MEDIUM TERM POST BARIATRIC SURGERY DIET: SOFT FOODS
If you do not experience any problems with the Stage 1 ‘Fluids’ regime then you will quickly move onto the second stage which incorporates smooth, pureed, soft and then crispy food, typically called the ‘SOFT FOOD’ stage.
This stage is typically followed for about 2-6 weeks after surgery, although again always follow your bariatric team’s advice on when to start and when to move on.
Start slowly and make sure initially that your food choices are soft and loose – first stage baby food texture is what you are aiming for here. Progress to foods that can be easily crushed with a fork or mixed to a ‘slurry’ with milk, gravy or sauce. Don’t be put off when something doesn’t suit…try it again a few days later. Ironically some days something goes down easily and the next time it doesn’t. Learn to listen to your body and its signals of satisfaction or upset.
You will still need to be aiming for at least 2 litres of liquids a day in addition to these small ‘meals’. Don’t drink for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after and aim for 4-6 small ‘meals’ per day.
Eat slowly and as soon as you are full STOP EATING! Just one extra teaspoon of food can send your system into overload and there is no pleasant way of saying this…what went down will come back up or make you feel very uncomfortable! Remember your new stomach pouch is only about the size of an egg cup.
You may find it very convenient to freeze soft meals in ice cube trays for this stage. We found a stash of these, prepared before surgery, so helpful in the coming weeks. Meals in this form can be prepared quickly for serving, variety is ensured rather than the relentless round of the same-old and wastage is reduced to a minimum.
Listed below are some good food choices for the ‘Soft Food’ stage. Introduce these foods gradually replacing them as the days progress with ones that have more texture and flavour. Try to have 3 meals per day (ramekin or small tea plate size).
Crispy foods, which will fall to bits in water, such as Melba Toast, crispbreads, cream crackers and bread sticks can also be introduced in the latter days of Stage 2. Chew them thoroughly until reduced to a smooth puree in your mouth. Don’t mistake them for crunchy foods e.g. fruit and salad which would cause problems at this stage.
This is the stage I believe you really should start looking at preparing your own recipes from scratch, that way you know exactly what is in them. Many processed foods and ready type meals have hidden sugars and fats to make them taste good but can be a banana skin for the weight-loss surgery patient. Try a few simple recipes to begin with or become extra vigilant at deciphering the back of pack nutritional information of a food. You’re aiming for low-fat (as a guideline less than 3% fat i.e. less than 3 g per 100 g listed). As for sugar toleration levels vary dramatically but I wouldn’t venture beyond the 6-7 g hit per portion. It is thought that at levels beyond 10-15 g you have a strong likelihood of bypass and sleeve ‘dumping’ syndrome and it won’t help those with a gastric band to keep their calorie count low.
GOOD CHOICES OF SOFT FOODS
- Weetabix, porridge, Ready Brek with plenty of skimmed or semi-skimmed
milk to make a runny consistency
- mashed banana with a little yogurt if liked or with a low-fat and low-sugar custard
- very soft cooked scrambled egg
- finely minced or pureed chicken or turkey in gravy
- pureed fish in a thin sauce
- pureed canned fish e.g. tuna, pilchards, salmon or mackerel in a thin tomato
- soft and smooth low-fat pate or spread
- plain low-fat cottage cheese
- pureed mashed potato and thin gravy
- pureed canned and very tender boiled vegetables such as carrot and
- low-fat and low-sugar fromage frais
- light and smooth low-fat and low-sugar mousse made with milk
- warmed mashed potato mixed with grated low-fat cheese or low-fat cream
- milky pudding such as tapioca, sago or rice but keep sugar to a minimum
- pureed cauliflower cheese in a low-fat cheese sauce
- pureed, thickened or soft piece vegetable and chicken soups
- pureed casserole and stew dishes of a thinnish consistency
- very gently cooked and soft plain omelette
- poached egg or a soft-boiled one
- soft beans, lentils and peas, pureed or mashed for a little texture
- thick fruit smoothies
- pureed avocado
- small portions of home-cooked or ready-prepared and pureed main dishes
like cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, fish pie, fish-in-sauce, mild chilli con carne
or their vegetarian alternatives made with quorn
- low-sugar sorbets
- silken or smooth tofu
- crispy foods like crispbreads, Melba Toast, cream crackers and breadsticks