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Mechanical Soft Diet

Mechanical Soft Diet


Mechanical Soft Diet provides foods which can be ingested with a minimum of chewing but provides more calories and bulk than the Full Liquid Diet.

The soft food diet is used for people who have a difficulty in chewing or swallowing, but are more able to tolerate soft foods which are semisolid.

The mechanical soft diet is adequate in all nutrients as specified by the RDA's. The consistency of the diet can be adjusted by the nutritionist according to the needs of the patient. This diet is low in calories and may result in weight loss if the calorie content is not adjusted to the level of need.

[Please Note: Applied Health does not advocate the use of margarine in any form, for any purpose. However, we provide the following recipes unaltered, and recommend you consider adjusting your version of the mechanical soft diet to reflect your own interests and beliefs. We simply believe that in an effort to offer your body a diet that is easy to consume and assimilate, choosing a natural ingredient over an artificial alternative is always preferred. 

Extra Note: One of the benefits of the mechanical soft diet is the reduced burden on the body during the process of digestion. An additional step you might consider is to add a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme to your diet to supplement your body's needs, reducing the burden on the pancreas to produce the enzymes, thereby reducing the energy demands that are required for digestion. ]

Sample Menu

Menu for One Day

1/2 c grapefruit juice
1 slice rye bread (toasted)
1 egg (poached) or egg substitute
1 tsp margarine or butter
1/4 c cottage cheese - 2% fat
1 c milk - 2% fat
1/2 c instant oatmeal
Hot, noncaloric beverage


1 c chicken broth 1/2 small banana
1/4 c tuna (water pack) 1/3 c sweet corn
2 slices rye bread 1 c milk - 2% fat
2 tsp mayonnaise  

1/2 c tomato juice
1/2 c fruit-flavored gelatin dessert
3 ounces ground turkey broiled
1 2-in slice cornbread
Catsup, mustard optional
1 small pear (without skin)
1/2 c mashed potato
1 tsp margarine or butter
1/2 c spinach
Hot, noncaloric beverage

Total Calories For The Day: 1,247 Calories

Nutrient Content:

Calories: 1247 Fat: 30%
Protein: 17% Cholesterol: 340mg
Carbohydrate: 53% Fiber: 8g


Food Exchange List

Bread and Cereal Exchange List: 4 or more servings/day


Whole wheat bread White bread (enriched)
Soda cracker Melba toast
Cream of wheat Cornflakes
Puffed grains Enriched pasta
White rice Mashed potato
Baked potato Sweet potato (without skin)


Brown rice Wild rice
Popcorn Potato Chips
Beans (dried) Green peas

Fat Exchange List: as needed; moderation advised


Enriched margarine Butter
Salad oils Mayonnaise
Avocado oil  


Fruit Exchange List: 2 or more servings/day


All fruit juices Citrus fruits (without skin)
Bananas Canned or cooked fruits
Peeled peaches and pears  

Fruits with seeds or tough skin

Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List: 6 servings/day


Any lean, ground meat Cottage cheese
Lean poultry
Lean fish Creamy peanut butter
Lean shellfish  

All others (tough fibrous meat)

Milk Exchange List: 2 servings/day


All milk and milk products


Vegetable Exchange List: 2 or more servings/day


All vegetable juices
Pureed or tender-cooked vegetables
Tomato (without skin)

All others

Miscellaneous Exchange List

All soups without tough, fibrous meat or vegetables

Alcoholic beverages

Note: Include 6-8 cups of fluids, such as water, per day.


Chicago Dietetic Association and the South Suburban Dietetic Association of Cook and Will counties. 1981. Manual of Clinical Dietetics. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.

Committee of Dietetics of the Mayo Clinic. 1971. Mayo Clinic Diet Manual, 4th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia. 67 pp.

Iowa Dietetics Association. 1984. Simplified Diet Manual: with Meal Patterns, 5th ed. Iowa State University Press; Ames, Iowa. 108 pp.