With the holidays approaching, many of us will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate. If you’re healing after a dental implant procedure, you may be concerned about the festive food you will be able to eat.
There’s no need to worry. These soft holiday food ideas will help you enjoy all your favorite flavors, without causing discomfort or interfering with your healing process.
Try these soft holiday foods
From already-soft foods to different cooking methods, here are some dentist-approved soft holiday dishes:
- Seasonal soups: Soups are always a great way to enjoy holiday flavors without having to chew. For example, a loaded baked potato soup is filled with potatoes, cheese, milk and herbs, then pureed for a smooth consistency. Butternut squash, sweet potato and even broccoli soups are great while you’re healing.
- Tender turkey and ham: Slow cooking ham with extra water will net a tender, juicy cut of meat. Alternatively, try boiling pieces of turkey (without the bone) in stock. This will soften the meat and make it easier to chew.
- Plant-based substitutes: Many plant-based substitutes like Tofurkey are much softer than real meat—but with a similar flavor to your favorites.
- Tamales: Soft tamales filled with cheese or extra-tender braised meat are a great holiday treat.
- Mashed potatoes and gravy: Mashed potatoes and gravy are a naturally soft choice, making them perfect for your healing process.
- Sweet potatoes, squash and yams: Roast and puree sweet potatoes, squash or yams for a flavorful, healthy treat. The texture is similar to traditional mashed potatoes and will complement the rest of the dishes.
- Dinner rolls and bread: If you’re not in charge of the menu, and there are limited options, dip your dinner rolls into gravy, have seconds of cranberry sauce, soft stuffing and the pumpkin pie will be a perfect dessert!
- Green bean casserole: Here’s one occasion where canned vegetables are superior to fresh. Using canned green beans ensures that your casserole is extra soft. You may want to skip the fried onions if your jaw is particularly sensitive.
Watch out for these ingredients
When attending someone else’s gathering, you may find sneaky hard ingredients in your food. Watch out for these hard ingredients—eat around them, or take them out of your dish ahead of time:
- Corn: Corn has a tough outer layer, which may be difficult to chew.
- Celery, onion and apple: If cooked for a long time, these ingredients should be soft enough. Avoid tough apple peels, just to be safe.
- Nuts: Walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts are popular additions to holiday meals.
- Bacon: Bacon may be too tough or chewy while you’re healing from implants.
- Sausage: Sausage and other ground meat is usually soft enough to chew—just watch out for pieces of gristle.
- Dried fruit: Unless the dried fruit has been thoroughly rehydrated, hard pieces can cause discomfort.
If you have questions about what to eat while you’re healing, or want to schedule an implant consultation, call Cleveland Implant Institute today!