What to eat and drink following jaw surgery

As is it such a huge effort to get food in when recovering from jaw surgery, you want to obviously make sure that you are getting not only as much calories as you can, but the most nutrient rich foods as possible. The way I see it is you could take an hour to get through a bowl of sugary shop bought ice cream which has little nutritional value, or you could take the same amount of effort to eat (well, drink!) a homemade smoothie packed full of vitamins and nutrients :) Although I'm not saying the occasional treat isn't ok.. it would be rude not to reward yourself for going through this ordeal ;)

Anyway, here's some of my favourite jaw surgery foods/recipes for optimum recovery and a few ideas for improving flavour and packing in extra calories...

// Drinks //

Water, water.. and more water! You will feel severely dehydrated so just drink as much as you can to keep hydration up. It will also to help stop skin drying out as the lack of nutrients can cause this, so get in as much as you can - you'll probably only be able to get about 1L in per day in the first week or so, but as soon as possible try to take in 2L a day.

Prune Juice - or any juice high in fibre because I've heard from this great blog that the fibre in it is great for keeping your bowels working properly, what with the extreme diet adjustment!

// Smoothies //

Mix and match and experiment as you go along - I just add in what I feel like at the time! This also might be a good time to mention that a food processor of some sort is a great investment to save time with making your meals!

Any fruits - at first it's best to remove the skins though as you can't brush your teeth erghh :(

Banana, straw/blue/raspberries, apple, grapes, pear etc. etc.

Yoghurt - some of my favourites are rhubard, coconut, fig, and normal ones such as strawberry, blueberry, banana, peach etc. and plain/greek yoghurt works too.

Juice - orange, apple, pineapple, prune etc.



Peanut butter

Spinach, Kale, Cucumber

A few combo ideas

Carot, orange + ginger

Canned pumpkin with vanilla and cinnamon (Not yet tried, but apparently it's amazing!)

Nutella, peanut butter, natural yoghurt and hazelnut milk - naughty but nice!

Tip: frozen yoghurt or even freezing a whole smoothie is a great alternative to ice cream :)

// Soups //

Pureed chicken + veg with lentils

Stilton and Brocolli - Covent Garden do a great one but it's a bit salty. My mum has a fantastic recipe so ask & I'll give it to you!

Pea, spinach and brocolli

Sweet potatoes + veg

Any shop bought soups

// Soft foods //
After a few weeks you will be able to re-introduce solid foods into your diet, and from what I've read many people (including myself) find this to be a sturggle, but please please make as much effort as possible because in order for your jaw to recover well you need to get the strength back in the muscles and chewing is a super effective way of doing this.

via the screaming artichoke - great recipes on there!
Avocado - delicious on its own or tastes uh-maaazing with melted haloumi even though it's chewy!

Soft fish - cod, salmon (boneless of course!)

Boiled vegetables, cooked until soft if you can stand eating them!

Egg - scambled, boiled etc.

Soft fruits - banana, grated apple (tastes delicous with a sprinkle of cinnamon!), pear without the skin, grapes, raspberries etc. but avoid things like oranges as the peel is a nightmare with braces.

Tofu (never tried this but there's a lot of great vegetarian recipes with tofu that look delish!)

Noodles chopped up small - although they'll be a challenge to eat they are pretty soft so they're worth it! Plus they are great in soups to make them less 'liquidy'.

// Ways to improve flavour //

Being on a liquid diet doesn't have to be dull..

'Spice' it up with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or even ground vanilla.

Coconut, shredded

Peanut butter (smooth) - for flavour and also calories

Chocolate - grated, melted or powder such as hot chocolate powder

Coffee - this will also give you a great caffeine boost!

// Ways off adding extra calories & nutrition //

Adding an egg to smoothies

Adding whey protein powder ('natural' or unflavoured for soups and chocolate/vanilla/fruit flavours for smoothies) you can also buy specific ones for adding muscle mass etc. which is great especially for guys if you're worried about losing too much muscle.

Nutrient rich protein or meal replacement powder such as Supergreens

Extra veg such as spinach, kale, and dark leafy greens

Adding a dollop of peanut butter to smoothies

// Supplements //

You'll obviously be given appropriate medication by your surgeon, but it's great to add extra vitamins to keep your immune system up and aid recovery. I also took these in the weeks leading up to surgery to prepare my body a little bit.

Daily multivitamins - any brand, but ones such as Centrum are good. Also look for ones with vitamin C and E, and ones with Zinc, calcium and magnesium in because these are good for repairing tissue and bone. Ones with collegen help repair wounds.

// Non dairy alternatives //

If you are dairy intolerant, or just feeling a bit bloated from too much dairy in your post surgery diet, there are lots of great alternatives. I used to suffer from ezcema and a few years ago cut as much dairy as possible out my diet to try and help, so I would be eating these in my normal diet anyway and I love them!

Oat milk - I love this on its own or it tastes great with porridge oats (cooked if you can't chew, but I like it uncooked to because I'm weird!) for a dairy free breakfast.

Almond, hazelnut, or soya milk - also great with cereal when you're able and delicous alone too.

Soya yoghurts - there are so many great flavours but I love the Alpro ones such as strawberries and banana, peach and pear, blueberry, strawberry etc. and they're chocolate mousses are delish!

Alpro also do pouring youghurts which are amazing as they really sooth your throat! I love the vanilla one - yum, just yum!

So that's it! If you have any questions comment below and I will try and help you out!


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