Full Liquid Diet

The full liquid diet includes those foods that are liquid or will become liquid at body temperature. This diet is very restrictive. Its use should be limited to a short period of time and only under the advice or supervision of your caregiver or dietitian.

A high-calorie, high-protein supplement should be used to meet your nutritional requirements when the full liquid diet is continued for more than 2 or 3 days. If this diet is to be used for an extended period of time (more than 7 days), a multivitamin should be considered.

REASONS FOR USE

  • As a transition diet between the clear liquid diet and solid foods.

  • When patients cannot tolerate solid foods.

ADEQUACY

The full liquid diet is nutritionally inadequate according to the Recommended Dietary Allowances of the National Research Council, except in ascorbic acid and calcium. Protein requirements can be met if adequate amounts of dairy products are consumed daily.

The full liquid diet can be nutritionally adequate if it is fortified with a nutritional supplement. Your caregiver can give you recommendations on liquids that have nutritional supplements included in them.

CHOOSING FOODS

Breads and Starches

  • Allowed: None are allowed except crackers that are pureed (made into a thick, smooth soup) in soup. Cooked, refined corn, oat, rice, rye, and wheat cereals are also allowed.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Potatoes/Pasta/Rice

  • Allowed: None except pureed in soup.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Vegetables

  • Allowed: Strained tomato or vegetable juice. Vegetables pureed in soup.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Fruit

  • Allowed: Any strained fruit juices and fruit drinks. Include 1 serving of citrus or vitamin C-enriched fruit juice daily.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Meat and Meat Substitutes

  • Allowed: Eggs in custard, eggnog mix, eggs used in ice cream or pudding.

  • Avoid: Any meat, fish, or fowl. All cheese. All other cooked or raw eggs.

Milk

  • Allowed: Milk and milk-based beverages, including milk shakes and instant breakfast mixes. Smooth yogurt.

  • Avoid: Any others. Avoid dairy products if not tolerated.

Soups and Combination Foods

  • Allowed: Broth, strained cream soups. Strained, broth-based soups.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Desserts and Sweets

  • Allowed: Custard, flavored gelatin, tapioca, plain ice cream, sherbet, smooth pudding, junket, fruit ices, frozen ice pops, pudding pops. Other frozen bars with cream, frozen fudge pops, chocolate syrup. Sugar, honey, jelly, syrup.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Fats and Oils

  • Allowed: Margarine, butter, cream, sour cream, oils.

  • Avoid: Any others.

Beverages

  • Allowed: All.

  • Avoid: None.

Condiments

  • Allowed: Iodized salt, pepper, spices, flavorings. Cocoa powder.

  • Avoid: Any others.

SAMPLE MEAL PLAN

Breakfast

  • ½ cup orange juice.

  • 1 cup cooked wheat cereal.

  • 1 cup milk.

  • 1 cup beverage (coffee or tea).

  • Cream or sugar, if desired.

Midmorning Snack

  • 1 cup pasteurized eggnog (made from powdered eggs mixed with milk, not raw eggs).

Lunch

  • 1 cup cream soup.

  • ½ cup fruit juice.

  • 1 cup milk.

  • ½ cup custard.

  • 1 cup beverage (coffee or tea).

  • Cream or sugar, if desired.

Midafternoon Snack

  • 1 cup milk shake.

Dinner

  • 1 cup cream soup.

  • ½ cup fruit juice.

  • 1 cup milk.

  • ½ cup pudding.

  • 1 cup beverage (coffee or tea).

  • Cream or sugar, if desired.

Evening Snack

  • 1 cup supplement.

To increase calories, add sugar, cream, butter, or margarine if possible. Nutritional supplements will also increase the total calories.

The above sample meal plan cannot meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances of the National Research Council without appropriate supplementation under the guidance of your caregiver or dietitian.