Your Guide to the Bariatric Pureed Diet (2022)

The pureed diet after bariatric surgery is one of the most feared stages.

Pureed? Really? That sounds gross. Can I just skip it?

As a dietitian, these are common concerns I get from bariatric candidates. And understandably so. Eating pureed food does not sound appetizing. But rest assured there are some good pureed food recipes ideas out there for you during this stage.

This article will discuss the importance of the pureed phase, goals to aim for, and provide you with pureed food recipe ideas.

Your Guide to the Bariatric Pureed Diet (1)

What is the pureed diet stage after bariatric surgery?

After you have completed the pre bariatric surgery diet, the pureed diet stage is usually the first stage your doctor will advance you to after surgery. Each surgery center has their own specific guidelines but the pureed diet stage usually involves blending your food to a thin, lump free texture. It resembles an “applesauce like consistency.”

Why do I need to eat a pureed diet?

Your new pouch is still swollen from surgery so you want to make your first experience with food as easy as possible. The purpose of the pureed diet is to help ease your body into digesting real food. Think of it as priming the pump. When you blend your food up, you are relieving your body of doing the work for you.

(Video) Pureed Foods 101 for Bariatric Post-Op

It’s also a great opportunity to begin introducing a reliable meal pattern into your schedule. Even if you only eat one bite, you are setting an intention for yourself to start eating a meal at that time. Essentially you are retraining your body to eat at set meal times. This will be helpful for your weight loss, recovery, and mood in the months to come.

How long do I need to be on a pureed diet?

Every surgery center has different guidelines. Generally this stage can last anywhere from one week to one month after surgery. Please follow the specific guidelines from your facility. Advance your diet to the soft diet stage once your doctor says it’s okay.

How much protein should I be getting during the pureed stage?

Ideally you will be meeting the minimum protein goal of 60 g protein set by the ASMBS. Many post bariatric patients can meet this requirement within 2-3 weeks after surgery. However, most of your protein will be coming from your protein drinks at this stage and not your real food.

You likely will not be able to eat more than 20 g of protein a day. Even if you had the the perfect diet, your new pouch size is not big enough (remember it’s still swollen) to hold as much protein as you need which is why the protein drinks are so important.

If you need more info about which protein drink to choose, please check my previous article on the pre bariatric surgery diet. There is a small section that discusses protein drinks.

What if I am not getting enough protein at this stage?

This is a common concern at this stage. Despite many people able to reach their protein goals, there are also a significant amount of people who are struggling getting in their protein. If this is you then I encourage you to contact your surgery center to let them know what it is going on. They may want to monitor you more closely.

One tip that may help is to follow a structured schedule. Write down your meal times and the times you are drinking a protein shake. Here is an example of what that may look like.

Aim to eat protein at every meal. Even though cream of wheat may be allowed, it does not mean it is the best choice. Including pureed protein such as cottage cheese, eggs, or beans, in my experience, tend to be the most tolerated proteins early on.

What foods can I eat during the pureed stage?

Each surgery center has different guidelines but here are typical foods that are allowed during this stage:

(Video) Pureed Diet Recipes Part Two // Bariatric Diet Options

  • All previous liquids allowed from the pre-bariatric surgery diet
  • Sugar-free low fat yogurts without fruit pieces. Needs to be smooth and thin.
  • Blended cottage cheese
  • Blended poultry, fish or eggs
  • Blended cooked non-starchy vegetables like carrots, zucchini, green beans
  • Blended beans

Although the following foods are typically allowed I suggest relying less on these items:

  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Sugar-free jello
  • Sugar-free custards
  • Store bought soups blended up
  • Strained cream soups
  • Cream of wheat
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Grits

You may notice I left out beef on the options list. This is because I have found that bariatric patients have a challenging time tolerating beef immediately after surgery. I usually suggest saving this for later.

How much food can I eat at a time during the pureed stage?

Many people are alarmed that they can only eat one small bite during their first meal after surgery. This is completely normal. Within a week you will likely reach up to 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Then as the swelling goes down in your new pouch you will be closer to ¼ a cup around one month after surgery.

Please remember these are just basic guidelines and not goals. It is more important to listen to your body. If you are feeling any pressure or pain then this is a signal to stop. Everyone advances differently and that’s okay. Please contact your bariatric surgery center if you are concerned with your progress.

How do I puree my food?

If you have never pureed food before, it can seem like a daunting task. Once you try it though, you will build confidence in yourself that you can do it again. Just do it once to get over your fears.

So here is how you do it!

Step 1: Cook the food you want to eat such as chicken or vegetables. Steaming your vegetables works best.

Step 2: Add your food to the blender or small food processor. If using a large pieces of food (aka chicken breast) then cut up before placing in blender.

Step 3: Add liquid to help you reach your desired consistency. Broths work great to thin out your food and add a little flavor. You will not need much if you are preparing food in small amounts.

(Video) WHAT I EAT AFTER VSG (18 DAYS POST-OP) - PUREE STAGE

Step 4: Puree until smooth and thin in texture.

As an extra bonus you could even freeze your pureed food in ice cube trays and freeze it for another time. Each ice cube is about two tablespoons.

Your Guide to the Bariatric Pureed Diet (2)

Sample High Protein Pureed Diet Menu

Breakfast: 1-4 tablespoons plain, thin yogurt (no fruit pieces)

Mid-morning snack: Approved protein drink

Lunch: 1-4 tablespoon high protein chicken soup

Mid-afternoon snack: Approved protein drink

Dinner: 1-4 tablespoon pasta fagioli (without the pasta)

Night time snack: Approved protein drink

Your Guide to the Bariatric Pureed Diet (3)

High Protein Pureed Food Recipes

  • High Protein Tomato Soup
  • High Protein Cauliflower Soup
  • Low Carb Taco Soup
  • High Protein Egg Salad
  • Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Can I eat baby food during the pureed stage?

Technically, yes, but most surgery centers and dietitians advise against it. First and foremost, homemade pureed food tastes way better than store bought baby food. When you prepare your own food you can season it and prepare it in ways that are familiar to you. Baby food may turn you off from eating and you may lose your opportunity to develop a solid meal structure during this phase.

(Video) Pureed Diet after Weight Loss Surgery | Mexico Bariatric Services

Second, lots of baby food have added sugar to help make them taste better. Make sure to read the label to reduce your sugar intake.

So in a nutshell, yes, you can eat baby food if you are in a bind, but most surgery centers recommend avoiding it.

Tips for Success During the Pureed Stage

Have a plan

Knowing what you will be eating everyday will help relieve a lot of stress. I suggest knowing what meals you are going to have at least 1 day before. If you are really proactive you can puree all your meals before having surgery and store in the freezer. This way all you need to do is heat them up.

Go slowly

Nausea and vomiting are a common concern immediately after surgery. You will minimize these unwanted feelings by going slow. It helps to use a small baby spoon to regulate your bite sizes.

Drink your water

As you add real food back into your diet it can be easy to forget to drink enough fluids. This can become even more difficult since you are separating your fluids from your meal. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and set a timer to remember to drink water if you find it helpful.

Move your body

If cleared by your doctor begin walking leisurely. Moving your body will help maintain your muscle mass and begin training your mindset that activity is going to be important for your long term success.

Focus on your protein

Eating and drinking enough protein is crucial during this stage. Improve your chances of meeting your protein goals by eating your protein first. This way if you become full you already ate some protein in your meal.

Begin taking your multivitamin

If your surgeon has cleared you to take a multivitamin begin getting into the habit as soon as possible. It can be a challenging habit to develop and the sooner you start the sooner you will find a routine that works for you. Plus, taking your vitamins minimizes the likelihood that you will fall prey to nutritional deficiencies that may cause you to lose your hair or become fatigued.

Conclusion

The pureed stage after bariatric surgery may sound intimidating, but once you find a few good recipes to support you during this stage it becomes much easier. Although the texture is different than what you are used to, if it is made correctly it should taste just like the real thing.

(Video) PURÉE STAGE| What I Eat In A Day Post VSG

FAQs

What can I eat on pureed stage of bariatric surgery? ›

Pureed foods
  • Lean ground meat, poultry or fish.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Soft scrambled eggs.
  • Cooked cereal.
  • Soft fruits and cooked vegetables.
  • Strained cream soups.

Are scrambled eggs on a pureed diet? ›

Eggs can be added to your diet quickly after surgery. Most patients can handle scrambled eggs or pureed egg salad during the pureed stage. Egg salad or hard boiled eggs can be rubbery and may not be tolerated, however, pureed egg salad tastes the same, but is a smoother consistency.

Can you eat oatmeal on a pureed diet? ›

Grains and grain products – Rice, well-cooked pasta, crackers, pancakes, rolls, noodles, and muffins, all pureed with liquid of choice into a pudding consistency. Cooked hot cereal such as smooth or blended oatmeal, baby oatmeal, cream of wheat or farina. Cook with small amounts of liquid to keep moist, but not runny.

How long is pureed diet after bariatric surgery? ›

Bariatric pureed diet

You will be on a pureed diet days 15 to 30 after your surgery. Pureed foods are a very smooth consistency, such as applesauce.

Can you have cheese on pureed diet? ›

Dairy products: Acceptable dairy sources include melted cheese, smooth cheese dips, cottage or ricotta cheese, skim or 1% milk, buttermilk, soy or Lactaid milk, and sugar-free flavored low-fat or non-fat smooth yogurts. Avoid any cheeses that contain nuts or onions and products made from 2% or whole milk.

Is mashed potatoes considered pureed? ›

About Puréed and Mechanical Soft Diets

If you're on a puréed diet, you will eat foods that you don't need to chew, such as mashed potatoes and pudding. You can also blend or strain other foods to make them smoother. Liquids, such as broth, milk, juice, or water may be added to foods to make them easier to swallow.

What foods Cannot be pureed? ›

Puréed diet
Type of FoodAvoid
Milk and Dairy ProductsSolid cheeses, regular cottage cheese, farmer cheese, and pot cheese
VegetablesAll others, even well-cooked vegetables that don't require a lot of chewing
FruitsAll others, including mashed banana and canned fruits
StarchesAll others
6 more rows
4 Apr 2018

Can you eat peanut butter on pureed diet? ›

Peanut butter and other types of nut butter are smooth enough to include on a puréed diet, but they tend to be thick. If you have trouble swallowing, you'll need to be careful with nut butter.

Can you eat ice cream on a pureed diet? ›

Note: You should not have ice cream or jelly if you need thickened fluids, as these can change to normal thickness in your mouth. Points to remember for you or whoever is making your food: Presentation of this diet is extremely important.

Is Jello allowed on a pureed diet? ›

Small amounts of cream or milk may be stirred in to cooked cereals to just enough to moisten them. Desserts Smooth puddings, custards, yogurt, pureed desserts and soufflés. Ices, gelatins (jell-o), frozen juice bars, cookies, cakes, pies, pastry, coarse or textured puddings, bread and rice pudding, fruited yogurt.

Is applesauce part of a pureed diet? ›

Fruits • Pureed fruit • Applesauce (no chunks), apple butter • Smooth, canned pie filling (no chunks) Use juice to puree fruits. Cooked cereals (no nuts or seeds): oatmeal, cream of rice or wheat, grits Use gravy, broth, or sauce to puree rice or pasta.

How do you make a sandwich puree? ›

Dysphagia Divas-Making Pureed Sandwiches - YouTube

What happens if you don't get enough protein after bariatric surgery? ›

The Importance of Protein

If your diet doesn't include enough protein, you might notice thinning hair about 6 months to a year after weight loss surgery. That's because the human body can't make protein without food – and also has no way to store protein – making it important to consume enough daily.

What foods can you eat on a pureed diet? ›

Suggested Foods Ideas for Puréed Diet After Bariatric Surgery
  • Yogurt (plain or sugar free, low or nonfat, blended without fruit chunks)
  • Strained cream soups (celery, potato, mushroom, or chicken made with skim milk)
  • Skim milk with ½ scoop protein powder.
  • Protein supplements added to food or water for extra protein.

What happens if I eat solid food too soon after gastric bypass? ›

You should not eat solid foods until at least 3 months after gastric sleeve surgery. If you do this, the success rate of the surgery will decrease.

Is bread on pureed diet? ›

On a pureed diet, you can have foods that are mashed or blended so that you do not need to chew them. They are smooth and have no lumps or big pieces. These foods are easy to swallow and you do not need to chew much. You cannot eat any breads or baked goods unless they have been put through the blender.

Can you have avocado on pureed diet? ›

Fruits and vegetables are important for you to include with the pureed diet. Mashed bananas or ripe avocados can be eaten raw. Fruits or vegetables with skins -- such as pears, peaches, apples, potatoes or sweet potatoes -- can be peeled, steamed and mixed with juice or water to make a pureed dish.

How do you make pureed food look good? ›

The Guide To Making Insanely Smooth Purées Out Of Anything

Can you puree spaghetti? ›

1 Place cooked spaghetti into a blender. 2 Add the SimplyThick gel and puree on high. 3 Scrape down the blender and add in the water. 4 Blend until smooth on high.

How do I puree toast? ›

Take ½–1 cup (125–250 mL) of a bread product and break into small pieces if needed. 3. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of liquid. Liquids such as broth, gravy, juice, melted butter or soft margarine, milk, sauce, and water may be used to puree your foods.

Can you puree steak? ›

Put a cup of meat into your food processor or blender. Blend the meat until it's fine and powder, almost like sand. Then add ½ cup of water, meat broth, or reserved cooking liquid per cup of meat. Safe in refrigerate for 3-4 days.

Can you aspirate on pureed food? ›

The aspiration of pureed foods may depend more on muscle tone of the hypopharynx than on sensation. Dysphagic patients who are given a pureed diet to prevent aspiration may still be at risk for aspiration.

Is pudding on a pureed diet? ›

Foods you can eat: Pureed breads (also called pre-gelled breads) Smooth puddings, custards, yogurts, and pureed desserts. Pureed fruits and mashed bananas.

What foods Cannot be eaten after bariatric surgery? ›

Eight foods to avoid after bariatric surgery
  • 1) Food with Empty Calories. ...
  • 2) Alcohol. ...
  • 3) Dry Foods. ...
  • 4) Bread, Rice, and Pasta. ...
  • 5) Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  • 6) High-Fat Food. ...
  • 7) Sugary and Highly Caffeinated Drinks. ...
  • 8) Tough Meats.

Can I eat watermelon after gastric sleeve? ›

So, can you eat fruit after bariatric surgery? The short answer is yes, there is always a healthy place for fruit in your post-bariatric surgery meal plan.

Can gastric sleeve patients eat cheese? ›

Cheese is often one of the foods that gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients add back into their diet after starting on their post bariatric surgery diet . Cheeses like ricotta and cottage cheese can often be tolerated even in the pureed stage of the diet.

Is Jello a thin liquid? ›

vegetable soup, fruit cocktail, meat sauces, etc. These can be difficult for individuals to chew and swallow, and the liquid may be too thin. Jell-O are considered thin liquids since they melt in the mouth to a thin consistency.

What soft food can I eat? ›

While on the soft food diet, try to eat meals that include: Soft, tender meat, poultry, and fish. Poached, scrambled, or boiled eggs. Tofu.
...
Grains.
  • Bread.
  • Soft cereals.
  • Hot cereals, like cream of wheat or oatmeal.
  • Pasta and noodles.
  • White rice.
  • Pancakes and waffles.
22 Jun 2021

Is macaroni and cheese soft food? ›

While not quite as good an option, dishes such as macaroni and cheese require very little in the way of chewing. Make sure to cook the pasta a little longer so that the macaroni is very soft. A soft diet may also be a good idea just after braces are placed on the teeth.

What foods can you eat on a pureed diet? ›

Suggested Foods Ideas for Puréed Diet After Bariatric Surgery
  • Yogurt (plain or sugar free, low or nonfat, blended without fruit chunks)
  • Strained cream soups (celery, potato, mushroom, or chicken made with skim milk)
  • Skim milk with ½ scoop protein powder.
  • Protein supplements added to food or water for extra protein.

Is ice cream OK for pureed diet? ›

Note: You should not have ice cream or jelly if you need thickened fluids, as these can change to normal thickness in your mouth. Points to remember for you or whoever is making your food: Presentation of this diet is extremely important.

What Can 3 week gastric bypass eat? ›

Week 3 diet

During week three, you can add soft, pureed foods to your diet. Make sure to eat slowly and chew food thoroughly — at least 25 times, if possible. Any low-fat, sugar-free food that you can puree, including lean protein sources and nonfibrous vegetables, are acceptable.

What can I eat on phase 2 of gastric sleeve? ›

Foods to eat in phase two include:
  • Protein shakes.
  • Thin soups.
  • Soft noodles in soup.
  • Diluted juice.
  • Applesauce.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • Pureed chicken or tuna.
3 Sept 2019

What foods Cannot be pureed? ›

Puréed diet
Type of FoodAvoid
Milk and Dairy ProductsSolid cheeses, regular cottage cheese, farmer cheese, and pot cheese
VegetablesAll others, even well-cooked vegetables that don't require a lot of chewing
FruitsAll others, including mashed banana and canned fruits
StarchesAll others
6 more rows
4 Apr 2018

Can you puree a sandwich? ›

Dysphagia Divas-Making Pureed Sandwiches - YouTube

Is bread allowed on a pureed diet? ›

On a pureed diet, you can have foods that are mashed or blended so that you do not need to chew them. They are smooth and have no lumps or big pieces. These foods are easy to swallow and you do not need to chew much. You cannot eat any breads or baked goods unless they have been put through the blender.

Can you have jello on pureed diet? ›

You can use things such as mashed potato (must be really smooth, no lumps), cornflour, custard powder, ground rice, jelly crystals / gelatine, instant sauce or potato flakes, gravy granules, as well as the thickening agent you may be using for your drinks (if recommended by your Speech and Language Therapist).

Can you eat peanut butter on a pureed diet? ›

Peanut butter and other types of nut butter are smooth enough to include on a puréed diet, but they tend to be thick. If you have trouble swallowing, you'll need to be careful with nut butter.

How long does it take to shrink your liver on a liquid diet? ›

What is the liver shrinking diet? Prior to surgery, patients will need to follow a pre-operative diet, also known as a liver shrinking diet, generally between seven to fourteen days.

What happens if you don't get enough protein after bariatric surgery? ›

The Importance of Protein

If your diet doesn't include enough protein, you might notice thinning hair about 6 months to a year after weight loss surgery. That's because the human body can't make protein without food – and also has no way to store protein – making it important to consume enough daily.

Can you eat like you had bariatric surgery? ›

Weight loss surgery patients are supposed to avoid eating fried foods, and instead, grill or bake foods. Fried foods can overload the “new stomach” created during surgery and can trigger dumping syndrome, as well. However, stir-frying foods is okay, as long as you use small amounts of oil.

What foods are forbidden after gastric sleeve? ›

Foods to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery
  • Red meat that's tough or dry.
  • Greasy, high fat foods.
  • Heavily seasoned or spicy foods.
  • Sugar alcohols, such as erythritol, glycerol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.
  • Foods reheated in the microwave.
4 Mar 2022

Why am I gaining weight 3 weeks post op gastric sleeve? ›

Postoperative weight gain can be caused by:

Gastric dilation, which results in more calories being consumed. This can also be related to continuing to eat after satiety has been achieved, either as consolation, pastime, or under the influence of alcohol. Important!

What foods Cannot be eaten after bariatric surgery? ›

Eight foods to avoid after bariatric surgery
  • 1) Food with Empty Calories. ...
  • 2) Alcohol. ...
  • 3) Dry Foods. ...
  • 4) Bread, Rice, and Pasta. ...
  • 5) Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  • 6) High-Fat Food. ...
  • 7) Sugary and Highly Caffeinated Drinks. ...
  • 8) Tough Meats.

Videos

1. VSG: Chicken Lasagna & BBQ Chicken Meal Prep | Puree Stage
(Angel Goffney )
2. Bariatric Surgery Sleeve Gastrectomy Postop Nurtritional Guidelines
(Henry Ford Health)
3. Chicken Congee, a great recipe for the pureed stage after weight loss surgery
(WLS Afterlife)
4. Chili-lime bean puree. What to eat on puree stage after weight loss surgery
(WLS Afterlife)
5. WHAT I EAT IN A DAY Post VSG PUREED STAGE
(TinasWorld)
6. FULL DAY OF EATING | Healthy Meals for Weight Loss after Bariatric Surgery
(Live Healthy MD)

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