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The Soft Food Diet: Recipes and Lists of Easy-to-Chew Food
Eating well with only a few teeth - or eating with no teeth - soft food ideas
My husband has no teeth for chewing so he needs to eat soft foods. I've become an expert in finding soft foods to cook and preparing delicious easy-to-chew homemade meals.
On this page, you will find a list of soft foods and tips on preparing meals.
So, whether you are recovering from dental surgery, or have a longer need for eating soft foods, I hope that you will find some of these ideas and tips helpful!
I have recently found that eating only soft foods is a bit limiting, so I regularly cook up "normal" meals and use to blend it into an easy-to-chew meal. This enables him to eat just about anything - from pizza to hamburgers to Chinese food! I just cut it up, and add some water or other liquid if necessary, and blend away! I usually blend it in a soup bowl with tall sides and I use a spoon to stir up the food as needed. this hand blender
Above Picture: Soft Foods we commonly purchase: Instant Oatmeal, Baked Beans, Canned Tuna, Refried Beans, Canned Chicken Breast
Photos & Page Copyright by Hotbrain (Me)
Easy to Chew Recipes - My Favorite Meal Ideas - Recipes that come out soft!
- Corn Bread Recipe
Corn bread is especially soft if you serve it with a topping, like blended chili, or maple syrup.
- Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are a great breakfast recipe for those needing easy to chew foods. Melt cheese over them or drizzle them with maple syrup. If you have a chopper, you can cook sausage and throw it in the chopper. My mini food processor does a great jo
- Feta Cheese Mashed Potatoes
A twist on regular mashed potatoes!
- Good Eats Meatloaf Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network
For extra soft meatloaf, try cooking it in a slow cooker! For some amazing reason, it changes the texture and comes out almost velvety soft.
- Cream of Fresh Asparagus Soup
Looking for a recipe that everyone will love? This is absolutely delicious! It's easy to make too. I serve this with grilled cheese or a chicken sandwich using shredded chicken for a complete homemade meal.
List of Soft Foods to Buy at the Grocery Store
A Shopping List to Follow
These are foods we commonly buy and require little preparation to become soft. There is some trial and error so please use your own judgement.
Crackers, bread, and cereal tend to get soft in your mouth if you take your time. Some brands and types will be easier to eat than others, so experimentation may be necessary!
Grocery Store Shopping List
Canned & Boxed Goods
Frozen Foods & Dairy
Cream of Wheat
Soft Cereals (Rice Chex)
Waffles or Pancakes
Yams / Sweet Potatoes
Salmon or other Fish
Meatloaf TV Dinners
Cottage Cheese is a Favorite Snack!
I always try to keep cottage cheese in the fridge.
He likes to spice up cottage cheese by adding garlic & onion powder, barbecue sauce, or hot sauce!
Many people also like fruit in their cottage cheese, but I think you might have to puree the fruit in a chopper first.
Prepared Foods that are Soft - For when you don't want to cook
Sometimes I don't want to cook and I don't want to mess with a food processor... So I've been trying to find things that I can buy that are already soft.
Tamales - These are soft and delicious! They taste great with green salsa or salsa con queso. The Del Real Chicken Tamales I bought at Costco was softer than the Delimex Beef Tamales I found at Safeway, so you may have to shop around to find the perfect brand.
Macaroni & Cheese - From the freezer section. Easy to mash! You can mix in ground chicken or beef.
Quiche - The ones I bought at Costco have a soft crust and were so tasty!
An Immersion Hand Blender is Amazing!! - Main Benefit: Much easier to clean than a food processor!
I use both a hand blender and a food processor.... However, since buying the hand blender, I find myself using it more than the food processor, mainly because the hand blender is easy to clean in hot soapy water (just turn it on in hot water and it practically cleans itself). The food processor is better at some things but takes me much longer to clean (I don't have a dishwasher).
So... I find myself reaching for the hand blender on a daily basis - often several times a day. It does do better when things are moist, so if you are having trouble, add something moist. We've recently found that we can buy Black Bean Burgers and use this immersion blender to chop them up. After cooking the burgers, I cut them into quarters and add about a tablespoon of mayonnaise, and then pile it all into the mixing cup. It comes out quite well.
From Homemade Stew to Puree in 5 Seconds! - Yay! Now my love can eat homemade stew with all of the good stuff in it!
I recently bought a chopper, and we have been very pleased. I used to make stew, but no matter how small I cut the meat, or how much meat tenderizer I put on it, it never became easy enough to chew. This was quite disappointing, so I stopped making stew.
Then one day we had dinner at a relative's house. It is usually embarrassing to explain how you can't eat the food they serve, but this relative was very understanding and put the steak in a chopper. The chopper cut up the steak into tiny pieces. It was then easy to eat and still very flavorful! That's when we decided that we needed to get a chopper. We had a little one, but it just wasn't up to the job.
Fortunately, we found this one. It is very affordable. It is surprisingly quiet, and very fast in chopping or pureeing the food. The negative reviews on this chopper say that it purees food too easily, but for us, that's perfect. Now I can cook steaks and stew again. I can also serve more vegetables this way! Making homemade meals with hearty vegetables makes me so very happy! :)
Crockpots are great for making food soft! - They also make the house smell really good :)
Making a delicious crockpot meal is one of the most rewarding things in life. Try crockpot chicken soup, or crockpot beef stew. The chicken soup will probably come out soft enough to eat right out of the crockpot. You may still need to process the beef stew in a food processor, depending upon the tenderness of the meat cut.
Just remember, the longer you cook it, the more tender it will get!
Are you wishing you could eat chips?
Here's an alternative...
Cheese Puffs are a salty snack food that's easy to chew! These soft and airy snacks are a great alternative to chips.
Tip: Crunchy Doesn't Always Mean Crunchy
Have you seen a prepared food that is advertised as both "soft" and "crunchy?" I sure have! I've found that the descriptive words on the outside of the box are often meaningless... The only way to know if a food is soft is to give it a try.
Easy to Chew Recipes - Soups & Crockpot Recipes - Crockpots are great for making cheap and healthy meals
- Crockpot Chicken Soup
You can cook chicken in the crockpot any way you want, and it will come out soft. The crockpot is marvelous that way. This is a basic chicken soup recipe. I'd probably change it by using less chicken stock and more water instead (to reduce salt con
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Recipe
You can follow this recipe, or just find a bottle of barbecue sauce that you really like, and pour that over the chicken and let it cook in the crockpot all day. It'll be delicious!
- Butternut Squash Soup
Nutritious and smooth... perfect no-chew recipe!
- Pumpkin soup - MayoClinic.com
Use canned pumpkin puree to make this any time of the year!
Easy to Chew Recipes - Smoothies - Smoothies are a great way to get much needed vitamins and fruit servings!
- Melon Smoothie
In a blender, combine cantaloupe, honeydew, lime juice and sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
- Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
This smoothie uses almonds and protein powder. Great idea for those who need nutritious drinks.
- Berry Smoothie
Raspberries and Strawberries.
Chicken Egg & Cheese Sandwich
The first recipe I invented using the chopper
I think I got the idea for this recipe by watching the Magic Bullet Blender commercial too many times!
Cooked Chicken Meat
Hard Boiled Egg
* Sorry I don't have any quantities on this. I guess that's up to you to experiment! But let's just say, there was more chicken than egg and cheese!
I chopped the chicken, egg, and cheese, each separately in our new mini-chopper. Then I mixed in the rest of the ingredients. While you can eat this as a soft salad, we put it on some bread and made a sandwich out of it. When buying a soft bread, look for something that doesn't have seeds or grains in it. Sourdough, Potato, White, or Whole Wheat breads are good choices. We've found that wheat breads with added fiber are sometimes the softest! However, sometimes they are chewy... A favorite brand we used to like has recently become too chewy and so we had to switch.
Tips on Cooking Soft Meals for Someone Else
If you wonder if a food is soft enough, why not try putting it in your mouth and see if it falls apart without chewing. Feel free to move your tongue around. If it falls apart, then you've found a soft food.
Many recipes can be adapted to become soft foods by putting the ingredients in a food processor.. Casserole recipes are often easily adapted. Just process each ingredient, and then mix together and bake. Cover with foil to keep the top layer from becoming hard.
Most adults do not want to eat bland baby food. They would prefer to eat tasty things, even if they can't chew. Part of the taste comes from having the ingredients separated... If you mix too many ingredients together, it might be a soft meal but may not taste good. This makes cooking a challenge. Some dishes come out fine all processed together. We've found that Chinese and Asian dishes often taste quite good. For example, teriyaki chicken with rice and vegetables - it can all go in a food processor and still taste great. Also, some pasta dishes come out well when blended together.
The Big Cereal Challenge
Cereal should get soft in milk, right?
That's what you'd think! But sometimes they don't.
There's no real way to know if a certain cereal is a soft food until you try it yourself. However, here are the ones that we've found to be soft:
Crunchy Oat Squares
Rice Chex (and Rice Pockets, and other generic brands)
Corn Chex (and Corn Pockets, and other generic brands)
Kellogg's Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites
Although I read that "Corn Flakes" is on a suggestion list of soft foods, we recently bought a box of generic brand corn flakes which didn't get soft enough in milk!
Also, we've found that Kellogg's Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites get soft enough, but for some reason their similar Mini-Wheats don't get fully soft... However we may have to try them again in awhile (or try a different brand).
With cereal, you never know without trying! It seems that a big thing is for cereal to be "crunchy." Most of the crunchy cereals really are crunchy and not good soft foods. The Crunchy Oat Squares pictured here are the exception.
Eating Out at Restaurants and Fast Food
We often order take-out so that we can blend up food at home
We just came back from vacation. Finding soft food on the menu can be difficult. Here's what we did:
Sonic Drive-In: If you are lucky enough to have a Sonic nearby, try the Sonic Chili Cheese Tots.
Burger King Breakfast: Try the egg and cheese on a biscuit sandwich. So fluffy and delicious.
Restaurants and Diners: Try Fish & Chips, and substitute mashed potatoes for the fries. Also if they have Biscuits and Gravy on the menu, that's a reliably soft food.
Finding soft food on a restaurant menu is difficult. We did bring our hand blender with and for part of the trip we bought food at the grocery store and brought it back to the room.
A Few Tips on Nutrition, Proper Digestion, and More
Please take care of your health
Remember to pretend to chew your food, even if it's all pureed, or even if you don't have any teeth. The movement of chewing will stimulate your salivary glands to release saliva, which has enzymes to begin the digestion of food. If you skip this step, your food may not be digested as well.
Also, avoid swallowing whole pieces of food. It may give you an upset stomach and you may not absorb as much nutrition.
If this is a long term situation, I recommend a chopper because then you can eat more varieties of food, which is probably healthier.
Breakfast drinks, protein shakes, and similar nutritional drinks may be a good solution if you are finding it hard to get enough nutrition.
I wish I had advice about eating out, or about eating at other people's houses. I guess you have a few choices. Eat ahead if you don't think you can eat what's being served. Be honest, and see if they can prepare a meal that you can eat, or chop it. Perhaps bring your own chopper with (we have found this hand powered one to be most portable). Remember, your health is important, even if it's embarrassing to tell people that you don't have the teeth needed to chew the food. However, remember that people's feelings may be hurt if they think you are not eating because you don't like the food, so if you tell them it's about you, not them, it might help the situation.
Improve your Diet by Supplementing with Protein Powder
Add protein to milk, smoothies, and other drinks.
I haven't tried supplementing with protein, but I know many people do. If you're interested, you can read reviews and compare prices online.
Please don't be embarrassed!
There are so many reasons you might need soft food. My husband had a rare tumor removed years ago that destroyed many of his teeth and altered the structure of his mouth and sinus cavity. Despite having health insurance and dental insurance, he was unable to get dental implants.
So I know there are many reasons that you might have dental problems or problems with chewing and I hope that this page helps you and your family to not only enjoy delicious food, but to know that you are not alone in facing this challenge.
Who needs soft foods and no-chew foods?
It's more common than you may think
There are many reasons people might have dental problems, no teeth or only a few teeth, or people need soft foods because they have trouble chewing or swallowing. Possible reasons:
- Seniors may need easy-to-chew foods. Years of wear can cause dental problems that may be too expensive or impractical to repair.
- People who have had dental surgery, like a root canal or removal of a wisdom tooth, might need soft foods while their mouth is healing.
- Sometimes people who have a stroke need easy-to-chew foods because of difficulty with chewing.
- Sometimes tumors, cancer, or trauma can cause the emergency removal of teeth and sometimes insurance doesn't cover complete repair or implants because they may consider it cosmetic.
Soft Foods on Amazon - Shopping online makes life easier!
This provides twice the protein of an egg, plus calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C. My husband loves this mixed into his coffee, and I often mix it into milk if I want a quick meal substitute. It is kind of sweet, though.