Diet Following Tonsillectomy, Adult

You may have a sore throat for 5 to 7 days following removal of tonsils (tonsillectomy). During this time, eating food that is easier to swallow and less irritating to your throat makes your recovery easier.  


A diet of clear liquids is easiest to swallow and less irritating.

  • Drink water, lukewarm chicken broth, lemon lime sodas (if opened and allowed to lose the fizz), and apple juice.

  • Try frozen ice pops and ice chips to soothe your throat.

  • Avoid rough and crunchy food; hot or highly seasoned food; hot liquids; citrus juices, such as orange juice and tomato juice; and fatty milk products.  


  • Drink several glasses of water (lukewarm water is less irritating than cold water).

  • Add soft foods as desired. Good soft food choices include sherbet, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, pasta with butter, puddings, warm soups, gelatin, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft-cooked or scrambled eggs, custards, and ground beef in gravy or sauce. A soft diet should be continued through the third day.

  • You may benefit from a nutritional supplement like a liquid nutrition beverage.

  • Avoid citrus juices and spicy foods until 10 days after surgery.

  • Avoid roughly textured foods, such as potato chips, nuts, dry toast, popcorn, pretzels, cold cereal, and crackers, until 10 to 14 days after surgery.

  • Avoid taking aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain because they can worsen bleeding. Only take medication for pain that is recommended by your caregiver or surgeon.