What You Can Eat On a Mechanical Soft Diet

Mashed potatoes and gravy are perfect for a mechanically soft diet.
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A mechanical soft diet is made up of foods that are easy to chew and swallow. It's useful for people who have trouble chewing food (like when you're learning to use dentures), and after radiation therapy involving the head and neck. It may also be helpful for people who are too weak to chew regular foods.

The Basics

Avoid all foods that are difficult to chew, including tough meats, raw and dried fruits and vegetables, bread with a thick crust, nuts and seeds.

You can eat cooked fruits and vegetables, ground meats, soft cheese and other dairy products, and softened bread and cereals. Any liquid is okay too. Legumes are fine as long as they're cooked properly. Anything that is chopped should be smaller than 1/4 inch in size. Bread and cereals can be slurried, which means softened with some liquid before eating.

Foods Allowed on a Mechanical Soft Diet

  • All liquids
  • Yogurt
  • Soft cheese and cottage cheese
  • Sour cream and cream cheese
  • Ground cooked chicken, turkey, beef or pork
  • Eggs
  • Thinly shaved deli meats, like turkey or chicken (chopped into small pieces)
  • Tuna, egg or chicken salad (shredded or cut into small pieces) without any added raw vegetables
  • Tofu
  • Peanut butter (smooth - not chunky)
  • Soft cooked vegetables (without seeds or skins, and chopped into small pieces)
  • Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes (without the skins)
  • Clear and creamed soups with chopped or shredded meats and vegetables
  • Soft fruits like bananas and ripe peaches
  • Applesauce or other cooked fruits
  • Jams, jellies and fruit preserves (best without seeds)
  • Cereal without nuts or dried fruits (serve with milk or soy milk)
  • White bread and crackers (may need to be softened with liquid)
  • White rice or pasta
  • Ice cream, sherbet, sorbet or frozen yogurt (without nuts or flavored chips)
  • Pudding and custard
  • Cake and cookies (without nuts, chips, raisins or candies)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Gravies and sauces

Example Menu

Here's an idea of foods you can eat on a mechanical soft diet. The amounts can be adjusted to match your appetite and calorie needs. It can be difficult to eat a healthy balanced diet, so speak to a dietitian or nutritionist if you are required to stay on a mechanical soft diet for more than a few days.


  • One cup fruit juice
  • One cup cooked oatmeal with sugar or honey and milk
  • One glass of water or cup of coffee

Morning Snack

  • One cup yogurt with honey
  • One cup tea


  • One cup cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 cup tuna salad
  • One slice white bread (slurried if necessary)
  • One glass of milk or soy milk

Afternoon Snack

  • One cup ice cream
  • One glass of water


  • One cup mashed potatoes
  • One cup cooked crumbled ground beef ​moistened with gravy
  • One glass of milk, soy milk or your favorite beverage

Nighttime Snack

  • One piece of cake with frosting
  • One glass of milk

You may have additional dietary restrictions, so it's best to speak with your health care provider about this diet, especially if you have any health conditions or specific dietary concerns.


Maher AK. "Simplified Diet Menu." Eleventh Edition, Hoboken NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, October 2011. Accessed February 17, 2016.  http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0813811961.html.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "Modified Diet: Mechanical Soft Diet." Accessed February 17, 2016. http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B_EXTRANET_HEALTH_INFORMATION-FlexMember-Show_Public_HFFY_1125410086528.html.

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