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Help with soft food diet please!!!

My dear Hubby is home from Stanford and needs to eat soft foods (no chewing involved, or are dissolvalble like chocolate) that are tasty and nutritious.

He is at risk for bleeding and has lost sensitivity in his cheeks so can easily bite his cheek.

I've done mashed potaotes, guac or p-nut butter shooters, mashed banana, legume soups, yogurt smoothie etc.

CAN YOU GIVE SIMPLE SUGGESTIONS TO GET MY BRAIN GOING? I'M TRYING TO MAKE THE FOOD AND PRESENTAION AS NICE AS POSSIBLE while the rest of us are sometimes eating regular (chewed) foods as well. Trying to mix up the menu so he doesn't feel like he's being relegated to hospital-type food. After 82 days of that, he's ready for the change and a dose of REAL LIFE. He is doing well for now and we want to make his life as normal as possible.

Thanks, hounds, I'll know you'll help me make this work. Nothing like giving food to someone as the ultimate expression of LOVE.

Bless you!


Toodie Jane

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  1. Maybe cream soups or polenta. If polenta is okay you could load it with his favorite cheese, you could stir in finely chopped herbs. Gazpacho is tasty, in season and has some color. I'm glad he's home and doing well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: corneygirl

      I just found lots of ideas for cold soups at he cold soup thread! But more hot food ideas needed. thanks!

      Foods like polenta still need mastication, so thick liquidy things are best.

      1. re: toodie jane

        Keep in mind that vichysoisse (from the COOL soups thread--I think there is a cold and a COOL!) can also be served lukewarm when you first make it. I made it this past week and actually prefer it slightly warm. No chewing and leave out the chives on top (or snip them in very, very fine little bits). You'll note I joked that mine kinda looked like a bowl of Morse code. ;)

        Sweet corn cakes are a favorite of mine and fit the soft food category, too:
        (see second recipe in the following link

        How about avgolemono? Here's the recipe I use (and yet another soup thread for you):

        The soup is still tasty minus the chicken and the carrots--I've done it without myself. It's so tasty and creamy! And if orzo is too much for your husband, maybe try pastina or acini pepe since they're smaller.

        Don't forget dessert...if you can find custardy yogurt (not the fruit on the bottom kind), you can make "mousse" by folding a cup of it into a small container of Cool Whip. It's really refreshing for summer...and the rest of the family can enjoy some, too (serve in little graham tart shells or spread into a graham or chocolate pie shell). You can freeze it, also!

        Love is a "secret ingredient" in so much of our home cooking. I'm sure your hubby is thrilled to be coming home. I'm wishing your him a speedy recovery and thinking good thoughts for him...and for YOU, too!


    2. I've looked and not found a post from a while back. Seems like it was an aunt whose niece had broken both arms and she was looking for liquid things that could be consumed through a straw. Maybe someone else can find it.

      Also, if your husband can eat mashed potatoes then he can eat polenta, the creamy kind. I'm also wondering about some kind of savory version of rice pudding. A nasty secret about myself? When I was a child, I was convinced that I didn't like the taste of the inside of green peas! So I swallowed them whole!!!!! With petite peas, he could do the same. Good luck to all of you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: c oliver

        With peas, you could probably use your tongue to smush them; you'd have an urge to chew the skins, though, I'd imagine. Toodie Jane, hope he's improving each day *sending good thoughts your way*

        1. Smoothies! I've been on a kick lately...I just blend up fruit/yogurt/ice, very tasty and nutritious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fromageball

            Don't forget to add some flax seed meal or peanut butter to the smoothie for added nutrition! I've been on a smoothie kick lately too with all the blueberries in abundance in the stores.

          2. I worked in hospital/rehab, where soft & puree diets were a mainstay. First rule is : almost ANYTHING can be blended. Use a good blender or food processor to get the texture he needs. Use stock or water to thin, potato flakes to thicken, etc. Tender meats blended with gravy. Oatmeal or cream of wheat with flavorings. Use lots of herbs, spices, etc to make it as tasty as the "regular" version. Crustless quiches can be good, and look nice. Pasta blended with a cream sauce. The dietician or speech pathologist at the hospital can be great sources of information & help. Good luck, and so glad he is home with you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: elfcook

              I agree with elfcook.
              My mother had reconstructive jaw surgery a few years ago and had her jaw wired shut. I discovered that many many items blended with almost any liquid will produce a good product. A few examples;
              French fries and gravy
              vegetable soup, clam chowder, or almost any soup
              meat puree with curry sauce
              Chow mein with pork broth
              Steamed hot dogs with beef broth
              short ribs with its gravy
              etc etc

              1. Good thoughts flowing your way....

                How about savory flans? I like this asparagus flan and imagine you could vary exactly which veg you puree:


                4 Replies
                1. re: miss louella

                  sounds delish but he needs food which do not stimulate, via texture, the mastication response. Just things that are nutritious butslide down w/o a chew reflex happening.

                  thanks for your reply! The veg and meat puree thing is what we're working on today to serve over various potato purees.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    Wow, that's a real challenge. I hope the best for all of you!!

                    So would things like savory puddings be out? I'm not a sweets girl at all, so I'd be looking for ways to get savory food. Of course a pudding wouldn't be hot... A mousse sounds like it would probably be too solid... but maybe not, if mashed potatoes are in... The middle part of a souffle?

                    Dal might work... especially if you buzzed the chew out of it. What about that Indian spinach dish (saag, I think) without the paneer, I'm guessing.

                    Here's an asparagus soup with parmesan custards... seems like the custards might work:


                    I hope some of these at least spark an idea or two for you--I'm shooting in the dark,but would really like to help.

                    1. re: miss louella

                      I had emergency oral surgery yesterday, and plan on this soup tonight. Looks so good, I will report back. Thank you for the link.

                    2. re: toodie jane

                      Substitute soft roasted garlic (pureed through a sieve) instead of the asparagus for a savory flan. Would a roasted red pepper coulis trigger the mastication reflex?

                      I had reconstructive jaw surgery many years ago and spent 8 weeks wired shut, eating (?) through a straw. Anything thicker than V-8 juice was impossible because it took too much strength, which created pain, to consume so milkshakes were out. I finally bought a juicer and made every sort of fruit and vegetable concoction I could think of.

                  2. Hope your husband is doing better, poor thing. I just had some major dental work done and the best thing for me was jook, (okayu, congee, porridge). We have a local restaurant that makes an excellent jook and I was able to pick out the meat and seafood easily. I made chawan mushi for myself which is a Japanese custard minus spinach and chicken as I couldn't chew either. Pudding, applesauce and mushed up candied yams that I had frozen were delicious, but I got tired of sweet things quickly. Silken tofu! Good luck!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mochi mochi

                      MM, you might be on to something...Toodie, you must know about all of the WISDOM TEETH threads we've had on this board...those might also help you too!!! Also, there have been "Jaws Wired Shut" threads, I believe!

                    2. I may have overlooked but did anyone mention tofu? The silken variety should "slurp" or "squish" nicely and you can flavor it however you choose. Have you made your own popsicles just to change things up a bit? You could start with fruit puree, but pudding or flavored milk might be a textural change of pace as he might be so darn sick of drinking his meals. If he is willing, you could even try savory options. This might be a stretch though because licking one's meals doesn't seem all to satisfying the more I think about it. Regardless, best wishes! Oh, and the search function "wisdom teeth" provides many great ideas.

                      1. Cooked meats in a pureed soup are usually not that great. The exceptions are lentil and pea/split pea soups - stick blend these for a hearty but very soft food.

                        Give the guy a hug --- and take care of yourself as well!

                        1. Poor guy! I'm with mochi mochi. Jook. Just made some for myself for dinner, in fact. Dead easy, and so delicious if you go heavy on the condiments. Bit of rice, lots of delicious chicken stock, salt and some bits and bobs for flavouring (I put in julienned ginger, for example, and peas and bits of roast chicken and chopped onion), and then seasoned with soy and sesame oil. If your guy can't safely eat the small pieces (you can make them very small), maybe you can grate some ginger in at the end, and use mushroom soy sauce instead of regular. Suchlike. And a bit of chopped (minced, even) cilantro on top does make it look very pretty, I think. Not at all like "make do" food, or "sickie food". Good luck!

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I actually tried the dark chocolate variety and although it was okay, I still had the tendency to bite and the little pieces of shell got everywhere. I had to rinse it out. Too much hassle and pain for little satisfaction... :(

                              1. re: mochi mochi

                                We get the peanut ones (which wouldn't work for the OP), keep them in the freezer and have a few for dessert. I'm a sucker (!!!!!!!) and my husband's a biter.

                                  1. re: mochi mochi

                                    Someone I work with keeps a stash of the peanut m&m's in her drawer and calls them tranquilizers when stressed out...LOL!

                            2. This might be out there... but what about savoury gelees? I've been going through a series of Gran's old food magazines some featured tomato aspic and that kind of thing. Definitely no chewing when gelatin is involved.

                              Best wishes to your hubby for a full & speedy recovery. :)

                              1. My husband was able to tolerate the Deviled Ham in the tiny tins. I'm not a fan, but when he couldn't eat solids that was his go-to meal. Please give my regards to your husband. It's so hard when you are a foodie and you can't feed him what you want to feed him. Frustrating for you and your husband. Good LUCK!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mochi mochi

                                  I think that's a superb idea and aren't there other meats that are done in that manner. Or that could be made in that manner.

                                2. mochi mochi's suggestion for okayu, Japanese rice porridge is great. To this we add a scrambled egg and chicken broth. Good luck to your husband.

                                  1. Pureed soups!

                                    Cook vegetables and seasonings in water or stock until tender. Cool a bit and puree in the blender. Adjust seasonings and add some milk or cream if you want. Alternately, pureeing with soft tofu makes it wonderfully creamy.

                                    Potatoes, sweet potatoes pumpkin, squash and/or carrots make a good base. Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, celery etc go well in various combinations. Spices and herbs for seasoning, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper, and you've got an endless variety of flavours.

                                    1. Every year my dad does an 8 day no food fast for a religious week in our calendar ( no food, just hot water for 8 straight days), as a result when he breaks his fast for the few days he is on thin liquids, gradually progressing to more solid foods. Stuff he eats

                                      - Mug no ossaman (A picy, water soup made from mung beans)
                                      - Raab (A sweet hot liquid , very nutritious, it has whole wheat flour in it)
                                      - Tuver daal (Yellow split lentil daal)
                                      - Kadhi (Hot and spicy yogurt based dish)
                                      - Mithi sev (A sweet made from milk and vermicelli, easily slurpable)

                                      He also enjoys soupy versions of oro - almost like baba ghanoush but eaten hot and lightly spiced.

                                      1. I wonder if muffins would work? Banana buckwheat breakfast bread? Molasses Gingerbread? Hummus? Pesto? Does potato salad (there's a great recipe which has (VtiaMixed) cashews in the dressing) or pasta require too much chewing? Lentil soup?

                                        To reduce the risk for bleeding perhaps soup or dip made from spinach, greens, broccoli due to high vitamin K.

                                        There are some great non-dairy frozen desserts, including some from coconut milk. There's also coconut yogurt (I haven't tried it).

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: lgss

                                          Great tip on bleeding and vitamin K - I need that now for myself. How's your 'K situation' these days?

                                          1. re: enbell

                                            I'm still avoiding greens and eating extra ginger as I'm still on a fairly high dose of anticoagulant for someone my size, they had me up it again last week :-P We've always eaten quite a bit of garlic and some of the other natural blood thinners. I was originally told I'm be on the anticoagulant for 3 months (until mid-Sept) but last time I talked to my doc she said it might be 6 months...Thanks for asking.

                                        2. Refried beans? Brown rice?

                                          1. A couple of extra ideas:

                                            A very elegant dessert, rarely fabulous outside the home (please, correct me if I'm wrong, folks -- I'd love to know where to go to have my socks knocked off!): chocolate mousse. My favorite recipe is Julia Child's, out of Mastering the Art, made with Lindt extra bittersweet, or some other better-quality chocolate. If your hubby is allowed alcohol, a good slug of grand marnier in there, a bit of espresso, and some whipped cream or creme fraiche on top will make you both very happy.

                                            oysters? yum yum, if you deem them not to be scary. And certainly a very special pick-me-up... especially with champagne or prosecco.

                                            It being summer, how about ice cream? I had some great strawberry ice cream at the ronnybrook milk bar last week: makes me think that home made ANY kind of ice cream would be a very good thing, perhaps. Add a little fudge sauce, or some fruit coulis and... well... what grown-up could ever put his/her nose in the air?

                                              1. Oh gosh, I'm so sorry to hear about your dh... I really hope all turns out well and the recovery goes smoothly.

                                                I have to say, what a sweet wife you are to make sure he's comfortable and try to give him tasty meals at the same time.
                                                Thinking about what you have ahead of you, I keep leaning towards soups, so what I'll recommend are a couple of my favorite flavorful soups, ones that I love and hopefully he'll be able to handle the spices.

                                                How about; French onion soup - for the cheese use Fontina, it won't string like mozzerella and of course you can drop some bread in minus the crust. it will be so soft, and almost like a dumpling.
                                                I make a spicy garbanzo bean soup the recipe is here on member's recipes, and its totally creamy with some kick. Let me know if you want the recipe.
                                                For a different soup that's a little more milder and yet has character, a carrot and ginger soup, its another one that's satisfying and yummy, and of course I puree the soup.
                                                Honestly, any creamy soup, like cream of asparagus and artichoke, cheese soup, or even clam chowder with finely minced potatoes and clams. Or don't forget fresh tomato soup! If you can get ahold of some nice tomatoes, that's truly a winner.

                                                Farina, or cream of rice or wheat. I lived on those for about 5 months once, and will be doing so again very shortly. I happen to love it. I don't make it with milk ( i don't care for the milk) but you can, and even add some butter to add richness. With the addition of pured spinach and garlic, or chard, or even onions and squash. he'll be really satisfied.

                                                For meat, I am at a loss with this one. I'm inlcined to rely on baby food, I just don't know what you can do, I mean other than pureing a chicken breast that would be sufficient.

                                                Cottage cheese, for savory add in the potted ham, or meats. Other ideas for swee add some applesauce, or even berries that are pureed.

                                                Sweet potatoes are another one that you can add so many spices, nutmeg, cinammon, and or pumpkin spices, Puree it all, and you're sweet potatoes will be tthe best.

                                                That's just a minute few, I'll think about it some you more,poor baby, I wish you well and hope your husband has a speedy recovery. Lots and lots of good luck are being sent your way... you know what I mean.

                                                1. TJ: how is your husband doing? Hopefully, some of these suggestions have helped? Maybe give us a quick word, please.

                                                  1. Quinoa might work (with Vogue veggie base or tamari?).

                                                    1. I just wanted to write a quick note to thank all of you for these great ideas. I will be implementing almost all of them!

                                                      I have unexpectedly found myself on a soft food diet for several months, and remembering this post helped me know what to cook and eat from day one.

                                                      1. My dearest Hound friends,

                                                        My grateful and heartfelt thanks to all who have responded.

                                                        My dear hubby passed away on July 26. He didn't win his battle with leukemia. His last week at home, after 2 1/2 months at Stanford, was a blessing to both of us, and while I was trying to care for him in the most basic way, by feeding him, he really didn't need the nutrition. It was mostly about me needing to feel as if I still had some control over what was happening, and trying to include him in the family mealtimes. It was misguided on my part, but a most basic human reaction. It took a wonderful hospice nurse to show us the error. Once I accepted that he didn't need food, it allowed the process to continue as it should.

                                                        I realize now that he is gone, how elemental an act of love is to feed someone. It is a hard transition to make to stop feeding them. Food is love, solace and acceptance all in one. Thank you for your love, offered as advice, to us both.

                                                        I hope this stays up long enough for you to hear my "thanks!"

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: toodie jane

                                                          I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

                                                          1. re: toodie jane

                                                            I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am inspired by your love and devotion.

                                                            1. re: toodie jane

                                                              While I did not contribute to the thread, you have my heartfelt condolences.

                                                              1. re: toodie jane

                                                                ((((((((((toodie jane))))))))))))...am heart-broken for you and yours. The act of preparing and giving food is truly kind and loving. Am hoping you find comfort in the days ahead.

                                                                1. re: toodie jane

                                                                  Oh sweetheart I know just what you mean about food and love...

                                                                  I'm sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and yours,

                                                                  1. re: toodie jane

                                                                    Oh wow, I am so sorry you lost the man you love! How wonderful that you were able to give him one month at home in the presence of those he loved and who loved him. My heart goes out to you, thank you for sharing.

                                                                    1. re: toodie jane

                                                                      I am so sorry for the loss of your precious husband. Thank you for taking the time to share with us what you learned. You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

                                                                      1. re: toodie jane

                                                                        My heart aches for you, toodie. So sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences to you and your family. I am glad that he was home with you and that you were able to do what you thought was important at the time. I am sure you are a wonderful cook and your husband was delighted in knowing that you were caring for him in the way you always did, by feeding him delicious food. Day by day... take care.

                                                                      2. Would this work for you---in similar situations I have made Shrimp Bisque. Actually if you grind the shrimp really fine you probably would not have to chew it and could just gulp. 1) Bring water to a boil, dump in a pound of shrimp, remove from fire, and let cool in water. 2) Make a sort of cream sauce using 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 quart of liquid, any combo you like of the shrimp stock (water the shrimp cooled in) and milk or even part cream, depending on what your dietary aims are. Put the shrimp through the Cuisinart until it's as fine as you want it and add it to the sauce. Add more liquid to get the consistency you want. Add a dollop of ketchup for color. If you want onion or any other flavor, maybe canned red pimientoes, put it through the Cuisinart with the shrimp. You can embellish this to meet your needs, but the basic idea is a lot of protein per square inch without having to chew.

                                                                        My other Old Faithful for such occasions is tapioca pudding using the Fluffy Tapioca recipe on the Minute Tapioca box, only I double the recipe and use 3 eggs instead of 2. Nourishing and comforting.

                                                                        One mo' time: can he manage gazpacho if you grind everything pretty fine? I grind up 3-4 peeled raw tomatoes, a green pepper, a peeled cucumbers, and a small onion and add it to a big tall can of tomato juice then season to taste using olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Makes about half a gallon and lasts in refrigerator for a week or so. Have also frozen it. Ordinarily I leave the vegetables kind of chunky but for your purposes you could make them as fine as you need. Best of luck.

                                                                        Re pudding, if you are near a Trader Joe their house brand of Belgian chocolate pudding is wicked---actually too chocolatey for me but my husband loves it.

                                                                        1. Re sweet potatoes, which somebody mentioned, that is one thing my husband will eat no matter what when he has been ill. Boil them in peel, let cool, slip off peels, and just mash them up---they mash very easily---and freeze this. If you want you can thin it a bit with pineapple juice. If you don't have a sodium restriction, give him this with some of the chicken gravy that comes in a jar. If sodium is a problem, use low-sodium chicken stock from a box and make your own gravy.