A full liquid diet consists of only liquids. It includes foods that are naturally in liquid form, such as broth, and foods that liquefy at room temperature, such as ice cream. Unlike a high-calorie or mechanical liquid diet, a full liquid diet generally does not include foods that are made soft by mashing or blending. Some hot cereals may be included on the full liquid diet, as noted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health at its Medline Plus website.
Patients transitioning between a clear liquid diet and a regular diet after surgery benefit from a full liquid diet, notes Frank W. Jackson, M.D., at the Jackson/Siegelbaum Gastroenterology website. It is easier to digest than solid food, while still providing necessary nutrients and fluids. A full liquid diet also may be required for patients who must have jaw wiring, or who have difficulty swallowing and chewing.
Foods to Include
Acceptable foods on a full liquid diet include broth and strained cream soups, bouillon, milk, milkshakes, eggnog, soy and rice beverages and vegetable and fruit juice. You also may have ice cream and other frozen desserts, ice pops, pudding and gelatin without fruit. Hard candy is allowed as long as you do not chew it. You may drink nutritional liquid supplements such as Ensure and add breakfast powder to beverages.
MedlinePlus recommends asking your doctor if you can eat some heartier foods that are not technically liquid. These include pureed potatoes in soup, strained meats and cooked refined cereals, such as cream of rice and oatmeal. If you do eat oatmeal, it must be strained and thin enough to pour.
Hot cereals such as oatmeal can help patients obtain needed extra calories while on a full-liquid diet, as noted by MedlinePlus. You also can beef them up with butter, margarine, sugar, syrup, honey and whole milk.
A sample breakfast which could include oatmeal on a full liquid diet is provided by Dr. Jackson. Have 1 c. of fruit juice, 8 oz. of eggnog, 8 oz. whole milk, hot tea with sugar and lemon, along with 1/2 cup of hot cereal. Feel free to eat oatmeal at any time of day and not just at breakfast if you enjoy this food and it encourages you to eat.