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You may need a blenderized diet if you have mouth or throat problems or if your jaw is wired. This diet consists of foods that you puree in a blender and are thin enough to drink through a straw. Your medical team will inform you if you are not allowed to use a straw. You may need to strain foods if your jaw is tightly wired.

With planning, this diet can provide all the nutrients your body needs to heal. Use this guide to plan meals in order to get enough calories and protein.

Supplies

  • Blender or food processor

  • Fine wire strainer

  • Plastic straws

  • Wire whip or fork

  • Plastic container

  • Plastic spoons

Tips to Prepare Food

Use cooked foods. Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables and tough or gristly meats, as they are hard to puree.

Avoid nuts, seeds, whole grain or bran cereals, starches, and foods with tough skins or hulls. These foods can get trapped in the wires.

To liquefy in a blender put small pieces of solid food in a blender (1 serving = ½ cup). Add a small amount (1/4 cup) of fluid. Blend until pureed.

Liquids to use:

  • milk

  • cream

  • cream soups

  • sour cream

  • half & half

  • broth

  • fruit juice

  • vegetable juice

Other items to try:

  • cottage cheese

  • smooth yogurt (without seeds or skins of fruit)

  • ice cream (without chunks of nuts, fruit, or candy)

Strained baby food and baby cereal may be used from the jar without further blending or straining. You should blend junior foods.

Solid fats and cheese blend better if melted.

Oil, salad dressing and cream can be added right to the puree.

Do not use raw eggs. Frozen or pasteurized eggs, such as egg substitutes, reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Frozen desserts and gelatin must melt before they can be eaten.

Liquid foods should be lukewarm to prevent burning your mouth. You may find that you are not able to handle foods that are very cold.

If you have been told that it is OK to use a straw, you will want to use plastic straws. They are wider and easier to use. Cutting the bottom 2 inches off the straw can decrease the amount of suction needed.

If straws are not allowed, plastic spoons may work better than metal ones.

Eat balanced meals. Your body needs the calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fluid to heal. This is not a time to lose extra weight. Surgery is a stress that causes extra work for your body. Extra calories and protein are needed to fight infection and heal wounds.


How much and what should I be eating?

 

Milk and Drinks (3 Cups per Day)

Drink milk or use it to thin foods in cooking. Whole milk products can boost your calorie intake. If you notice unwanted weight gain, switch to low-fat or non-fat dairy foods. If you cannot digest milk, try lactose free milk like LactAid® or DairyEase®. You can also try non-dairy drinks such as fortified soymilk or fortified rice milk.

Ideas

  • Milk, milk shake

  • Puddings and custards thinned with milk

  • All drinks: hot cocoa, coffee, tea, etc

  • Yogurt or smoothies without seeds or fruit

 

Protein Foods

(1½ Cup Strained Pureed Meat per Day)

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and tofu are part of the protein group. Cook all protein foods until soft. Liquefy in a blender until the desired consistency. Blended protein foods may be added to soups. Melt processed cheese or cream cheese. 

Ideas

Thin pureed meats and poultry (baby strained), thinned with broth. Try mixing vegetables or fruits with meats for different flavors:

  • Ham with pineapple

  • Pork with applesauce

  • Beef with sweet potatoes

Vegetables and Fruits

(2 Cups or More per Day)

Include 1 serving (1/2 cup) of fruit or vegetable juice each day for vitamin C. Liquefy soft fruits in a blender. Cook vegetables until tender before you liquefy in a blender. Avoid fruits and vegetables with seeds, such as berries and tomatoes.

Ideas

  • Fruit juices or pureed fruit thinned with fruit juice. Juices may need to be strained to remove excess pulp for straw or syringe feedings

  • Mashed white or sweet potato thinned with soup.

  • Vegetable juices or purees thinned with soups. 

Breads, Cereals and Pasta

(2 Cups or More per Day)

Prepare cooked cereal with milk instead of water to increase calories and protein. Add brown sugar, honey, or table sugar for flavor and calories. Add margarine, vegetable oils, or melt in chocolate chips for extra calories. 

Ideas

  • Hot cereal such as farina, cream of rice, and grits. Make with equal parts milk and cereal.

  • Gravy, strained sauces, or soup.

Supplements

For premade high calorie and protein drinks, try one of the options below. You can find them at most grocery stores, drug stores, or online.

  • Ensure® or Ensure Plus®

  • Boost Breeze®

  • Equate or Equate Plus Nutrition Shake®

  • Boost® or Boost Plus®

  • Premier Protein®

  • Carnation Breakfast Essentials®

  • Pediasure®

  • Market Pantry Nutrition Shake®

Dental Care

Drink 2 to 4 glasses of water each day on top of your other drinks. Rinse your mouth with water after every meal to wash away small pieces of food. This is even more important if you cannot clean your teeth with a toothbrush.

Storage

You may want to blend larger portions of foods for extra meals at home or away. Date and label all containers. Clean the blender well and put all foods in the fridge. Use foods kept in the fridge within 48 hours.

Shopping List

  • Carnation Breakfast Essentials®

  • Yogurt

  • Milk (regular or powdered)

  • Cottage cheese

  • Pudding

  • Canned soups

  • Egg substitute

  • Instant oatmeal

  • Cream of wheat

  • Creamy peanut butter

  • Fruit juice

  • Tomato or V8 Juice®

  • Sauces and gravies

  • Canned pineapple or peaches

  • Fresh bananas, mango or melon

  • Frozen or canned vegetables

  • Broth (beef, chicken, vegetable)

  • Baby food

  • Instant potatoes

  • Plastic spoons 

  • Straws (wide straws)

 
Teach Back

  • What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

  • What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

Who to Call

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.