Esophageal Soft Food Diet


This diet is used for patients who have had surgery on the esophagus and stomach.


This diet contains foods that are soft and easy to swallow and are not irritating to the esophagus.

It is important that foods consumed be smooth in texture to facilitate the movement of food through the swollen areas of the esophagus or stomach. Bread products that can expand with fluid are avoided entirely.

Nutrition Adequacy:

This diet meets Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for most nutrients.




Beverages All except alcohol Alcohol
Breads Pureed pancakes, waffles, French toast All breads and sweet breads; rolls, biscuits, cornbread, saltine and graham crackers, dressing or stuffing. Breads and crackers containing coarse whole grains, bran, nuts or seeds. 
Cereal Cream of wheat and rice, grits, oatmeal, Malt-O-Meal, cornmeal, puffed wheat, puffed rice, cornflakes, and other refined cereals Cereals containing coarse whole grains, bran, nuts, seeds; ie, bran flakes shredded wheat, granola
Desserts Gelatin desserts, fruit ices, smooth ice cream and sherbet, plain pudding, custard plain cakes, plain frosting Pastries, pies and other desserts containing nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruit, fruits with small seeds plain cookies, Pastries and pies without seeds, nuts or coconuts
Food Foods Allowed Foods to Avoid 
Fats and Oils Butter, margarine, mayonnaise, vegetable oil, mildly seasoned salad dressing containing allowed ingredients, plain gravies, cream sauces Fried foods, highly seasoned gravy
Fruits All fruit juices; all baked, canned, cooked fruit (without seeds, membranes or tough skins), fresh ripe banana, peeled ripe apricot, peach, nectarine, and pear. Note: citrus fruit without membranes (oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines or grapefruit) may be irritating to the esophagus  All fresh and dried fruit with seeds or skins; i.e. grapes, dates, and figs

Fresh orange, grapefruit, tangerine, mandarin oranges, lemon or lime sections with membrane 

Meat, Fish, Egg, Cheese Well cooked tender lean beef, veal, lamb, liver, fresh pork, fish, and poultry with gravy or sauce or in soups. Meat should be broiled, baked, stewed, roasted, or creamed. Meat may be ground or chopped, fish may be flaked. Eggs (except fried), cooked beans, casseroles with ground or shredded meat; i.e., tuna noodle casserole. Smooth peanut butter, soft cheeses such as parmesan or ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese. Stringy or fibrous meats

Shrimp, crab, lobster

Highly cured, seasoned, smoked, pickled meats and fish; ie. frankfurters, cold cuts, corned beef, sausage. Fatty or tough meats. Fried meat, fish poultry, strong flavored cheeses.

Fried eggs, bacon, sausage

American, cheddar, jack, Swiss, or mozzarella cheese. 

Potato and Starches Potatoes; baked (no skin), boiled, scalloped or mashed potatoes, with gravy or sauce.

Rice with sauce or gravy

Mashed sweet potatoes (no skin), noodles, macaroni, pasta

Any starch without sauce or gravy.

Fried potatoes, potato chips, wild rice. 

Soup Creamed and broth-based soups using allowed ingredients Any made with ingredients to be avoided; ie, chili, bean soup, split pea, lentil, corn chowder
Vegetables Canned or cooked vegetables without seeds or skin; artichokes, asparagus, beets, carrots, pureed corn, eggplant, green or wax beans, green peas, spinach, squash, tomatoes, pimento; all vegetable juices, tomato sauce; iceburg or butter lettuce.  All raw vegetables (except iceberg, butter lettuce), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, dried split peas, beans, lentils, whole or creamed corn, lima beans, onions, rutabagas, turnips
Sweets Sugar, honey, molasses, syrup, jelly, plain candy, chocolate without nuts, coconut or dried fruit Jam with seeds, marmalade, candy with nuts, coconut or dried fruits 
Miscellaneous Mild mustard, soy sauce, smooth peanut butter, vinegar, catsup, salt, seasonings and spices such as lemon, pepper as tolerated, cocoa powder. As tolerated by patient; mustard, chili powder, basil, thyme, nutmeg Highly seasoned foods, condiments not tolerated by patient, mustard seed, pickles, popcorn, olives, nuts, coconut, crunchy peanut butter, chili pepper, garlic. All others not tolerated by patient.