Soft Food Suggestions

Posted by Adrienne, Alumna Mentor @adriennef, Nov 30, 2017

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?

@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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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 …

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@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

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@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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@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

Jim,

I am so sorry about your sister. It is tough to see someone so close suffer like that. My sister has had cancer of the tongue, and last year she was diagnosed with jaw bone cancer. After a very successful surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, she started suffering from nerve pain in her jaw. It is though.

In a way, I am like you. I have not given up on anything. My taste buds are being restored, and I can even enjoy a good glass of bordeaux. I juice in the morning. A glass of organic apple, lime, ginger, kale and celery juice, without the pulp. It is not tasty and it is stringent, but I drink it quickly with my daily vitamin d and some supplements like spirulina. Are you low on vitamin D? Everybody? I think that we people that have suffered from cancer, share the vitamin D deficiency. I would like to find more about it. I also do vitamin B injections for a week, every three months.

One thing that helps me mentally, is to give some money to St. Jude’s . They send me a picture of a child suffering from cancer every month. I collect them at my desk, and whenever I look at them, I see a child smiling, and I think “if they can do it, I can do it” Forgive me for repeating myself, but I thank God every day for the beauty of the universe. Reflecting on it gives me pleasure and strength.

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@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

It’s expensive, I know. We found that Costco has the best price. It’s one of my 2 splurges, the other being real butter. My wife uses the cheap syrup, and we’re very frugal with our grocery shopping.

Jim

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It's only been about 3 days since I had my feeding tube removed. On soft food diet, but am having trouble trying to swallow normally. Does it get better with time?? Anybody??

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@msherfinski

It's only been about 3 days since I had my feeding tube removed. On soft food diet, but am having trouble trying to swallow normally. Does it get better with time?? Anybody??

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Hello, @msherfinski. Early days for you as you learn to eat again. I'm sure your dietitian or doctor would not have "allowed" you to have the tube removed if there was any serious barrier to your swallowing. I did not have a peg but have heard many people talk about the trouble they've had getting back to normal swallowing. Ice cream worked for me when I was having treatment. Wishing you well.

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hello i can not sallow a thing my esophagus is stopped up i want to know if doctors can burn ut the scar tissue and open my esophagus.

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Hello @wanttoeatagain and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I understand you are not able to swallow and that you are curious if there is a procedure to burn out scar tissue in your esophagus.

I found this information below that discusses Dysphagia and Esophageal Dilation as a potential treatment that may shed light on some of your options, of course, depending on your specific circumstances.

-Dysphagia:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dysphagia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372033
How long as swallowing been an issue for you and do you happen to know what was the likely cause that brought this on?

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