Learn What to Eat on a Soft Food Diet

Reasons for a Soft Food Diet

Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Smoothie

There are a few reasons why people need to eat soft foods. They serve as a transition from a liquid diet to a regular diet after surgery or an illness. They can be easy on the gastrointestinal tract when suffering from stomach or intestinal problems, and they can help those who have trouble chewing and/or swallowing. Soft foods can particularly benefit individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments or who have dental problems.

What to Eat on a Soft Food Diet

A soft food diet includes foods that are soft and easy to chew and swallow. Foods are often cooked, mashed, chopped, pureed, grounded, and/or moistened to give the soft texture. Foods are normally bland and low in fat. Some soft "gas forming" foods may be excluded such as cauliflower and broccoli. Unlike a clear liquid diet, a soft food diet can contain all essential nutrients. Because of this, a person can eat only soft foods for a long period of time.

The following are foods you can eat on a soft food diet:

Meat, Beans, Eggs, & Nuts

Meat, poultry, and fish. These foods should be moist and tender. They can be chopped, grounded, or cut into 1/4 inch cubes.

Beans. Beans should be well-cooked and slightly mashed.

Eggs. Poached and scrambled eggs are recommended.

Smooth peanut butter.


Broth, cream soups, and soups with soft meats and/or vegetables.


Soft breads, pancakes, waffles, and muffins.

Cooked cereals, pasta, and rice.

Plain dry cereal in milk that contains no dry fruit, nuts, or other hard substances.

Milk (low fat)

Milk and milkshakes.

Ice cream without nuts or other hard substances.

Yogurt. May be frozen and may include soft fruits.

Cheeses, including soft, melted, spreads, ricotta, and cottage cheese.

Fruits & Vegetables

Ripe, soft bananas, applesauce, and soft melon cubes.

Cooked and canned fruits without skin and seeds.

Fruit juices.

Mashed potatoes and well-cooked vegetables without skin and seeds.

Vegetable juices.

Fruit and vegetable smoothies.


Soft, moist cake and cookies without nuts or coconut (cookies should be moistened in milk or other beverage).

Custards (cold or frozen) and pudding.

Gelatin which can include soft canned fruit.


Smooth gravy and sauces.

Butter and sour cream.

Mayonnaise and ketchup.

Jellies, syrups, and honey.

Additional Information

If you are not sure the food is appropriate for a soft food diet, check with your health care provider.

Eat all food groups and a variety of foods to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs.

If you have a medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, some of the foods mentioned above may not be acceptable for you. Consult with your health care provider to know what to eat on a soft food diet especially designed for your needs.

Sources Used

Drug Information Online: Soft Diet – https://www.drugs.com/cg/soft-diet.html

Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology: Soft and Mechanical Soft Diet – https://www.gicare.com/diets/Soft-and-Mechanical-Soft-Diet.aspx

Photo Credit

Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Banna_Yogurt_Smoothie.jpg