What to Eat When the Doctor Suggests Non-Solid Foods

Beef broth
Soup without solid chunks is on the menu. (Image: MKucova/iStock/Getty Images)

A doctor might advise eating non-solid foods for a few days or weeks, but it can be difficult to determine what foods are acceptable on this type of diet. The full list of acceptable foods might be different for different patients, depending on the medical condition or reason for the diet. If you have any questions about whether to eat a particular food while on this diet, ask your doctor for advice before adding it to your menu.


A non-solid food diet is often meant to be a temporary diet that is easy on the digestive system, although some people might need to stay on this type of diet for a longer period of time. A doctor may prescribe the diet before specific medical tests or after surgery. People with throat or mouth problems who cannot effectively chew or swallow food might also need this type of diet. Someone on a non-solid diet should still get between 1,350 and 1,500 calories a day and all of the nutrients needed to support bodily functioning.


a woman opening strawberry yoghurt
Smooth foods (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Soup broth is a staple of a non-solid diet. You can have clear broth, such as chicken or beef broth, or cream-based soup. Strain out any solids, such as pieces of meat or vegetables, before eating. Liquid meal replacements and nutritional supplements are good for a non-solid diet. Pudding, gelatin and custard are acceptable, as are ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt and ice pops. Some people might be able to include cooked hot cereals, such as oatmeal or grits, strained meats and pureed potatoes, but ask your doctor if these are acceptable for your condition before adding them to your diet. You should avoid fruit, cheese and meat, even in pureed or softened form, unless a doctor gives the OK.


Hand holding glass of water
Beverages should mainly consist of clear liquids such as water, fruit juice, tea, coffee and soda. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Beverages should mainly consist of clear liquids such as water, fruit juice, tea, coffee and soda. Juices with nectar or pulp are acceptable. Water, with or without a squirt of lemon or lime, is always an acceptable drink for a non-solid diet. You can add honey, sugar, cream or milk to tea and coffee as desired.


Glass of green tea on coaster, close-up
A stricter version of this diet is a clear liquid diet. (Image: ULTRA F/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A stricter version of this diet is a clear liquid diet, in which you cannot eat anything except foods that you can see through that are liquid at room temperature. On a clear liquid diet, you are restricted to foods such as clear broth, weak tea, fruit juice without pulp, clear soda and plain gelatin. To get more calories into a non-solid food diet, try adding nonfat dry milk, instant breakfast powder, sugar, butter or syrup to meals or drinks.

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