What You Need to Know About Soft Diets for Children
Soft diets for children are the result of an inability to consume solid foods. This diet helps protect the digestive tract and includes foods that are easy for the stomach to digest.
A doctor may indicate a soft diet for various reasons, but it usually has to do with a certain condition or illness.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at soft diets for children. We’ll explain what foods the diet includes and offer suggestions on how to prepare them.
Soft diets for children
This type of diet can vary slightly depending on the reason behind needing it. Generally, doctors recommend soft diets for a short time, until the source of the problem is resolved.
During this time, you should make sure to offer your child attractive meal options. This is a very important part of keeping your child well-nourished.
You want to guarantee that your child gets all of the calories, protein, and nutrients that he or she needs during this period.
Soft diets limit or eliminate foods that are hard to chew or swallow. This includes some raw fruits and vegetables, chewy breads, hard meats, etc.
It involves generous amounts of protein. Children on a soft diet should avoid fried foods as well as spicy foods.
At the same time, it’s also best to stay away from cereals and soft drinks while on a soft diet. The same is true for fruits that have skin and seeds. You should eliminate these from your child’s diet as well.
List of foods on the soft food diet
Below is a list of some of the foods your child can eat while he or she is on a soft diet. Remember to use your imagination and creativity when preparing meals to encourage your little one!
What your child can eat:
- Soft bread, without crust.
- Avocado, well-cooked asparagus, peeled and seeded tomatoes.
- Mashed potatoes or squash.
- Oatmeal, farina (hominy grits), and cream of wheat.
- Rice and pasta.
- Lamb and ground beef.
- Boneless fish, cooked tuna.
- Soup and broths.
- Pineapple, banana, strawberries.
- Yogurt and soft cheeses.
- Ice cream.
What your child can drink:
- Chocolate shakes.
- Fruit juices.
“He that takes medicine and rejects diet wastes the skills of the physician”
How to prepare soft foods
The foods that make up a soft diet are easy to digest and can be further softened by cooking or mashing them. You can include canned fruits and vegetables – or cook them yourself – instead of choosing raw or dry varieties.
At the same time, remember to add a minimal amount of oil to avoid causing damage to your little one’s belly.
Below are some specific recommendations on how to prepare foods for your child’s soft diet:
- Cut foods into small pieces.
- Use broth or sauce to soften foods. Soup is a healthy and safe option for children on soft diets.
- Cook all vegetables until they’re soft enough that you can mash them with a fork.
- Use a food processor or grinder to grind foods or make purees. This way, foods will be easier to chew and swallow.
- Include fruit juices.
- Strain soups that have large pieces of fruits or vegetables.
Tips to keep in mind regarding soft diets for children
These are some of the tips you should keep in mind if your child is on a soft diet:
- Your son or daughter should eat 5 or 6 meals a day.
- Children must rinse their mouths after each each meal to keep it clean.
- Include foods that are rich in fiber to keep constipation from becoming an issue.
- The best way to maintain your child’s proper nutrition is with calories and protein to vary his or her diet. Try a variety of recipes to help offer your child attractive options.
- Vitamins and supplements can also help keep your little one healthy.
To conclude, we want to remind you that soft diets are temporary – only to be used under specific circumstances. Despite everything, you should keep in mind that this is a great opportunity for your child to learn to eat healthy.
If you see that your child has a taste for some of the menu options, you can continue to offer them as part of his or her regular diet.