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Feeding someone after oral or similar surgery

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As a companion to this thread on feeding a sick relative, I am looking for advice for feeding a recovering self (or relative) after oral or similar surgery. I'm having a tonsillectomy in three weeks, but I think most suggestions for foods to eat following tonsillectomies could also apply to people having dental surgery or similar.


In my case, I will mostly be caring for myself so I'm starting to prepare now. My plan is to freeze some things so I can just defrost and reheat. And perhaps have a list of easy things to prepare when I'm feeling up to doing more than just reheating things.


My list so far:



clear broths (chicken, beef--to be frozen)

pureed soups (maybe squash, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower--to be frozen)

pureed beans (not frozen--I'll just mash up some canned beans)

pureed pears (to be frozen)

applesauce (to be frozen)

Some kind of baked egg thing (frittata or some other egg casserole--just eggs and cheese, no meat or vegetables--to be frozen)

macaroni and cheese--to be frozen

cream of wheat

maybe oatmeal

mashed potatoes (can't freeze mashed potatoes, can I?)

ovaltine (just because I like it)



I'll also be making some onsen tamago (not to be frozen) so I can make a few at a time and keep them refrigerated. And once I'm up to it, I'll do soft scrambled eggs.


I'm thinking for soft foods, rice would also be OK, no? Rice soup would be easy enough, and I'd like some rice to go along with my soft scrambled eggs since I won't want toast.


My doctor hasn't warned against dairy (he's a follower of more recent studies that do not show a link between the consumption of dairy and the production of mucous), but I'm not a big fan of ice cream, so that's not on my list. I will probably have some yogurt or yogurt smoothies eventually. I have been warned against acidic foods, so no tomatoes or citrus for a while.


I'm also thinking of picking up some ensure or some other kind of meal replacement beverages.


Any other suggestions for easy-to-prepare and/or freezable mushy foods?

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You might compare Ensure or Boost with things like Instant Breakfast. Last I checked, they were very similar and most people prefer the taste of Instant Breakfast (and the price.)


How about polenta?

Mashes of all kinds - vegetables, that is. Carrots, parsnips, etc - not just taters.

Roasted sweet potatoes.

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For yourself:


If you'll be taking time off from work to recuperate, you probably will go nuts sitting around the house all day. (Even with the demanding Kitty :wub:) So I would suggest not making a lot of stuff ahead and freezing it. You'll want the cooking to fill your time. Not to mention that so many of the things you list either are really easy to make fresh, or suffer from freezing (mac & cheese gets so mushy).


Definitely do popsicles ahead, so you have them available whenever you want them. Broths, yes, because they take hours to make, but freeze in small containers so they're there when you want them. I find that things like applesauce and pear sauce keep quite a long time in the fridge, so no need to freeze them if you make them shortly before you go under the knife (bwa ha ha). Cream of wheat and oatmeal--are you kidding??? Unless you make steel-cut, they're quick; and steel-cut can be done in the slow cooker overnight. Egg dishes--make some of the other components ahead (sauté peppers, etc.) to freeze, but putting them together à la minute is really the way to go.


Of course, this all assumes that you are a normal person, not a delicate flower like Squeat (where is he again, anyway? :unsure: ).

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I had dental surgery on December 17, a terrible time or year to get a tooth and its three roots yanked out. I'm on what I call a baby food diet because I can't eat solids for a while. It's the beginning step of a tooth implant. I go to the doctor next week to get the stitches taken out and to ensure no infection has occurred. I'm told I'll be without a tooth for about 4-6 months. I have no idea how long I have to go before I eat solid foods again.


My 'baby food' is created with the blender.


I had to start with cold foods for 3 or 4 days so this was my diet:


home canned fruit (peaches, cherries, pears) puréed with yogurt.


Now I've moved on to:

macaroni and cheese with white truffle oil

buffalo meatballs with buffalo ragout

Soubise (which is a puréed onion stuffing that repeatedly stunk up the place the following morning, day, and into the evening)

Pork tenderloin with fig jam (pork doesn't purée very well)

a variety of TJs rice blends spiced up with Tabasco, curry, anything to give it some flavor


and I've also consumed:

foie gras mousseline

chicken liver mousseline

potato purée flavored in various ways


Tonight's Christmas dinner for my wife is:

Dungeness crab hors d'oeuvre on black toast served with Moet and Chandon champagne

Pan roasted chicken thighs stuffed with a soffritto and wrapped in bacon, toasted Israeli couscous with sautéed foie gras served with Chateau Margaux 1999


If I were good and followed the dentist's instruction I'd purée my portion. :( We shall see...

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Thanks for the advice!


@tsquare--Does leftover polenta get hard or does it stay soft any mushy? I had thought of polenta, but I thought it might lose its mushiness, and I think I need mushiness. I do like taking leftover polenta, cutting it up, and frying it, though. That would be a very tasty treat, especially with parmesan sprinkled on top. I'm going to look for Instant Breakfast. I'm not a fan of Ensure/Boost at all, so if I can get a hold of Instant Breakfast or something similar, that might do the trick!


@Suzanne--I am a very delicate flower who collapses at the slightest bit of pain! Actually, I have a high tolerance for pain as long as I'm not inflicting it upon myself, but I am a very lazy cook at the best of times, so I imagine if I'm not feeling well, I'll be even less likely to want to cook anything at all. Even when I'm at my most able, I will likely just eat toast rather than cook. So I need to think ahead to make sure I'm getting sufficient nutrients to help with the healing since I won't be able to rely on my old standby of toast. Plus I have this week off, so I actually have time to do this stuff. And I wasn't actually going to prepare oatmeal and cream of wheat in advance! It was just on my list of things I could eat--I swear!


@Really Nice! Thanks for all the tips, and ouch! I hope you're healing quickly! Three roots? Who knew teeth had three roots? Did you whiz up your Christmas dinner? I was thinking of pureeing a bunch of different dishes, but mushy foods tend to make me feel like vomiting, and I hear you really don't want to vomit after a tonsillectomy. Mushy pureed vegetables and fruits are likely the limit of my tolerance for mushy foods. Sounds like you will be "eating" very well while you're recuperating. maybe you could send me some of your leftovers that might help me overcome my distaste for mushy foods.

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When I had some dental work done a while back, I found pasta to be a great friend. especially pasta like stelline and orchiette. tiny pieces cooked in chicken broth and shreds of carrots. No chewing required


Soup pureed with the bamix was a nice diversion, as you could get the tastes of many items (sausage, pork butt, etc) without chewing.

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A follow up to my post in the other thread...I would think twice about sweet stuff and popsicles. I have met more than one person that as an adult found anything with sugar to be made of the devil. I did really well with savory and soft. Soft scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, chicken, stews, soups, etc. Everything needs to be lukewarm or cold. I would have an iced coffee every morning in place of my normal. Don't expect to want to cook. I had very little energy and taking all the pain killers just kicked my ass...but you need the drugs. You really need the drugs. I would make yourself a bunch of soups to have in the freezer. That will help.


As I said in my other post, let me know if you have any other questions, or if you want to know anything. I was 31 when I had mine out and really was difficult, but the best thing I ever did.

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@Rail Paul--I will stock up on little pasta shapes! I was thinking orzo might be good because it could probably just be swallowed whole.


@peppyre--I just read your post (thanks for the detailed reply!) and now I don't want to have it done! Cripes you had it bad! Was the 7-day post op bleeding because the scabs came off? I read that when the scabs come off, bleeding will occur. Some people said it stopped after a short while, but some said they had to go to the emergency room. And three weeks!! I was thinking 2 weeks was going to be a lot. I hope I don't need 3 weeks because we're already short-staffed at work, and my supervisors aren't thrilled about me being away for so long. I'm hopeful that despite the troubles you had, you still don't regret having it done, though. I'd love to be able to wake up without a sore throat, and for the tonsil stones to go away for good.


Do you think the popsicles were a problem because they were sweet, or could they have been a problem because they were too cold? I read that some people had issues with extreme temperatures (hot or cold) after tonsillectomies, so they stuck to lukewarm or room-temperature foods. My plan is to freeze both juices and broths in ice cube trays (as well as larger portions of broths) so I can just suck on them when needed. Then if the juice cubes don't work out, at least I'll have the broths to suck on when needed. Or if it's the extreme cold that's the problem, then I can just microwave everything to lukewarm.


I'm sure I'll have more questions as the surgery nears. Thanks again!

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I'm going to have two wisdom teeth pulled this afternoon. I've no idea what the recovery will be like- not as bad as actual surgery, for sure, but I'm still not looking forward to it. Fortunately, I have avocados, ice cream, a quart of duck stock and a big pot of garlic-potato soup all ready.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ripe avocados!


And if you are doing lots of pain meds, watch out for the other end. We can take that discussion off line...

she's not joking, you really need to consider this and prepare in advance



Without getting into gory details (I can sort of imagine), generally, how strong do pain meds have to be in order to suffer that kind of intestinal distress? T-3s? Something stronger than T-3s? I only know whatever I'm getting requires a prescription, and I can't get the prescription filled early because they don't want the meds out there if my surgery is suddently cancelled.



I've added tofu and avocado to my shopping list this weekend. right now i only have ice cubes and chicken stock prepared, and I purchased carnation instant breakfast. I've been very very lazy, so I got very little done during my holidays. Oops. And it turns out that I can't make grape juice ice cubes, because not only are red beverages bad, but purple ones are, as well. guess it'll just be plain ice cubes for me.

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