Soft foods are any type of food options that are easy to ingest. While many people enjoy these types of foods along with other foods that require more chewing and time to digest, there are situations when planning a diet consisting mainly of softer foods is necessary.
One of the more common reasons to go with a soft food diet is because of surgery that impacts the jaws or the mouth. During the recuperation period, chewing may be completely out of the question. Obtaining essential vitamins and nutrients each day is especially important, as the body needs energy to heal. If moving the jaws even a small amount is painful, pureed foods that are thin enough to be sucked through a straw are an excellent option. Thin soups, such as tomato soup, may also add some variety to the diet as well. For a treat, a protein powder mixed with milk will often suffice for a dessert.
A soft diet may also be a good idea just after braces are placed on the teeth. Initially, the teeth and gums are often sore from the installation of the braces, making chewing an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, there are foods for braces that require little or no chewing. Mashed potatoes are an excellent example of a soft food that will not cause a great deal of distress. While not quite as good an option, dishes such as macaroni and cheese require very little in the way of chewing. Make sure to cook the pasta a little longer so that the macaroni is very soft.
Soft foods for babies can also be helpful for people who need to observe a soft diet for a short period of time. While few adults prefer baby food to regular fare, this option does provide a great deal of variety in choices of vegetables and fruits. Further, baby food is filling and contains nutrients that are needed by adults as well as babies. To make the vegetables more palatable to adult tastes, use finely ground spices to enhance the flavor.
When then teeth and gums are sensitive, soft foods can also come in handy. Generally, foods for sensitive teeth need to be free of acid content and served at room temperature. Even if the food is soft, the use of cold or hot foods can cause a great deal of pain. Go with cream soups that can be cooked and cooled to room temperature, along with pureed vegetables that are allowed to reach room temperature. For a dessert, go with powdered milk that is made with slightly warm water and a dry chocolate mix.
Soft foods for older individuals can include a great deal of variety, assuming that the teeth or gums are not sensitive and the ingestion of soft food is more a matter of preventing indigestion from taking place. Here, it is possible to cook down fruits and vegetables until they require very little chewing and are not likely to cause acid reflux or to become lodged in the throat. Puddings and flavored gelatins are also good options that are less likely to cause any issues. Even bread may be an acceptable choice, after taking care to soak the bread in a small amount of milk. Older people also benefit from using a juicer to create healthy beverages loaded with all the nutrients of various fruits and vegetables but without the bulk.
The choice of soft foods depends a great deal on the reasons behind the diet. What will work well for an individual who has undergone facial reconstructive surgery is likely to be different from the foods needed by someone with sensitive teeth. By taking into consideration the specific needs of the individual, it is possible to prepare the foods in a manner that will be easy to ingest, contains the essential nutrients, and will not cause a great deal of discomfort.