A soft foods diet is also called a low-fiber diet or a bland diet. A soft foods diet is something doctors recommend after certain medical procedures. As you can probably guess from the name, a soft foods diet involves choosing foods that are soft, easy to chew, and gentle on your stomach.

A soft foods diet aims to make the digestive process easy on your body. A soft foods diet can’t deliver all the nutrition that you need long-term. It’s a temporary solution for when your body needs to heal. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about the soft foods diet.

A soft foods diet is sometimes advised when you’ve had a medical procedure that affects your digestive tract. Common medical conditions that might be helped by a soft foods diet include gastroenteritis, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) flare-ups. A soft foods diet is also useful following oral surgery, dental reconstruction, and throat surgery.

A soft foods diet is one of the only diets that will encourage you to eat low-fiber foods and refined, processed carbohydrates. You should also focus on eating canned vegetables and fruit as opposed to fresh produce, and try to get protein from softer sources such as eggs and well-cooked fish.

Examples of what to eat include:

  • pureed fruit (such as applesauce)
  • canned fish and poultry
  • fruit and vegetable juice
  • white rice
  • egg noodles
  • white bread
  • mashed potatoes
  • bananas
  • mangoes
  • avocados
  • cottage cheese
  • tea

You should also drink plenty of water when you’re on a soft foods diet. This will keep you from getting dehydrated, which can slow the healing process of your body. It will also help keep your digestion going, even though you aren’t getting much fiber.

As important as it is to eat soft food during this diet, it’s equally critical to avoid certain foods. These are foods that are high in fiber content or difficult for your body to digest.

Examples of what to avoid include:

  • whole wheat and whole grain breads
  • raw vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • beans and nuts, including peanuts
  • brown and wild rice
  • berries
  • high-fiber and fiber-enriched cereals
  • carbonated beverages (e.g., soda, seltzer)

A soft foods diet might feel restrictive at first. But there are a surprising amount of creative and classic recipes that you can enjoy while your body needs soft foods. Some include:

A soft diet is a temporary way to give your digestive system a rest. While you’re on the soft foods diet, make sure you’re resting your whole body, not just your stomach! Take the time to take care of yourself following any condition that requires a soft foods diet. With your doctor’s approval, you should be able to resume eating healthy and fiber-rich foods in a short period of time.