Soft diet

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A mechanical soft diet or edentulous diet is a diet that involves only foods that are physically soft, with the goal of reducing or eliminating the need to chew the food. It is recommended for people who have difficulty chewing food, including people with some types of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), the loss of many or all teeth, surgery involving the jaw, mouth or gastrointestinal tract, and pain from recently adjusted dental braces.

A mechanical soft diet can include many or most foods if they are mashed, puréed, chopped very small, combined with sauce or gravy, or softened in liquid.

In some situations, there are additional restrictions. For example, patients who need to avoid acid reflux, such as those recovering from esophageal surgery for achalasia, are also instructed to stay away from foods that can aggravate reflux, which include ketchup and other tomato products, citrus fruits, chocolate, mint, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Foods such as tomatoes and blackberries may be restricted because they contain small seeds.[1]


A puréed diet is commonly used for people who have difficulty swallowing, and provides a uniformly smooth consistency.[1]

Most of the foods on this diet can be both puréed and thinned with liquids to be incorporated into a full-liquid diet.



A bowl of breakfast cereal in milk
Soggy breakfast cereal requires little or no chewing.


An open jar of peanut butter
Peanut butter and other nut butters provide protein without needing to chew. They may be too thick or sticky for people who have difficulty swallowing.

Fruits and vegetables[edit]

A bowl of applesauce
Applesauce and other puréed fruits and vegetables require no chewing.


A serving of ice cream in a bowl
Ice cream with no chunks of chocolate, whole nuts, or other hard ingredients can be part of a soft diet.


  1. ^ a b White, Lois; Duncan, Gena; Baumle, Wendy (2010-01-27). Foundations of Basic Nursing. Cengage Learning. pp. 395–396. ISBN 1428317740.

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