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Adrienne, Alumni Mentor
@adriennef

Posts: 42
Joined: Sep 01, 2017

Soft Food Suggestions

Posted by @adriennef, Nov 30, 2017

@jeffk @lisa_sj99 @jtw96 @mrsjhagen18 @sylviapf @lzzie @loli @karly @trudivo @angelag @ssimons @deborahe @gaybinator @emmur16 @merryinman0811 @udderplace @carebear @alpaca

Head and neck cancer patients have a unique challenge in dealing with limited food options. I had such a struggle finding food that was soft enough to eat, but also tasted good. There is only so much soup a person can stand, right??? I had a feeding tube during several rounds of treatment, but had to eat by mouth during my first few diagnoses. Did anyone land on some food that worked really well post-surgically or during treatment? I ate way too many of my mom’s peanut butter pies. It has a smooth texture, and I would make it without the crust 🙂 Pudding and cheesecake were also winners in my book. Definitely not a low sugar diet, but it worked for me. What about you?

REPLY

Gravy has been my saving grace. I buy a light brown gravy mix and make it up with hot water – cover mashed vegetables and maybe very finely cut soft meat with it. Roast veges are very soft: potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, capsicum. Gravy on top and they’ll go down the hatch.
I’m getting sick of cheesecake and lemon meringue pie which are all I can eat if out at a cafe. I ask for a double supply of yoghurt with anything I order. (And big confession – if I’m out in the city I look for A Carl’s Jnr which has delicious milkshakes.)
Soup is more interesting if you add some chopped, buttered toast.
Unsurprisingly I have started to put on weight for the first time in three years – that’s a good sign cancer-wise but not so good for my appearance:) And I’m not proud of the health status of my food.

Since June my husband has had a tube. He still takes very little by mouth, as the latest round of radiation completely blew out what was left of salivary glands. He is still able to chew and swallow, but it has to be something that won’t stick to his teeth. We’ve found that foods which contain their own moisture are best. You really enjoys watermelon, peeled and deseeded cucumbers and peeled seedless grapes.His cancer is Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Spindle Cell. The radiation was directed at his neck, not his esophagus.

@adriennef Hi Adrienne,
Ten years ago I had gastric bypass surgery. Post op I could only eat soft foods for about a month. Some of my favorites are cottage cheese, yogurt,applesauce, chili (Taco Bell’s chili is still a favorite as it’s smooth and a great source of protein) you can puree some of your favorite foods in a blender. I’m not sure if scrambled eggs would be okay as far as swallowing.
I hope you find something new!
Jen

Memories! I lived on soup, coddled eggs, and avocado. I must say I started juicing after surgery, and still juice once a day, for breakfast every day. I also did a lot of protein shakes. I had to be strong for radiation treatment, and I did very well with energy levels during radiation. After radiation, my mouth was so burnt, that I lost around 40 pounds. I could hardly drink It was the most difficult part of it all. But here I am, four and a half years later, having regained about 30 pounds, and strong and active. I eat almost everything, that is, if I can bite it. Even though I did a lot of opening mouth exercises, my bite is limited. I take longer time to eat, but I think that is to my advantage.

I have the beginning of esophageal dysmotility, and have to eat carefully, but so far I can eat most anything, as long as I chew it thoroughly. Fortunately, I like yogurt, ice cream, custards, and a bunch of other fattening things. My wife makes great soups and various entrees with sauces, and pasta dishes. I like fruit and vegetables. Some are easier to eat than others. Squash, potatoes, yams, tomatoes (I grow these in my garden), peaches, apricots, plums , and canned fruit. Breads are a challenge, except in a bowl of milk. The magic bullet is a great tool. I think that eggs over easy would be easier than scrambled or omelet. Pancakes go down pretty well with a generous cover of real maple syrup and whipped cream or sour cream and jam.

Soft can be great, but it’s hard to enjoy a good steak after it’s been through the blender.

Jim

@alpaca

Gravy has been my saving grace. I buy a light brown gravy mix and make it up with hot water – cover mashed vegetables and maybe very finely cut soft meat with it. Roast veges are very soft: potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, capsicum. Gravy on top and they’ll go down the hatch.
I’m getting sick of cheesecake and lemon meringue pie which are all I can eat if out at a cafe. I ask for a double supply of yoghurt with anything I order. (And big confession – if I’m out in the city I look for A Carl’s Jnr which has delicious milkshakes.)
Soup is more interesting if you add some chopped, buttered toast.
Unsurprisingly I have started to put on weight for the first time in three years – that’s a good sign cancer-wise but not so good for my appearance:) And I’m not proud of the health status of my food.

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Gravy is a great idea! I haven’t tried that one!

I hear you on the weight gain. I’ve put on a few pounds too. It feels healthy, but I sure hate not fitting into my clothes!

@gaybinator

Since June my husband has had a tube. He still takes very little by mouth, as the latest round of radiation completely blew out what was left of salivary glands. He is still able to chew and swallow, but it has to be something that won’t stick to his teeth. We’ve found that foods which contain their own moisture are best. You really enjoys watermelon, peeled and deseeded cucumbers and peeled seedless grapes.His cancer is Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Spindle Cell. The radiation was directed at his neck, not his esophagus.

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That is a very interesting observation! I also can’t eat food that sticks to my teeth, but never put my finger on that reason. That’s really helpful! Have you been able to manage his feeding tube well? Does he miss eating by mouth at all? I know it is a hard transition.

@sandytoes14

@adriennef Hi Adrienne,
Ten years ago I had gastric bypass surgery. Post op I could only eat soft foods for about a month. Some of my favorites are cottage cheese, yogurt,applesauce, chili (Taco Bell’s chili is still a favorite as it’s smooth and a great source of protein) you can puree some of your favorite foods in a blender. I’m not sure if scrambled eggs would be okay as far as swallowing.
I hope you find something new!
Jen

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Thank for the suggestions, Jen! And I apologize for only thinking about H&N cancer patients in regards to soft foods. There are so many other conditions that require it. Thanks for noting the Taco Bell brand of chili. I tried eating it from Wendy’s and it was waaaay too chunky. I didn’t realize Taco Bell had it. Thanks for the input!

@loli

Memories! I lived on soup, coddled eggs, and avocado. I must say I started juicing after surgery, and still juice once a day, for breakfast every day. I also did a lot of protein shakes. I had to be strong for radiation treatment, and I did very well with energy levels during radiation. After radiation, my mouth was so burnt, that I lost around 40 pounds. I could hardly drink It was the most difficult part of it all. But here I am, four and a half years later, having regained about 30 pounds, and strong and active. I eat almost everything, that is, if I can bite it. Even though I did a lot of opening mouth exercises, my bite is limited. I take longer time to eat, but I think that is to my advantage.

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That radiation really does a number on your mouth, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing your ideas. Did you find the juice to be gentle enough on your mouth? I had a hard time because it was acidic. I’d love to hear some of your favorite juice recipes!

@jimhd

I have the beginning of esophageal dysmotility, and have to eat carefully, but so far I can eat most anything, as long as I chew it thoroughly. Fortunately, I like yogurt, ice cream, custards, and a bunch of other fattening things. My wife makes great soups and various entrees with sauces, and pasta dishes. I like fruit and vegetables. Some are easier to eat than others. Squash, potatoes, yams, tomatoes (I grow these in my garden), peaches, apricots, plums , and canned fruit. Breads are a challenge, except in a bowl of milk. The magic bullet is a great tool. I think that eggs over easy would be easier than scrambled or omelet. Pancakes go down pretty well with a generous cover of real maple syrup and whipped cream or sour cream and jam.

Soft can be great, but it’s hard to enjoy a good steak after it’s been through the blender.

Jim

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Thanks, Jim. I’m coming to your house for dinner 🙂 Sounds like you’ve found some great (and healthy!) food to sustain you. I agree- I also think eggs over easy are easier to eat than scrambled. The runny yolk is helpful!

I hear you on the steak! Has it been hard to give any foods up?

@sandytoes14

@adriennef Hi Adrienne,
Ten years ago I had gastric bypass surgery. Post op I could only eat soft foods for about a month. Some of my favorites are cottage cheese, yogurt,applesauce, chili (Taco Bell’s chili is still a favorite as it’s smooth and a great source of protein) you can puree some of your favorite foods in a blender. I’m not sure if scrambled eggs would be okay as far as swallowing.
I hope you find something new!
Jen

Jump to this post

Lots of us share the soft food diet. The thing about H&N treatment is that is alters taste if you have radiotherapy and spicy foods can sting. But I love a mild butter chicken with sour cream even if the rice sticks in my teeth a bit.

@loli

Memories! I lived on soup, coddled eggs, and avocado. I must say I started juicing after surgery, and still juice once a day, for breakfast every day. I also did a lot of protein shakes. I had to be strong for radiation treatment, and I did very well with energy levels during radiation. After radiation, my mouth was so burnt, that I lost around 40 pounds. I could hardly drink It was the most difficult part of it all. But here I am, four and a half years later, having regained about 30 pounds, and strong and active. I eat almost everything, that is, if I can bite it. Even though I did a lot of opening mouth exercises, my bite is limited. I take longer time to eat, but I think that is to my advantage.

Jump to this post

Someone said that avocado and tinned salmon makes a nice puree. I found that fruit juices would sting for a whole after treatment – even bananas would sting! But now I have a craving for squeezed orange juice and can tolerate it quite well. I have the limited bite too, Loli. Glad you are strong and active. That is encouraging for people still going through treatment.

@jimhd

I have the beginning of esophageal dysmotility, and have to eat carefully, but so far I can eat most anything, as long as I chew it thoroughly. Fortunately, I like yogurt, ice cream, custards, and a bunch of other fattening things. My wife makes great soups and various entrees with sauces, and pasta dishes. I like fruit and vegetables. Some are easier to eat than others. Squash, potatoes, yams, tomatoes (I grow these in my garden), peaches, apricots, plums , and canned fruit. Breads are a challenge, except in a bowl of milk. The magic bullet is a great tool. I think that eggs over easy would be easier than scrambled or omelet. Pancakes go down pretty well with a generous cover of real maple syrup and whipped cream or sour cream and jam.

Soft can be great, but it’s hard to enjoy a good steak after it’s been through the blender.

Jim

Jump to this post

I’ve gone through a couple of blenders over the last three years. Like you I can eat pancakes with plenty of cream – hmmm sour cream on pancakes – that’s a good idea. Bread is a loss which is why I enjoy toast soaked in my soup. Jim, I don’t miss steak because it makes me shudder to think of how hard it would be to chew …

@jimhd

I have the beginning of esophageal dysmotility, and have to eat carefully, but so far I can eat most anything, as long as I chew it thoroughly. Fortunately, I like yogurt, ice cream, custards, and a bunch of other fattening things. My wife makes great soups and various entrees with sauces, and pasta dishes. I like fruit and vegetables. Some are easier to eat than others. Squash, potatoes, yams, tomatoes (I grow these in my garden), peaches, apricots, plums , and canned fruit. Breads are a challenge, except in a bowl of milk. The magic bullet is a great tool. I think that eggs over easy would be easier than scrambled or omelet. Pancakes go down pretty well with a generous cover of real maple syrup and whipped cream or sour cream and jam.

Soft can be great, but it’s hard to enjoy a good steak after it’s been through the blender.

Jim

Jump to this post

@alpaca @adriennef

I brought home a pancake that I didn’t eat at a restaurant, and had fun putting stuff on it to make it taste better after zapping it too long. Sliced a banana, butter, syrup (the good stuff), ice cream and whipped cream. My wife was at her knitting group, so I was fending for myself. I had a frozen yogurt at Costco today, and found it harder to swallow than the polish dog. I haven’t given up anything, really, except straws.

My sister died a few years ago of undetermined causes. She saw dozens of doctors at Stanford university school of medicine and in other places, but no one ever came up with a diagnosis. It began with swallowing issues, and the last year or so of her life, she had a feeding tube and couldn’t take anything by mouth. She was almost 60.

Having watched her waste away to nothing causes me anxiety because we were so much alike. She was also the only sibling out of 5, with whom I was close.

Multiple medical issues and dual diagnosis (mental and physical) make for challenges for many of us.

Jim

@jimhd

I have the beginning of esophageal dysmotility, and have to eat carefully, but so far I can eat most anything, as long as I chew it thoroughly. Fortunately, I like yogurt, ice cream, custards, and a bunch of other fattening things. My wife makes great soups and various entrees with sauces, and pasta dishes. I like fruit and vegetables. Some are easier to eat than others. Squash, potatoes, yams, tomatoes (I grow these in my garden), peaches, apricots, plums , and canned fruit. Breads are a challenge, except in a bowl of milk. The magic bullet is a great tool. I think that eggs over easy would be easier than scrambled or omelet. Pancakes go down pretty well with a generous cover of real maple syrup and whipped cream or sour cream and jam.

Soft can be great, but it’s hard to enjoy a good steak after it’s been through the blender.

Jim

Jump to this post

Maple syrup is very expensive here! Yes, it is important to keep the weight up for those of us who have swallowing issues.

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