Blended liquid diet (2064)

Key points below

Nutrition for the child after surgery or with a wired jaw

What is a blended liquid diet?

With this diet, foods are blended together to make them soft or a liquid.  Your child will be able to swallow without chewing. This diet is used for children who have had craniofacial or dental surgery.  It is also for children who cannot eat solid or semi-solid foods.    

What kinds of foods can my child have?

During the next few weeks your child will need a high-calorie and high-protein diet to help with healing.  Use the “MyPlate” diagram and USDA guidelines below as a starting point. It will help you plan a healthy and well-balanced diet for your child. 

Balancing Calories:
Do not eat oversized portions.

Foods to Increase: 
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Make at least half your grains whole grains.

Foods to Reduce:
Compare sodium content in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Choose foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks. 

How should I feed my child?

Use a syringe or sippy cup.
Do not use straws unless your child’s doctor says it is ok.  If straws are allowed, shorten the straw.  The shorter straw means your child will have not have to suck to hard. 
Your child may take the blended food better if it is put in a cup with a lid.
How much should my child eat each day?
Your child needs about _____ ounces of fluid each day.
Small feedings every few hours are better than large meals to meet calorie and protein needs.
Your child should not lose weight during the healing period.  They should stay the same weight or gain slightly.
Add calories and protein to the mix. Use whole milk, grated cheese, powdered milk, creamy peanut butter, pasteurized eggs, butter and margarine.

Should I add anything else to the diet?

You can give your child a liquid vitamin with minerals each day to help while they heal.  
Add bran cereal to increase fiber in blended foods as needed to treat or prevent constipation.
Commercial liquid nutrition drinks provide nutrition in an easy but more costly way.  They can be helpful as part of a meal or snack, but are not necessary.
Limit the use of drinks that are only calories.  Drinks such as pop or soda, sweetened fruit drinks or drink mixes, diet drinks and lemonade do not have vitamins or protein.  

How should I use the blender to make meals?

1. Use liquids with calories instead of water when blending.  Try using sour cream, milk, half & half, cream, fruit juice, broth, gravy, cheese sauce, or tomato sauce which will add flavor as well as calories.

2. Add food that has been cut into small pieces.

3. Blended foods should be used or frozen right away.  They can also be refrigerated for up to 48 hours. This will help prevent growth of harmful bacteria.

4. Let hot liquids cool before using to prevent burns.  Serve foods at the same temperature that you would serve them if they were not blended.

5. If your child’s jaw is wired, foods must be smooth and thin enough to flow through a syringe or straw (if allowed). If the jaw is wired tightly, the blended food may need to be strained as well.

Recommended Foods for Blended Liquid Diet

Recommended: Milk, thin shakes, eggnog, malted milk, instant breakfast drinks, cocoa, juices, liquid nutritional supplements.
Avoid: Any containing raw eggs. 

Recommended: Bread and crackers, pureed in soups.
Avoid: All others

Recommended: Strained, thinned, refined, cooked cereals.
Avoid: All others

Desserts and Sweets
Recommended: Thinned custards, puddings, sherbet, plain ice cream, frozen yogurt, fruit ice, melted gelatin, strained baby desserts.
Avoid: All others

Recommended: Butter, margarine, cream and cream substitutes, gravy, whipped cream and toppings, sour cream, salad dressings, mayonnaise.
Avoid: All others

Recommended: Fruit juices, strained and thinned nectars, blended fruits, strained baby fruits.
Avoid: All others

Meat and Meat Substitutes
Recommended: Blended, thinned meats, poultry, fish, casseroles, beans, smooth peanut butter, cooked eggs and cheese sauce.
Avoid: Raw eggs

Potato or substitutes
Recommended: Thinned, mashed, creamed potatoes; blenderized white rice, pasta and noodles.
Avoid: All others

Recommended: Broth, bouillon, consommé; strained or blended cream soups.
Avoid: All others

Recommended: Jelly, honey†, sugar; sugar substitute, chocolate syrup, maple syrup.

Avoid: Seeded jams, marmalade, preserves; all others.

Recommended: Vegetable juices; blenderized, cooked, and thinned vegetables (no seeds); strained baby vegetables.

Avoid: All others

Recommended: Seasonings and spices as desired.
Avoid: Nuts, coconut, and food with seeds may not blenderize well; whole spices and herbs; strong or irritating seasonings.

† Honey should not be given to children younger than 1 year due to risk of botulism.

Sample Meal Plan

Hot cooked cereal made with milk, and scrambled egg blended with milk; milk, 100% juice and/or other drink.
Cottage cheese blended with fruit juice; milk, 100% juice and/or other drink.

Mid-morning snack:
• Milkshake or Instant Breakfast
Cream soup made with milk.
Blended macaroni and cheese, thinned with milk or cheese sauce.
Blended green beans with butter or margarine.  Add broth or cooking juices to thin it.
Vanilla pudding thinned with milk.
Milk, 100% juice or other drink.
Mid-afternoon meal:
Yogurt blended with milk or Pudding thinned with milk

Blended roast beef thinned with gravy.
Mashed potato blended with butter, milk or cream.
Carrots blended with butter or margarine. Use broth or cooking juice to thin it.
Pears blended with unsweetened fruit juice or ice cream.
Milk, 100% juice or other beverage.

Night-time meal:
Cereal blended with milk or A shake

Recipe Ideas

- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
1 slice bread
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. jelly
½ cup grape juice
Directions:  Put ingredients in a blender and blend well.
Nutrition Information:  256 calories, 9g fat, 249 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate.

- Hamburger on a Bun
2 ounce hamburger patty (cooked)
½ hamburger bun
1 Tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. mustard
½ cup hot beef broth
Directions:  Combine ingredients, blend well and strain (you may add other favorite ingredients such as pickle, cheese, relish, or onion.)
Nutrition Information:  414 calories, 16g fat, 1831 mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate.

- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
1 grilled cheese sandwich (including 2 slices of bread)
½ cup warm milk
Directions:  Blend together until smooth.
Suggestions:  Try using a ham and cheese sandwich or add tomato slices for a change.
Nutrition Information:  371 calories, 16g fat, 956 mg. sodium, 37g carbohydrate.

- Cottage Cheese and Fruit
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup fruit
½ cup fruit juice
Directions: Combine ingredients, blend together until smooth.
Nutrition Information:  330 calories, 4g fat, 924 mg sodium, 40g carbohydrates

- Broccoli Cheese Soup   (2 servings)
1 can condensed cheese soup (10 oz can)
1 cup milk
1 package frozen broccoli, steamed (10 oz package)
1.  Cut off large stem pieces from cooked broccoli.
2.  Heat and stir soup and milk in saucepan.
3.  Pour into blender.
4.  Add broccoli.
5.  Blend well.
Nutrition Information (per serving):  270 calories, 15g fat, 1115 mg sodium, and 25g carbohydrate.

- Chocolate-Peanut Butter Shake
(2 servings)
1 cup chocolate milk
4 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 cup vanilla ice cream
Directions:  Combine ingredients, blend until smooth.  
Variations:  White milk with chocolate syrup can be substituted for chocolate milk.
Nutrition Information (per serving):  452 calories, 30g fat, 282mg sodium, and 71g carbohydrate.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child:

  • Loses weight.
  • Will not drink.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.