Jaw surgery, or any kind of oral surgery, is no fun at all. And even worse, it can leave you at a loss as to what kinds of foods to eat. You have to make sure to keep your energy up so that your body has the energy to heal, but that can seem difficult to do on a diet consisting of mostly yogurt. However, if you get a little creative with your liquid food choices, you can keep a healthy, balanced diet for as long as you need to heal.
Now, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t only be consuming “liquids.” Your food should have a smooth, liquid-like texture so that it doesn’t require chewing and potentially messing up your surgery. But you cannot live on water, juices, and soda for weeks on end. Whole foods, blended into a liquid consistency, are what you need in order to keep you going.
With that in mind, here are some of the best foods to eat when you’ve just had jaw surgery and you’re confined to a liquid-only diet. (You can also find specific recipes here.)
All jokes aside, yogurt is actually an incredibly important part of any post-surgery diet, especially if you’re on follow up medications or antibiotics. Yogurt provides you with much needed protein, filling dairy ingredients, vitamins and minerals, and all-important probiotics that re-strengthen your immune system, which is probably weak after a major surgery, and keeps your digestive system strong to help deal with this shift to a liquid diet.
The probiotics in yogurt also keep your whole body healthy if you’re on antibiotics. While antibiotics are great for killing off any leftover bad bacteria, they can also kill off good bacteria as well. Yogurt will replenish that good bacteria in the form of probiotics, preventing further complications and side effects from the antibiotics like yeast infections.
Along those lines, why not mix the yogurt up with some healthy fruits and veggies and make a delicious smoothie? The antioxidants and whole-body benefits you get from fruits and vegetables can help you make a speedy recovery, and just generally help you feel great. This can also mix up the flavor of the yogurt if you’re getting tired of it.
Smoothies are so versatile and can be tailored to almost anyone’s unique tastes and interests, and to make them even better, you can add extra health boosters like flaxseed or chia seeds for digestion and immunity boosts, or powdered protein if you’re feeling particularly hungry. Can’t go wrong with smoothies!
Mashed potatoes are also a staple of the non-chewable diet. Potatoes provide you with carbs that you need to keep your energy up throughout the day, and it’s one of the only really savory liquid-like foods you can get. If you have that salty, buttery craving after days of smoothies, try out a batch of mashed potatoes. Throw a little sour cream on there too for extra fat and extra flavor. To get truly lump-free potatoes, try using a food mill to make them.
Soup or broth is also a great option, used by communities for centuries for fast healing of any ailment. The only thing you’ll want to be careful of with soups is the ingredients inside of them. Many soups have hard to chew chunks of vegetables, meat, or other ingredients that you may not be able to eat. Make sure to get the pure broth, or a “cream of -” soup so that you get the benefits of the ingredients without having to chew them. My favorites are cream of mushroom or cream of broccoli. A lot of them are savory and even have cheese added in there for extra deliciousness! Some chunkier soups can also be pureed – check out this guide to learn how.
Similar to those cream of – soups, you can also just blend entire meals together and eat/drink them that way if you’re really craving the flavors of a particular, hard to chew meal. For example, you can throw rice, green beans, and even meats like chicken into a blender or food processor, essentially making them into a cream soup, and eat them that way. This is probably the best way to get the most calories and health benefits out of any meal, as it’s similar to making a smoothie, just with higher density ingredients. There are even some advantages to blending food instead of eating whole food.
Ice Cream Treats
And of course, no post-surgery meal list would be complete without mentioning ice cream! Grab your favorite flavor (although, remember that something like rocky road that requires a lot of chewing may not be an option) and chow down! You can also switch it up by trying sorbets, frozen yogurts (for those important probiotics), sherberts, or other ice cream novelties. Explore the section and find something you’d enjoy, because you deserve it!
Looking for liquid meals to make at home?
Check out these recipes for liquid diets.
When you are on a liquid diet after jaw surgery, make sure the liquids you are consuming are as nutritious as possible. You’ll need the nutrients to help with your healing, right? Thinned soups, yogurts, and pureed versions of your favorite foods are great choices. Oh! And ice cream – don’t forget the ice cream!
Have you ever been stuck on a liquid diet after jaw surgery? Can you suggest some liquid foods to eat after jaw surgery? Feel free to share your tips and favorite foods in the comments below. Also, I’d appreciate a quick share on social media if you found this article helpful!
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