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Soft Food Diet Meal Plan for All Ages

Soft Food Diet Meal Plan for All Ages

The word “diet” is often associated with weight loss, though there are many diets that are not for weight loss. For example, your doctor may recommend a soft food diet meal plan for several reasons, including surgery recovery or digestive issues. Learn more about the diet and what food you can and can’t eat here.

What is a soft food diet and why do I need it?

A soft food diet is also referred to as a bland diet or gastrointestinal soft diet. As the name suggests, this diet consists of softened or mushy food. Doctors typically prescribe a soft food diet when a patient cannot chew or digest normally.

Infants and young children require a soft food diet until their teeth have grown in. Elderly adults who have lost their teeth and do not use dentures also have soft food diets. In younger adults, lack of teeth is usually not an issue, but a doctor will recommend a soft food diet if the patient requires surgery or has digestive problems. At times, patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy may need to shift to a soft diet to better tolerate food.

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Sample soft food diet meal plan


  • Milk (soy or almond milk, if you are lactose-intolerant)
  • Oatmeal (hot or made overnight) or arroz caldo
  • Scrambled or soft-boiled egg
  • Banana

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  • Rice (cooked with additional water to make it softer)
  • Soup (liquid portion only)
  • Mung beans with malunggay leaves (meat may be added, but should be softened or shredded)



Preparing soft food

Despite their reputation as a “bland” diet, soft diets can still be tasty. Depending on the restrictions of your diet, you can add salt and herbs to improve the taste of your dishes. Using a blender or food processor can make preparing your meals much easier, though many of the dishes in the soft diet meal plan can be made using a handheld potato masher or a food mill. You can even try preparing and storing some food in jars or plastic containers several days ahead.

Because a soft diet meal plan is prescribed to make digestion easier, it is best to avoid food that can disrupt your digestive system. It is not recommended to include spicy, oily, raw, or processed food. It is also best to avoid acidic fruit juice, coffee, and alcohol. Drink plenty of water, especially if you need to take medications in addition to the diet.

It is important to note that while a soft food diet may look or taste different, it should still be nutritious. Working with your doctor and/or a dietitian is a great way to ensure that your diet is providing you with all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Consult a medical professional before adding new food items to your soft food diet meal plan. It may also be helpful to keep a log of what you consume.

diet meal plan

Key takeaways

A soft food diet may not be the most glamorous or trendy diet, but it is a necessity for some people. For most, sticking to a soft food diet may be temporary, but for others with chronic conditions it may be a long-term recommendation. There is a wide variety of food that can be part of the soft food diet with proper preparation.

Speak to your doctor or dietitian for more information and guidelines regarding your soft food diet meal plan.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Eating Guide for Puréed and Mechanical Soft Diets, https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/pureed-and-mechanical-soft-diets, Accessed December 31, 2020.

Phase 3: Adaptive or Soft Food Diet for Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients, https://www.upmc.com/services/bariatrics/surgery-process/post-surgery/diet/soft, Accessed December 31, 2020.

Soft diet meals, https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/physically/diet-problems/managing/soft-diet/meals, Accessed December 31, 2020.

Surgical transition diet, https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/nutrition/378.pdf, Accessed December 31, 2020.

Discharge instructions: eating a soft diet, https://www.saintlukeskc.org/health-library/discharge-instructions-eating-soft-diet, Accessed December 31, 2020.

Soft diet, https://www.ruh.nhs.uk/patients/services/clinical_depts/dietetics/documents/Soft_Diet.pdf, Accessed December 31, 2020.

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Feb 03