Before or after some surgeries, your surgeon may recommend that you eat a mechanical soft diet for a few days. Other people with swallowing issues will need to be on this type of nutrition for the rest of their lives. While your first reaction may be to groan, you can eat a healthy diet that will keep you full while giving your body the help that it needs as the point of this diet is to make it easier to chew and swallow your food. Here are some dos and don’ts that you will want to keep in mind.
While you can buy special meals, you can easily eat what the rest of the family is eating with just a little preparation work. No piece of food should be larger than the distance between the tines of a fork. The easiest way to get the food to the right size is to use the pulse on a food processor. You may also find it helpful to use a blender.
You will want to concentrate on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try choosing ones with different colors as it will add visual interest to your plate. You should avoid corn and green beans because the outer covering is hard for the body to digest properly. You should also avoid any fruit or vegetable that has seeds that you cannot remove easily. You need to cook all the vegetables well before you eat them. Put them in the food processor and grind them until they are the right size. If the food gets dry, then add up to two tablespoons water or another liquid.
You can eat almost any meat on a mechanical soft diet. You will, however, want to avoid bacon as it does not grind easily along with most lunchmeats. If you want meat that has an outside skin to it, such as bratwurst or hot dogs, remove the skin before grinding the meat. Avoid fish that has lots of bones because it can be challenging to get them all out before grinding the food. Meat is usually easier to eat when you put it in a sauce. You can use gravies, tomato sauces, stock or almost any type of liquid.
There are many different types of sweets that you can have on a soft mechanical diet. You should, however, avoid those that are typically hard to chew or any that contain nuts or seeds. Try soaking soft cookies in a bowl of milk for a special treat or making a cake and mixing it with pudding.
You can easily get full on a mechanical soft diet. Talk to your orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary about your specific needs before you undergo any procedure. The orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary will be glad to discuss your special dietary requirements with you.