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Soft Food Ideas for the Elderly
Soft food help elderly people who have difficulty chewing or swallowing continue to eat balanced, nutritious meals. Doctors also may recommend softer foods following head, neck or abdominal surgery, and for patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Tender or soft foods help ease the amount of chewing and swallowing needed to ingest food. You can also modify tougher foods in texture and consistency for better tolerance.

Grains

Start your day with soft breakfast grains such as toast or low-fat muffins. Other healthy choices include cold cereal with milk and cooked cereal, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat. Cooked pasta, noodles and rice are versatile grains you can add to casseroles, stews and soups. Skip hard-to-chew grains such as hard rolls, bread stick and popcorn.

Fruits and Vegetables.

Fill your diet with softer fresh fruit selections such as bananas, avocados, cut-up melon, fresh berries and ripe peaches. Canned fruit, like pears, mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail and applesauce are other smart options

Protein.

Choose lean and tender meats. Other options include soft fish without bones and creamy peanut butter. Poached, boiled or scrambled eggs and mashed legumes are also easy-to-chew choices. Ease the amount of chewing needed by limiting fried and crispy meats, beef jerky, sausage, nuts and seeds.

Dairy

Most dairy selections are nutrient-dense and naturally easy to chew. Enjoy low-fat milk or cottage cheese and reduced-fat shredded or sliced cheese. Reach for low-fat plain yogurt or light yogurt.

Extras

Incorporate small amounts of solid fats, like butter, margarine, mayonnaise and sour cream, to add moistness and flavor to your foods. Finish your meal with a light and healthy softer dessert. Angel food cake, fruit ice and peaches with low- or fat-free vanilla ice cream are all smart choices. Avoid hard-to-chew extras, such as dried fruit, hard candies, potato chips, snack chips

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