Soft bulk foods have a soft texture and are easy to chew, swallow and digest. Soft-food diets are necessary after surgery, after dental treatments and during recovery for a host of health conditions. A soft-food diet eliminates foods that are tough or rich in fiber. But they can include most basic types of food, including dairy, grains, vegetables, fruits and meats.


Dairy

Hard and strong-flavored cheese, and dairy products that contain hard fruits and nuts, should be avoided in a soft-food diet. Soft cheeses such as brie, ricotta, thinly-sliced Swiss and cheddar are suitable to be eaten. Ice cream, yogurt, milkshakes, custard and pudding are best eaten plain or with soft fruits.

Grains

Starch-based foods are generally easy to digest, and should form part of a nutritious soft-food diet. Soft-cooked meals prepared from couscous, quinoa, soft-cooked rice, pasta and noodles are ideal. Polenta, risotto, matzo balls, hominy grits, cornmeal, farina, oatmeal and puffed rice also are suitable. Avoid whole grains, wheat and bran.

Vegetables

Raw vegetables should not be included in a soft-food diet, as they are difficult to chew and digest. Vegetables should be pureed or cooked in a gravy or sauce. Vegetable-based dishes such as carrot soup, spinach or corn souffle, and salsa are wise choices. Avoid gas-forming vegetables like peas, as well as vegetables from the cabbage family, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts.

Fruits

Fruits should be skinned and seeded before eating. Ripe bananas, melon cubes, baked apples and applesauce, fruit juices and smoothies, and any ripened mushy fruit can be eaten. Avoid dry fruits such as apricots and dates, as well as apples, raspberries and blackberries, and stringy fruits such as mango and pineapple.

Meats

Cook red meat in a pressure cooker or crock pot, so that it becomes tender and can be chewed with ease. It is best to eliminate tough meats, beef jerky, corned beef, fried chicken or fish, and dry meats. Ground or soft-grilled chicken, fish or beef can be eaten on their own or as a part of a broth or bouillon. Fish cakes and fillets are other healthy options.