Diet Following Tonsillectomy, Child

After the tonsils are removed (tonsillectomy), your child's throat may be sore for 2 to 3 days. Recovery will be easier if he or she eats things that are easy to swallow and less irritating on the throat. Follow the recommendations below for the first 5 days.


For the first 24 hours after surgery:

  • Avoid hot or highly seasoned foods, hot liquids, and citrus juices such as orange and tomato juices.

  • Drink only clear liquids, which are easier to swallow and less irritating. Clear liquids that may be less irritating include: water, lukewarm chicken broth, lemon-lime sodas that have been opened and allowed to lose the fizz, apple juice, frozen ice pops, and ice chips.

DAY 2 to 3

After the first 24 hours:

  • A soft diet is recommended. Drink several glasses of lukewarm water.

  • Add soft foods as desired. Good choices include: ice cream, 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. Your child may benefit from liquid nutritional supplements like a liquid nutrition drink. Your caregiver can give you recommendations.

DAY 4 to 5

  • Gradually, resume feeding your child a normal diet. On the forth and fifth day after surgery, your child may begin to eat the foods he or she would normally eat.

  • Avoid hot foods, spicy or highly seasoned foods, potato chips, raw vegetables, nuts, dry toast, popcorn, and crackers until 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.


  • Give all antibiotic medicine as directed. Have your child finish the medicine even if he or she starts to feel better.

  • Only give your child pain medicine as directed by your caregiver or surgeon.

  • Keep your child indoors and relatively quiet for the first 3 days after the procedure.

  • Your child may return to school 1 week after the procedure.

What to expect:

  • Bad breath is commonly noticed. Drinking fluids can help.

  • A white or gray membrane on the sides of the throat is normal and should disappear in 1 to 2 weeks.

  • An earache may be felt. It is not an ear infection. This ache is coming from the throat.

  • Neck stiffness may be felt if an adenoidectomy was performed with the tonsillectomy.