Soft Food Diet: 7 Foods to Eat and 7 Foods to Avoid

Medically Reviewed on 8/18/2022
Soft Food Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
Learn about what conditions the soft food diet can help and what foods you should eat and what foods you should avoid

Soft food diets are often used to help people recover from illness or medical procedures, consisting of foods that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest.

Because soft foods are easier to break down, your digestive tract does not have to work as hard to digest the food. These foods are also less likely to aggravate your stomach. 

Learn about what conditions the soft food diet can help and what foods you should eat and what foods you should avoid.

What is a soft food diet used for?

Soft food diets are prescribed in many situations:

7 foods to eat in a soft food diet

If you have been prescribed a soft food diet, it is important to select nutrient-rich foods that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest.

  1. Vegetables: Vegetable juice without pulp or skin, well-cooked or canned vegetables without seeds or peels, potatoes without skin, tomato paste, smooth sauces, etc.
  2. Fruits: Fruit juices without pulp, cooked fruit without skin or seeds, peeled apples, applesauce, canned peaches, bananas, avocados, ripe seedless melon, etc.
  3. Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, powdered or evaporated milk, kefir, etc.
  4. Grains: White rice, pasta, noodles made with white or refined flour, low-fiber dried or cooked cereals, etc.
  5. Proteins: Fish, ground poultry, ground meat, meatballs, eggs, creamy nut butter, tofu, etc.
  6. Soups: Broths or pureed soups with cooked vegetables
  7. Drinks: Water, tea, smoothies, etc.

7 foods to avoid in a soft food diet

If you are following a soft food diet, you should also avoid spicy, fried, or raw foods.

  1. Vegetables: Raw vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, onions, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, summer squash, potato skins, sauerkraut, pickles, etc.
  2. Fruits: Dried fruit, canned fruit, acidic fruits, fruits with peels or seeds, etc. 
  3. Dairy: Hard cheeses or any dairy with added nuts or fruits
  4. Grains: Brown or wild rice, whole grain flour, barley, quinoa, popcorn, cereals with nuts or dried fruits, etc.
  5. Proteins: Processed meat (hot dogs, sausage, kielbasa), tough cuts of meat, shellfish, beans, chunky peanut butter, nuts. etc.
  6. Spicy foods: Hot peppers, hot sauce, etc.
  7. Drinks: Alcohol, caffeinated beverages, etc.

Tips to following when on a soft food diet

  • Take small bites and chew slowly and thoroughly.
  • Eat frequently and in small amounts.
  • Stop eating when you start to feel full.
  • Maintain a straight posture while eating.
  • After eating, stay in a sitting position for at least 45-60 minutes.
  • Avoid eating 3 hours before going to bed.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 8/18/2022
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What Is a Soft Food Diet?

Bland diet.

Gastrointestinal Soft Diet Overview.

Esophageal Soft Food Diet Guidelines.