just got carjacked and his jaw was broken in 3 places, they put 2 steel plates in and he's wired shut for at least 8 weeks, any advice on what he can eat through a straw would be appreciated.

                1. re: KarenChang

                  First of all my heart goes out to your son. He has a long haul in front of him. My friends daughter was in a very bad car accident and her jaw was wired for 5 weeks so I will make inquiries for you. I do remember her mom making mac and cheese and putting it in a blender. Jarred baby food, apple sauce, pureed carrots etc. Nutrition and dental hygene is very important. He is not going to be able clean his teeth properly so he may have to rinse with salt and warm water. This will get rid of the milk taste of any foods he drinks. If he can he should brush the front of his teeth after meals. Nutrition is also very important so I recommend smoothies. The choices are unlimited. Fruit to red beets and carrots. The sky is the limit. He has to keep his calories up so don't worry about low fat etc. Yogurt, Sour Cream etc. I will let you know when find out what she at.

            3. re: cgray481

              My son liked the mashed potatoes and beef too.I added sour cream, gravy, shredded cheese and lots of butter. he loved it we also did chunky soup in the blender, its supper quick and easy and gave his some variety

            4. Thank you all for the suggestions. I'll pass these along, as well as some others I have. If there are any more, please keep them coming.

              So much for taffy this Hallowe'en for him...

              1. Not a recipe, but the easiest suggestion I can make -- if he has access to take-out Chinese, egg drop soup is really thick and filling and has protein but goes straight through the wiring.

                  1. re: mdpgfu

                    I would make a peanut butter milkshake with a egg, vanilla ice cream. this will give
                    him some protien, and its easy to get down. good flavor.

                  2. My sister had some jaw surgery and was wired for about 2 months. She very quickly tired of sweet things -everyone was offering her milkshakes. I started making vegetables for her. Try cooking green beans with bacon and then add in some potatoes and cook them in the bean liquids. Puree this in the blender and serve warm.
                    This was also a favorite, a sort of tomato sandwich or panzanilla variation. Slice 2 medium tomatoes into a bowl and salt liberally. Add about 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons good quality mayonaise. Tear up a tough chewy bread roll- a good ciabatta roll or an Italian roll are good- and add to the mixture. Add a handfull of chopped fresh basil leaves. Mix all together, and adjust seasonings to taste, using perhaps more salt, black pepper, a bit of sugar, your choice. Let it sit for about 15 min so that the tomatoes release all their juices, and then puree the entire thing. Serve chilled.

                    1. My favorite was a high quality broth. Note that I actually gained weight with my jaw wired shut so tell your friend not to go to crazy.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JudiAU

                        Gained weight? Holy carp, I dropped 30 lbs after days of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate Ensure.

                      2. You really don't appreciate what a wonderful job your taste buds and nerve endings do of sensing the individual components of the food you put into your mouth until it's all ground up into mush.
                        Try giving your friend several different things instead of one. Like food "shots."
                        Potatoes thinned with a little chicken stock and parsley. Some asparagus or another vegetable also thinned with stock and a little soy sauce. Meat, or maybe even his favorite meatloaf, diluted with enough beef broth to be drinkable. He can drink them as he would a meal, a bit at a time, enjoying the individual flavors. Gazpacho gives a good salad flavor but watch the tomato seeds - no fun when your jaw is wired. Apple Pie pureed with a little melted vanilla ice cream and milk is great for dessert. Thin chocolate pudding.
                        Make sure he has salt, pepper, Tabasco, and other favorite seasonings so that he can adjust the tastes. Purees of even the tastiest things can be awfully flat when they have no texture.

                        1. My boyfriend has his jaw wired shut. I found numerous recipes on www.chowhound.com/topics. Good luck!

                          1. White bean soup cooked to a faretheewell with a lot of pepper and bacon, maybe a dash of mustard. A blender isn't going to hurt it. A dash of Thai Garlic Pepper Sauce [A Taste of Thai] isn't bad either.
                            And for variety, try bean and ham;
                            seven bean,
                            split pea and ham,
                            and clam chowder:
                            these soups are all amenable to a blender, and will not suffer too much in flavor.

                            A peanutbutter and blackberry shake.

                            Potato soup with butter and pepper.

                            Peppery tomato soup with sharp cheddar melted in.

                            Banana cream pie whipped into softserve ice cream.

                            1. vichyssoise! Did I spell that right?

                              1. My son was carjacked a week ago, his jaw is broke in 3 places, they put 2 steel plates in and he's wired shut for at least 8 weeks. If you know of any recipes he can drink through a straw I'd appreciate it. He's already sick of shakes and ensure....

                                1. My son is in his 3rd day of his mouth wired and beeing that he ate everything in the world is has been very difficult for him to the point that he has been brought to tears. So today I made 3 different types of "blends" . Made chicken soup: I sauteed red onions in some butter then added water salt, garlic, celery and the chicken (I used drums sticks) brought it to boil and when chicken is almost ready I added carrots, peas, string beans and a hand full of rice. Let it simmer for a while so the chicken was falling of the bone. Then, let it cool down and BLEND.
                                  I also made potatoe soup with the same sauteed onion/ butter at first, added water garlic and salt to taste. Bring to a boil then add the potatoes, simmer until potatoes are super soft. When done, I added a half cup of milk and 1 egg, quickly stiring so the egg can disperse. Let it cool down a bit and then BLEND.
                                  Finally, I made a maccaroni, rice, broccoli and cheese soup. For this I boiled water with a little olive oil, added a little maccaroni and a hand full of rice. Let it boil until those 2 items are almost all the way cooked then I added a half cup of milk, a little broccoli and cheese (I used a "mexican blend" shreded already). Stir and let it cool down and BLEND.
                                  For breakfast I made a yougurt, oatmeal, chocolate milk and honey shake with protein powder.
                                  I also bought vitamins in capsule form and what I do is open it and added to the breakfast shake.
                                  Since weight loss is inminet I'm thinking about fats like olive oil, avocado,butter to the "meals" I make for him.
                                  Good luck to you all and if you come up with something good please share it with me.
                                  At this point my mind keeps thinking what else can I blend?\

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: vpflatina

                                    There are tons of ideas in the baby food section; granted some of it might have to be thinned out but meats and other foods can be sipped though a straw. On another note, when my cousin's acid reflux acts up, she heads straight for the baby food section. Good luck

                                  2. took me a couple of tries with the search engine...
                                    maybe have a look here

                                    1. The wires will get looser further after a few weeks, so then you can manage thicker mixtures. My sister got so desperate that she tried spaghetti and meat sauce in the blender and said it wasn't too bad.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: arashall

                                        Like I say in the other post, pretty much anything thats saucy - fries/gravy, mashed/gravy, curries, pot roast, etc etc - blend it up!

                                        1. I don't know whether this would be too "meaty" but I have had good luck getting protein into a non-chewing person by making shrimp bisque. Use butter, flour, and shrimp stock and/or milk to make a cream soup base as thin as you want it, flavor it appropriately with onion and tomato, and add shrimp that you have run through the food processor. You should be able to control the consistency by processing longer and adding more liquid. A little sherry wouldn't hurt.

                                            1. My jaw has been wired shut for a little over a week now, Im to the point where ill try pretty much anything...Heres a few tasty things I've discovered:
                                              Chef Boyardees are delish! Simply pick your favorite kind and BLEND.
                                              Gogurts and apple sauce work great as well for an easy snack
                                              Loaded baked potato soup blended and strained
                                              Prime rib, mashed potatoes, horesy sauce, thinned with au jus BLENDED and strained
                                              Ensure is the key! Tons of protein is a must!
                                              Also, "Buddyfruits" found in the infent food department are great for a quick snack filled with blended fruit in a nifty pouch for on the go use.

                                              Ive found that even after blending food it is best to use a strainer with VERY small holes as well to aviod any pieces of food getting stuck in your wires. Personally, I bought a sink strainer to use to strain my already blended food. It fits perfectly on top of a small cup and has small enough holes to block out any unblended pieces. Hopefully this will help :)

                                              1. for anyone whose jaw is wired shut! Mine currently is wired shut and i was on this site looking for some new ideas, like somebody else had mentioned you get sick of the sweets very quickly. The only thing i can really eat thats not sweet is cream of mushroom soup, and i drain all of the mushrooms out. For about 5 days i was only drinking water and getting down one syringe filled with boost! If you can the best way to eat is buy big syringes from shoppers and syringe all the food to the back of your teeth. My favorite right now is ice cream peanut butter and chocolate milk! tastes like the inside of a peanut butter cup!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: adpopowi

                                                  Have you tried french fries blended with gravy?
                                                  vegetable soup (homemade or canned) blended up?
                                                  mashed potatoes blended with au jus and strands of meat?

                                                2. When My jaw was wired shut in about 1970 I made a drink out of frozen orange juice concentrate and non-instant milk powder, water and ice, in the blender.

                                                  Also made chicken avgolemono (sp?) with warmed chicken broth, egg, and lemon juice. These both were pretty tasty to me, day after day, but I still lost 20 pounds. Maybe I should do it again.

                                                  1. My broken jaw has been wired shut for 2 1/2 weeks now. I feel compelled to make some suggestions that will make "eating" more enjoyable than just plunging food with a syringe. In my opinion, that method becomes more of a "process" to get nutrition, rather than an enjoyable food experience. And let's face it, not being able to bite and chew is torture enough. I am 5'7" and 120 pounds, so getting adequate nutrition and not losing weight is vital to my health as well as my recovery. So far, not only have I not lost weight, I have actually gained back the few pounds that I had initially lost during the first week before wiring (I didn't know my jaw was broken, believe it or not). I have decided to see My broken jaw has been wired shut for 2 1/2 weeks now. I feel compelled to make some suggestions that will make "eating" more enjoyable than just plunging food with a syringe. In my opinion, that method becomes more of a "process" to get nutrition, rather than an enjoyable food experience. And let's face it, not being able to bite and chew is torture enough. I am 5'7" and 120 pounds, so getting adequate nutrition and not losing weight is vital to my health as well as my recovery. So far, not only have I not lost weight, I have actually gained back the few pounds that I had initially lost during the first week before wiring (I didn't know my jaw was broken, believe it or not). I have decided to see this situation as a way to be super-healthy, but also want my liquids to taste yummy. I have two "drinks" that I always have ready-made in the fridge. My sweet "smoothie" drink consists of NutraBio complex carbs powder (3 scoops), NutraBio Whey Protein Concentrate (4 scoops), soy milk, light cream, pureed strawberries, bananas, blueberries, and powdered flax seed, plain almonds and plain cashews (both nuts are non-salted, non-roasted and ground in a coffee grinder into a powder). I blend this all together in a good quality blender on puree, then liquefy. Now here's something I had to learn the hard way---blending is not enough! Even a grain of sand sized chunk or fruit seed/skin got trapped in my teeth! You HAVE to purchase a very fine strainer in order to filter out ANY pieces. I pour the blended drink into the strainer and used a few fingers to swirl around until the liquid drips down into the cup (I use a 2 cup measuring cup), and the solids stay in the strainer. Now I prefer hot, salty foods, so my "soup" meal (made the same way in the blender, then strained) always consists of an avocado, carrot juice, kale, chicken or beef broth, olive oil, a nut powder blend of pumpkin seed and sunflower seed, and whatever "base" soup I want to add and create. These first ingredients ensure that I have optimal nutrition, and especially healthy fats (to maintain weight), and also blend and taste good together. But the real Heaven is adding the soup base. If I add a can of split pea, I can also add ham or bacon and a few shakes of instant potatoes. A can of gumbo means I can add tortilla chips (yes!), sausage,shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Italian wedding soup means adding meatballs. Once you blend these then strain well, you now have some of the most delicious BISQUES that you can heat up and drink like a wonderful strained yet thick soup. No straw, no syringe, just a super tasty bisque that's better than anything I've ever had at a restaurant. I hope this has also helped some of you who are going through the same thing that I and the OP are going through. There is no reason to food-suffer or be miserable, and as long as you incorporate healthy fats like olive oils, avocado, real butter and a high-quality protein supplement, your weight should stay steady. That is, unless you want to lose a few pounds! :) Best to you all.