Soft food diet for the elderly

Updated April 17, 2017

As people age, it is more difficult to eat hard, whole food. For example, if you have dentures, it is difficult to consume some foods, and some throat diseases also make eating difficult. Soft food diets include foods that are easy to chew and swallow. There are a number of different soft foods the elderly can consume as well as cooking procedures that assist with a soft food diet.

What to Avoid

If a person is put on a soft foods diet, he or she must avoid breads that are hard to chew with seeds and grains, as well as bagels and English muffins. Snack foods like popcorn and chips are also difficult to chew and should not be consumed. Fruits and vegetables such as corn, peas, kidney beans, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables that cannot be mashed, dried fruits, pineapple, fruits with seeds and fruits with skins. Other foods to avoid include hard cereals, rice, stringy meat and sliced cheese.


There are a number of food options for those who must follow a soft food diet. Porridge-style cereals like oatmeal are ideal, as are cereals that soften in milk like Rice Krispies. Soft breads, muffins and soft pasta can be consumed, as well. Other ideal foods include mashed potatoes, pur�ed berries, bananas and ripe melon.

Another option for eating fruits is to cook them or drink juice. Be sure to skin all vegetables that are eaten raw or cooked. Debone all fish and meat, but the best option is canned chicken and tuna. Eggs are another option for soft food diets because scrambled eggs and soft-boiled eggs do not require much chewing to eat. Yoghurt, cottage cheese, apple sauce and ice cream are also popular items for soft food diets.


In reality, any food can become a soft food diet when pur�ed. This means to take the food and place in a blender to make it a soft consistency. Keep in mind although this is an option, it is not always pleasant to look at. Food can also be cooked for extended periods of time to make it softer.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Melissa Warner is a freelance writer and editor in Milwaukee, Wis. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "The Irish American Post" and "The London Student." Warner received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.