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After undergoing oral and/or jaw surgery, eating and drinking can become challenging. However, it is essential to ensure that you consume enough energy and nutrients to support proper recovery of your body.

Initial Recovery Period: In the immediate aftermath of the surgery, consuming liquid and blended foods is a suitable solution. Depending on the postoperative check-up with your doctor (approximately one week after the procedure), you can gradually transition to minced, soft foods without any hard particles. This refers to foods that require minimal to no chewing. The duration of consuming only these soft foods will be determined by the doctor based on the type of operation.

General Tips:

  • Consume food and drinks at refrigerator or room temperature (not warmer) during the first few days. This approach will be less painful and reduce the risk of postoperative bleeding.
  • Throughout the recovery period, opt for smaller meal portions and drink servings. Aim for 6 to 8 meal times per day to ensure sufficient energy and nutrient intake.
  • Avoid the following during the first week:
    • Carbonated beverages
    • Citrus fruits and beverages containing citrus fruits These items can cause irritation or discomfort.
  • Foster variety in your diet to stimulate appetite. Alternate between sweet and savory, as well as between cold and lukewarm meals. Experiment with different colors of food.
  • Enhance the flavor of your meals with herbs and spices. However, be cautious with spicy foods in the initial days, as they might cause discomfort.
  • If you experience excess mucus after consuming dairy products, take a sip of water or temporarily opt for alternatives like soy-based products. You may also experience less discomfort with fermented dairy products such as yogurt, buttermilk, and quark.

Liquid Nutrition: Liquid nutrition refers to food that can be ingested using a syringe. This category includes calorie-rich drinks and foods that can be blended.

Beverages: Choose calorie-dense beverages such as full-fat dairy products, drinkable yogurt, milkshakes, fruit juices, smoothies (without peels and seeds), sports drinks, and sodas. Plant-based drinks like almond, hazelnut, oat, rice, and spelt milk are permissible, but they offer limited nutritional value.

Meals: Opt for completely blended meals:

  • Blended soups: Sauté vegetables in fat and enrich the soup with potatoes, vermicelli, meat, cream, spreadable cheese, herb cheese, etc. Strain the soup if necessary.
  • Blended warm meals: Dilute the meal with cream, sauce, full-fat milk, or broth. Avoid over-blending pasta to prevent a gluey texture.
  • Baby food: Consider adding extra fat.

(Minced) Soft Foods: (Minced) soft foods are those that can be swallowed with minimal or no chewing. Mixing meals well is recommended to reduce the need for chewing.

Bread-based Meals:

  • Mix bread or sandwiches with apple juice, fruit, applesauce, banana, milk, yogurt, etc.
  • If you prefer not to mix the bread, opt for a gray or brown variant without crusts, seeds, or pits. Spread a generous layer of margarine and soft toppings, and cut into manageable portions.

Hot Meals:

  • Blend components of hot meals separately to preserve recognition of flavors.
  • Sauces enhance the meal's creaminess and energy content. Options include cream, meat sauce, cheese sauce, and milk-based sauces.

Snacks:

  • Full-fat dairy products (e.g., yogurt, pudding, cottage cheese, ice cream) or plant-based alternatives (e.g., soy pudding, soy yogurt, soy ice cream).
  • Soft desserts (e.g., chocolate mousse, bavarois, flan, panna cotta, tiramisu).
  • Canned or ripe soft fruits (e.g., banana, strawberries, raspberries, peach, nectarine, mango, pear, melon). Cut or mash the fruit. Fruit puree is also a good alternative.
  • Soft cookies or pastries, optionally soaked in full-fat milk or chocolate milk.

Boosting Energy Intake: Despite automatically eating less of liquid and soft foods, maintaining your body weight and energy levels is crucial during the recovery phase.

Tips:

  • Opt for full-fat products: milk, yogurt, cream, or plant-based alternatives.
  • Avoid low-calorie products as they provide minimal to no energy.
  • You can consume cold or cooled warm meals across multiple meal times in a day.
  • Enhance your meals with energy-rich ingredients like sugar, fat, avocado, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, fruit coulis, mascarpone, or sauces.
  • As supplementary nutrition, you can consider ready-to-use medical supplements. Seek advice from a dietitian regarding these options.

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