HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Tonsillectomy Recipes

My brother just had a tonsillectomy on Friday and I was looking for some recipes for cold or lukewarm, soft or easily chewable, sweet or savory foods.

Any help is appreciated =]

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. According to Bill Cosby, SusieS has nailed it...ice cream.

      1. I third the ice cream recommendation, and can only add one thing: don't eat other stuff in front of him. when I had my wisdom teeth out my family ordered pizza for dinner and between the throbbing face and the impossible pizza, I wanted to die. I spent a lot of time lying on the couch, trying to figure out how to get pizza in the blender.

        1. There was a very long post about exactly this topic, posted by JungMann. If you can't find it by searching this board, try going through his posts. If I recall correctly, ice cream was NOT the best choice, especially in the beginning.

          2 Replies
          1. re: linguafood

            Here's the link to that thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/476061

            HTH Best Wishes to your Brother :)

            1. re: linguafood

              I can attest to that. Ice cream felt horrible in the beginning. And I'd be careful with salt -- test how well you can tolerate it. Apple juice mixed with a little water, popsicles, small quantities of miso soup and gallons of tepid water kept me going initially. Eventually I took on cream of _______ soups and baby food.

              Don't try more than you can take on, either, as I learned the hard way. When I became desperate for solid foods, I tried to eat something or other that my body just wasn't having and ended up developing a sore that made it near impossible to eat ANYTHING.

            2. In all seriousness, your brother may find he doesn't want to eat anything at all. My recollection is that my throat was so sore I didn't want to swallow ANYTHING for several days. I think I only had water and soup. By the time I felt like swallowing anything, I'd been cleared to eat just about anything.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ricepad

                Ditto here. I remember looking forward to all the ice cream I was going to get to eat and then being so disappointed that I couldn't eat anything. The Brady Bunch lied to me!

              2. Ice cream is not a good choice. The cold hurts and it also causes phlegm which isn't good after a tonsillectomy. I speak from experience.

                I found that I could eat soft boiled eggs and jello that was not refrigerated...call it lukewarm jello. Lukewarm chicken broth. Other than those few things, I really didn't want to eat.

                Anything hot is going to hurt, as is anything cold. Nothing spicy and nothing minty. The first couple of days will be the worst, but he should really get something in his stomach for the pain meds to rest on. I hope he feels better soon!

                1. Warm butterscotch pudding (or chocolate or vanilla).

                  Pureed soup - like potato soup or butternut squash. But it's not as good as the pudding.

                  1. I had my tonsils and adenoids out when I was 12 and remember being so sick for the first couple of days I didn't even care about food (which was pretty shocking for me!). The first things I could eat were popsicles and plain broth. Later, once I started to heal a bit, my mom made me things like delicate scrambled eggs, egg noodles with a bit of melted cheese and butter and noodle soups. I don't actually remember eating much ice cream.

                    1. When I could eat, cold was better than hot. Dole frozen fruit popsicles, strawberry.

                      1. my son is schedule to have his tonsils and adenoids removed next month.

                        The information we have from the doctor's office is that for the first couple of days, juice maybe all that is tolerated. But, you've probably passed that stage by now. They recommend everything that's listed here -- pudding, ice cream, soup, pureed veggies, softly scrambled eggs, masshed potatoes, jello, etc. I personally love purees of cauliflower, or sweet potatoes, or other veggies, and that would be very satisfying after just drinks for a couple of days.

                        1. My son had his T&A on 3/19 - he's almost 10 yo. He had mashed potatoes and mac 'n cheese in the hospital (they kept him overnight - he's a special needs kid so they keep an eye on them for fluids). He's pretty much lived on those, and either chocolate shakes from McD's or homemade, or just chocolate milk. I tried matzo ball soup - no go, even homemade broth didn't work. He did like the organic veggie broth with some bread soaked in it. Just remember - fluids of any kind will do, and it's what you can tolerate.

                          1. Other than Lidocaine spray, I suggest ice cubes and cool water. Avoid sugar drinks as well as ice cream for all the reasons stated. Keep the patient hydrated with lots of liquids. No one has ever starved to death following a tonsillectomy.

                            1. When I have somebody who can't chew and I want to get protein into him/her I make shrimp bisque. Bring water to a boil. Drop in raw shrimp in shell. Bring to boil. Remove from stove. Let set two hours. Remove shrimp. Save water. Shell shrimp. Put shrimp through Cuisinart to grind, not puree. Using shrimp stock augmented with milk, make a roux of butter and flour then a thin cream-sauce type stuff, add the ground shrimp, adjust consistency using additional milk, season to taste, add a glug of ketchup for color, add sherry for flavor.

                              1. I was 24 when I got my tonsils out, and it was the most painful thing I'd ever endured, even now, many years and heartaches later.

                                I, too, was looking forward to ice cream, but it turned out that the only things I could eat were mashed potatoes, mashed carrots, and mashed peas (but once I healed, I never ate them again!).

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Claudette

                                  I was 25 when I had my surgery. I took not even one teaspoonful of vanilla ice cream and wanted to scream. I never felt such burning. After hours of hunger, they found something I could handle--banana popsicles.

                                  Unlimited ice cream--it's the lie they tell you to get you to sign the consent form.

                                2. I had my tonsils out the same summer as my wisdom teeth were extracted. My diet consisted of pudding, popsicles and percocet. Ice cream was painful.

                                  1. I remember thinking the steamed eggs from this month's cookbook of the month Revolutionary Chinese would be good for a person with a tonsillectomy --very soft and gentle. Can be served lukewarm. I've never had a tonsillectomy, so I haven't actually tried it, but it's a very nice dish. I don't know if you have that cookbook. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49466...


                                    1. Mashed Sweet Potatoes (or mashed carrots) with a bit of butter and cinnamon and some dark brown sugar.

                                      Baked sweet potatoes with a sour cream or yogurt and dill sauce

                                      (sweet potatoes/carrots have beta carotene - which will help with the healing process).

                                      Sliced fresh mango (ditto on the beta carotene)

                                      1. I had my tonsils out when I was 18 and I remember ice cream not being good for the first few days because my tummy was still upset from the anesthesia they gave me. My mom made me soft scrambled eggs, chicken broth, then noodles with butter, all soft things for a few days. It was about a week before I wanted to eat anything that didn't go down easily.

                                        1. Reviving this long-dead thread that I wish I had found earlier.

                                          I'm 44 years old, and got my tonsils out eight days ago. Today's the first day I've definitely felt like I'm "on the mend," and I thought I'd pass on some things that worked for me, in case anybody else is about to go through with this and searching like I should have...

                                          1. Water, water, water, water. Most of the recovery horror stories I've read online (and there are many... too many...) involve having to go back to the hospital due to dehyrdation. The *one* thing that's totally under your control, and the *one* thing that you really do have to be brave and suck it up for, is staying hydrated. Start drinking cold water as soon as you wake up from the anaesthetic, keep a full pitcher of it near you at all times, keep sipping it. It will keep the wound clean, it will help your throat muscles recover from the horrible things that have been done to them, it'll give you something to do during your recuperation (get up to refill your water, get up to void, repeat, repeat...) I really can't stress this enough. Get someone who loves you to agree in advance to enforce this.

                                          2. (Apologies, this one is even less chow-related than the one above, but it's my last offense, I swear). Don't wait for it to hurt BAD to take pain meds. (And if your pain meds aren't in liquid form, your doctor is evil and stupid - get your new one to prescribe you liquid narcotics, and lots of 'em) The less it hurts to drink, the more you'll drink (see #1), and the faster and better you'll heal.

                                          3. Whoever suggested egg drop soup, right on! Before surgery, I made a big batch of (deliberately very underseasoned, and not de-fatted) chicken stock - several times a day in my first week, I'd bring some to a boil, stir in a beaten egg or two, let cool (very hot is very bad), and enjoy. Tasty enough, lots of calories, lots of protein, easy going down. Normally, I'd add fresh lemon juice to it, except...

                                          3. Acid HURTS. My well-meaning mother-in-common-law brought me some *extremely* tart Trader Joe's Lemon Sorbet, that normally I would have loved. I had a nice big spoonful, relished the taste, felt it slide soothingly down my throat, and then whimpered in pain for a half hour. Whole new different world of pain. Very not good. It'll be a long time before I'm willing to experiment with acid (heh) again.

                                          4. My sister gave me a Hawaiian-Style Shaved Ice machine (available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Back-Basics-SIT...) - this thing was a godsend. Even without adding flavorings, the ice shreds it spits out are perfect for sucking on - it's like a spoonful of coarse snow. (If you decide to make an oxycodone snow-cone with your cherry-flavored liquid pain meds (see #2), don't tell people about it, they'll look at you funny and start talking "intervention") My favorite (other) things to add to the slush were: maple syrup; honey; cold black coffee and sweetened condensed milk; green tea powder and sweetened condensed milk. (The latter two only after you've determined that dairy isn't a problem - not recommended for the first few days


                                          5. Omelets. Having a lot of free time during the days, and growing REALLY tired of egg drop soup and soft-boiled eggs, I decided to work on perfecting the Julia-Child-style simple French omelet. It's soft, and fluffy, and delicious at room temperature, and learning a new skill was good occupational therapy.

                                          6. Roasted Carrot Soup. Peel a few pounds of carrots, cut into chunks, roll in a little olive oil & salt in a roasting pan, roast at 400, shaking occasionally, until they start to carmelize & shrivel a little; meanwhile, saute diced onion & celery in olive oil in a big heavy saucepan until limp; add carrots, add chicken stock to cover by a few inches, and some chopped dill; simmer until the carrots are very tender; puree until completely smooth; season carefully (my salt tolerance came back gradually, so when I made big batches of things I way undersalted them, so I could fine-tune it at serving time) Carrots are ridiculously good for you, and this is a good way to get them inside you painlessly.

                                          7. Edy's Frozen Fruit bars. (NOT LEMON, see #3) The strawberry ones *tasted* like they'd be acidic, but they certainly didn't feel it - they felt wonderful.

                                          I found certain mushy textures to be REALLY painful - even very smooth mashed potatoes were a struggle, for instance, and I couldn't make it past the third bite of a very ripe banana - but I've read plenty of accounts from others who had no such issues, so I dunno.

                                          Best of luck, Googler who finds this - it really does get better.


                                          1. All I wanted when I got my tonsils removed was popsicles. Even ice cream tasted funny to me at the time!

                                            1. I also just had mine done on Friday! And I know this may sound odd but...baby food (gerber puree and graduate meals) have really been easy to eat and there are so many varieties/combinations to get. I've also had pedialyte and shakes

                                              1. This thread has been dead for a while, but I just saw it and figured maybe someone else would too :)

                                                I'm 21, and I got my tonsils out three days ago, and it is DEFINITELY the WORST pain of my life thus far. bar none.
                                                So far I've been able to get down mainly broth, and I managed to chew up some mushrooms enough to get them down. I would recommend eating 20 mins after taking your meds, and staying hydrated! egg drop soup is definitely a good choice also.
                                                at this point, my throat feels well enough to swallow, but the problem is that my muscles back there don't seem up to the process of shoving food down yet; everything wants to go up into my nasal cavity (fun, I know). Something i have noticed really helps is sweetened tea with LOTS of ice. The sugar helps coat my throat and take the edge off swallowing my spit/other foods. also, really REALLY be careful with brushing your teeth. i got a little toothpaste down there last night and wow. i was shaking in pain. also, avoid fruit smoothies. the acidity is a mess. my doc said i could have coffee, but i find that has been a little too acidic as well. i just had some mac and cheese with a little tuna in it for some protein. didn't hurt, but i couldn't swallow it. as far as recipes go, i would say anything the kid can swallow !

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: pepsicola

                                                  I had mine out at 17. At that point, I had a persistent strep infection for over 8 months, and hadn't been eating much for about that long, so I was heading into the worrisomely skinny category.

                                                  I did not eat much for the first several days, just slept a lot. I wasn't hungry though. It didn't bother me, but the parents were worried. I did drink lots of very iced beverages. When I started eating, I did a lot of Campbell's chicken and stars soup. Would make instant mashed potatoes with extra water so that they were slightly thicker than a soup. Easy mac - it microwaves fast, so you don't decide you don't want to deal with it, and the noodles are pretty soft and slide down the throat easily. I never really got into ice cream, but did eat some sorbet and popsicles.