Soft Foods That Do Not Require Chewing

Published:  09/16/2019

Chopped pasta with red sauce and parmesan, yogurt with strawberry jam and chopped strawberries

Soft Foods That Are Easy to Chew 

At 57 years old, I got braces on my lower teeth and Invisalign on my upper teeth to correct a deep bite. After the braces were put on I realized I couldn't bring my molars together to chew food.

I decided to use my training as a dietitian to experiment with foods and meals that I could enjoy and then share this with others who have had the same type of orthodontic correction or have had their teeth removed prior to getting dentures or have some other dental condition in which they cannot macerate their food with their teeth.

The first two days I found it easiest to drink smoothies and eat yogurts. After that, I started experimenting with various textures and sizes of chunks of food that I could manage to eat and enjoy. Here I share with you the foods that I was able to chew and enjoy plus links to some of the recipes.

Consult a Dietitian for Personalized Guidance

If you have chewing problems, a dietitian can work with you to plan meals and snacks that are easy to chew and nutritious. Dietitians consider your medical history, preferences, culture and lifestyle to give you personalized advice. Your dietitian will make sure you are getting enough nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D. If you would benefit from a meal planning advice or a supplement, a dietitian can guide you. I'd love to work with you! Read more about my nutrition services here. 

General Guidelines to Eating a Healthy Diet That Is Easily Chewed

  • If you have had a tooth removed: do not us a straw for at least three days.
  • Cook foods so that they are moist, soft, and easily swallowed.
  • Foods might need to be chopped finely or blenderized. 
  • Eat slowly and take small bites.
  • Moisten food with broth, milk or other liquid. For instance cornbread, toast, cake with a little milk. 
  • Cook or simmer foods in sauces or liquids to keep them moist.
  • Cook foods until they are soft and tender.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals per day if needed, instead of 3 big meals.
  • Make sure you are eating a large variety from all food categories: Include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, lean protein and fat so you are getting enough nutrients and calories.  Add gravy or broth to any meat for moisture.
  • Everyone is different. Experiment and see what works for you. 
  • Cold foods like smoothies, puddings, ice cream and sorbet can help with mouth pain, while pureed foods and drinks are easy to swallow, even after painful oral surgery. Be sure to ask your surgeon if you can use a straw or not.
  • Try foods cold or at room temperature. Hot and warm foods can irritate a tender mouth and healing gums.
  • Mix food with butter, thin gravies, and sauces to make it easier to swallow.
  • Add sauces to vegetables.

Specific Food Ideas That Require Only Minimal Chewing

  • Applesauce
  • Au gratin potatoes
  • Avocado
  • Bean soup blended with an emulsion blender and cooked quinoa added.
  • Blueberries
  • Brown rice
  • Canned beans
  • Canned fruit in water
  • Casseroles with tender ingredients 
  • Cheese and broccoli soufflé
  • Cheese, soft 
  • Chickpea avocado mash
  • Chickpea avocado mash, toast, blueberries
  • Chili
  • Chopped strawberries using a pastry blender tool
  • Cold whole grain cereal softened in milk
  • Congee
  • Cooked quinoa topped with tablespoons of skim ricotta, chopped spinach, meatballs and red sauce then heated in the microwave.
  • Cornbread warmed and topped with milk and sugar
  • Cornmeal mush
  • Cottage cheese. Try it with strawberry jam or honey for a dessert. Top with flaxseed meal for added nutrition. 
  • Cottage or ricotta cheese
  • Cranberry sauce, canned
  • Custard
  • Egg fried, scrambled, poached or sous vide
  • Egg salad
  • Fish without bones
  • Fortified plant-based beverages
  • Fresh mango
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit, naturally soft such as ripe pear or banana 
  • Ground meat or poultry
  • Guacamole
  • Hearty vegetable, bean and noodle soups. 
  • Hummus
  • Inside of baked potato, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese. No skin
  • Kefir
  • Lasagna
  • Lentil dal
  • Mandarin oranges, canned 
  • Mashed black beans with salsa topped with cheese and avocado
  • Mashed canned fish 
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Meatloaf
  • Milk 
  • Millet
  • Mocha coffee recipe: add 1 scoop of this chocolate protein powder to hot coffee and stir. Add additional skim milk if desired.
  • Mousse
  • Nut butters
  • Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal with yogurt and banana
  • Omelet made with cheese, spinach
  • Pasta 
  • Pasta with meat sauce served with chopped strawberries and vanilla yogurt with homemade strawberry jam.
  • Patak's mango curry simmer sauce with diced tofu 
  • Peanut butter on soft whole wheat bread and milk to drink
  • Pears
  • Peeled chopped peach
  • Polenta
  • Protein shakes. Make at home or purchase: Ensure, Boost or equivalent or Carnation® Instant Breakfast powder
  • Pudding
  • Pureed mashed potatoes with milk
  • Pureed soups: broccoli, squash, corn, tomato, etc. 
  • Pureed vegetables or fruit 
  • Quiche
  • Quinoa
  • Raspberries
  • Raspberries and cottage cheese
  • Red lentil soup blended with an emulsion blender and garnished with fresh avocado.
  • Red lentil soup with grated carrot
  • Refried beans
  • Ricotta cheese raspberry mug cake
  • Ricotta raspberries microwave cake
  • Ripe pear and yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Roasted cauliflower, vegetable soup with tofu, avocado and raspberries.
  • Roasted or steamed cauliflower topped with parmesan
  • Salmon baked with pesto spread on top
  • Scrambled egg with finely chopped spinach
  • Shepherd's pie 
  • Shredded, melted or grated cheese
  • Smoothies
  • Soft cake with frosting
  • Soft cheesecake
  • Soft moist meatballs with red meat sauce 
  • Soft raised glazed doughnut
  • Soft vegetables such as eggplant, squash, spinach and sweet potato 
  • Soft whole grain bread 
  • Sous vide eggs 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Spaghetti sauce with chopped tender ground beef or lean turkey 
  • Split pea soup, blenderized or pureed 
  • Steamed, grilled or roasted vegetables. Choose brightly-colored options for the most nutritional value – peppers, carrots, beets, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc. 
  • Stewed or braised meat
  • Sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch rounds, tossed in olive oil and baked til tender.
  • Tapioca pudding topped with soft ripe raspberries
  • Toast with ricotta, honey and jam
  • Toasted cheese sandwich
  • Tofu
  • Tofu with red sauce
  • Top ramen with firm drained tofu plus soy sauce
  • Tuna noodle casserole, chopped
  • Tuna salad
  • Vegetables that are cooked "fork tender" 
  • Vitamin A muffin recipe
  • Watermelon
  • Whole grain crackers in soup
  • Whole grain pasta with pesto sauce, chopped
  • Whole grain pasta with pesto, chopped
  • Yogurt, greek has more protein

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Maria Faires, RD

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Categories:   Food  Health Conditions 

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