Soft Food Tips

  • Soft food means no seeds, nuts or skins – no hard, crunchy or chewy foods. However, there are some ways to still enjoy some hard and crunchy foods. For example, love nuts? finely grind nuts and add to favorite dishes. For the apple lover, try peeling that crunchy apple and slice into very thin slices or finely dice it and eat with a spoon
  • Chewing can be painful when you have an injury or tiring for the elderly who have lost chewing strength. Be sure to eat slowly and take small bites. Put your spoon down and rest every few minutes, if needed
  • The more finely you chop something the easier it will be to eat. This is true for everything from vegetables to meat
  • Because soft foods are lacking the texture of crunchy and chewy foods it is important that they have great flavor. Take the time to experiment with new spices and flavors to add variety, and invest in quality spices to insure great flavor
  • Never hesitate to change recipes according to your tastes – add more or less spices than a recipe calls for or substitute spices to meet your tastes
  • When using your best loved family recipes look for soft alternatives to ingredients. For example, use pickle juice instead of pickle relish to get the same flavor. For onions, you can substitute onion powder for chopped onions. Spice stores carry powdered versions of common ingredients such as celery, or you can grind your own dried foods
  • Walk the grocery aisles – you will be amazed (and thankful) to find soft foods everywhere from the deli to frozen foods to the dairy section and canned goods.
  • Getting enough protein into a soft diet can be a worry, as meats typically require a fair amount of chewing. Finely chopping the cooked meat, or using ground meat, and putting it into a sauce usually makes it soft enough
  • Puree cottage cheese to put into everything from pancakes to corn bread – it adds moisture and protein, and you’ll never know it’s there!
  • Keep cans of meats in your cupboard – canned meats are often fairly soft, then finely chop to add to your favorite dishes
  • When chopping meats, whether home cooked or canned, be sure to remove any gristle or excess fat
  • Check the local deli or grocery store for pre-made ham salad, tuna salad or egg salad
  • When baking, applesauce can be added to almost any quick bread, muffin, or cake recipe to add moisture and softness
  • When cooling baked goods, “tent” a piece of wax paper over the top. This allows the baked good to cool while also retaining moisture
  • Keep small cans of your favorite soft vegetable on hand to add to plain soups, such as tomato soup. This adds nutrition, flavor and substance to simple soups
  • To save time, you can double most recipes and put leftovers in the freezer for a quick meal in future. Freeze in individual servings and be sure to label the containers to avoid confusion
  • When adding crackers to soup, be sure to use the melt-in-your-mouth type that will quickly become soft in soups. Some crackers tend to become chewy rather than soft
  • When cooking pasta, you may have to cook it longer than the package directions suggest to insure that it is soft enough. Try out different brands, as some brands are softer than others
  • Keep some cooked and chopped vegetables and meats in your freezer to add to dishes on the days when you need to quickly prepare a meal
  • For a quick yet hearty soup, use your favorite can of condensed soup and add favorite soup ingredients to it, such as some soft cooked vegetables and/or a handful of finely chopped cooked chicken or cooked ground beef
  • Homemade stock substantially increases the flavor of soup recipes. Even adding one cup of homemade stock along with canned broth makes a delicious difference – make a batch of homemade and freeze portions so it will be on hand when making homemade soups
  • Keep soft fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and peaches in the freezer so they will be available as a quick and nutritious pancake or French toast topping – put some fruit into a microwavable container and cook in the microwave until hot, soft and juicy. yummy
  • Add your tips in the comments box to help others!

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