Dear cooks,

I just got back from a major jaw surgery this week, resulting in my lower jaw being almost completely disabled. This of course hands me a number of problems while eating. For instance, I can't eat any solid food, or they'll have to be in tiny pieces, because I can't open my mouth enough to put food in.
Also, my lower jaw is completely numb so I can't really use my bottom lips.

I'm currently disgusted by all the baby food and the puddings, so I decided to ask Food52.

Do you have any ideas for liquid food / food to be sliced in super tiny pieces that I can use? I'll have someone else cook it up, and try to enjoy my next 5 weeks of liquid food.

Thanks a bunch,


  • Posted by: Matsy
  • December 24, 2010


Nora December 26, 2010
Such great answers! Matsy, best wishes. Sweet potatoes are wonderful! My mother was born prematurely at home in 1912, in a small town in GA. She couldn't nurse but my grandfather said no child of his would starve to death. He mashed up sweet potato (a staple in a Southern household) with buttermilk (another staple) and fed her. She lived to be almost 80 and was very feisty. I hope sweet potato will do the same for you!
Matsy December 25, 2010
Wow, I didn't expect this to get so many answers! Thanks a bunch, everything looks so exciting. I spent my day looking for European alternatives for most of these answers, and I found some really exciting things.

But, in the past few days, my situation has changed. One should know that I am not wired shut, because the one who was doing the surgery invented this new method, so I can open my mouth enough to put things in.

I am going to try the pastina today, I did find it in here after a few hours of researching, and it looks really delicious! I can't wait to have some real tomato sauce in my stomach.

I'm going to see how the sweet potato works out. I've never had that in my life! I'll be trying it by Monday (I'm happy that on Sunday, I'm going to be living on desserts, looking forward to it).

I also found these kind of breakfast shakes in the stores. It's some kind of yogurt drink, and it gives you all the elements of a healthy breakfast. And it tastes great!

I'll also be eating some salmon tonight. I believe salmon can be sliced in tiny pieces, and it will still be awesome.

Thanks for all the advice! I'll be looking at soups next week, to see if they can aid me.
amysarah December 24, 2010
Besides pureed soups (e.g., cream of butternut squash,) yogurt, smoothies, shakes, etc.... I think three of my favorite comfort foods might work for you:

Pastina (teensy bits of pasta - widely available at supermarkets, at least where I am) - cooked in chicken broth (I like it fairly soupy,) sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Cooked Cream of Wheat cereal, with milk, brown sugar and cinnamon on top (much finer/smoother texture than oatmeal; kind of nursery food, but I love the stuff. Nutritious too.

And finally, something I often make a dinner of, when I'm home alone: a big sweet potato, baked until very soft, with a generous dollop of butter, a little salt and LOTS of fresh ground black pepper on top. Requires no chewing (if you don't eat the skin) and it's a great combo of sweet and peppery and salty and buttery and all kinds of good.
susan G. December 24, 2010
As a former health food store owner, I found that people in your situation did well with the meal replacement/protein shake products. There are many now that taste good and have the full component of nutrients and fiber. You can blend them with any of the typical smoothie ingredients, like yogurt and fruit, or go the green smoothie direction adding greens and other veggies. You do want to come through this with your nutrition and weight and elimination unharmed, and not be grossed out by your meals!
ellenl December 24, 2010
You might want to try some wonderful soups like all the variations of butternut squash soup, lentil soup that you can mash with your tongue, tomato soup, soft scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, vegetarian chopped liver pate without crackers, etc. Hope this helps some. Feel better soon!
jacobsbd December 24, 2010
I was completely wired shut for 7 weeks. I was prescibed liquid multivitamin and liquid fiber. Based on that, I figured I could eat anything that I liked as it was only for 7 weeks.

They gave me diluted malt-o-meal in the hospital as my first meal and it completely plugged everything up in the first sip. This was in a jaw surgury ward but most patents were not wired shut.

Baby food meat needs to be diluted in chicken broth or other salty liquid or they will be gross. Baby food is setup only to be good for you. Taste is not an option. Everything else in baby food was gross as it lacks salt and sugar and spices. :-p

Other than avoiding things that would stain your teeth, Eat what ever you can get down easily. Get a waterpik or similar with adjustable pressure for your teeth.

Tiny food processors are really nice. So are little pocket strainers. but you might not need them like I did. I was going out to eat and to the county fair before I was unhooked.

Please feel free to email me at frmfood52 at mindlessfluff dot com
kathy_jacobs December 24, 2010
From experience*, I can recommend the following:
Strained Hot and Sour Soup
Thinned shakes
Tomato soup
Carnation Instant Breakfast (much better tasting than the other alternatives)
Strained meat (it is the one baby food that wasn't disgusting for an adult)

One thing to avoid: Oatmeal! Unless you can blend it very finely, it will get in your teeth and be quite hard to get out.

*Experience: In the late 80's, my hubby had jaw surgery that required him to be wired shut for 6 weeks. If I can get him to join here, he will add more ideas.

Hope this helps!
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