Once you have passed through the full-liquids stage of your post-surgery eating plan, you can begin stage three, which involves the consumption of pureed foods. Pureed foods (sometimes called “squishy foods”) are thicker than full liquids. In fact, they can easily be traced through and may even have chunks. This stage is usually open to gastric band patients by week three following surgery and to gastric bypass, sleeve, and duodenal switch patients by week two.
Gastric Band: Days 15 - 21 after surgery
Roux-en-Y: Days 8 - 18 after surgery
Duodenal Switch: Days 8 - 18 after surgery
Gastric Sleeve: Days 8 - 18 after surgery
The definition of pureed foods is food that is easy to mash with your fork or that is actually pureed. Because you’re just coming off of liquids, you want to make sure that you start the pureed foods stage slowly and with foods that are smooth and extremely easy to mash. By, “easy to mash,” we mean that mashing the foods with your fork requires little to no effort on your part. You can simply place your fork on the food and it either mashes simply by the weight of the fork or by slight pressure applied by you.
While you’re in the pureed food stage, you can still consume all the foods that were included in both the clear-liquids and full-liquids stages. While you may find that your stomach is more satisfied during this stage, you must make sure to take in enough fluid each day. You must drink at least 64 ounces of fluids every day, 32 of which should be water.
As always, limit drinking caffeinated beverages and be sure to monitor your sugar intake. Carbonated beverages should be avoided for 3 months after surgery.
Your fluids and foods should have little to no sugar in them, and you should not be drinking while you eat. Some people develop an intolerance to dairy and other foods after their weight loss surgery, so if you notice any nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other unpleasant physical symptom after eating a certain type of food, you may want to avoid it.
What Pureed Foods to Eat
Understanding the allowable texture of your pureed foods is one thing, but knowing what you can and can’t eat and how to eat it is another.
Tips for eating pureed food, and what foods are acceptable.
The most important thing to remember when embarking on the pureed foods stage of your post-surgery diet is the proper ratio of proteins, low-fiber foods, and complex starches. Your meals should consist of 3 parts protein to 2 parts low-fiber fruits and vegetables to 1 part complex starches. Another important factor is the order in which to eat your meal. You should always start with the high-protein food first, then move on to the fruits and vegetables that are low in fiber. You can eat complex starches last.
The next thing you must keep in mind is which foods you can and can’t eat. The basic guideline is to eat foods that can be mashed with a fork with little effort. This excludes foods like raw or undercooked vegetables, hard cheeses, cold cereal, and breads.
- Protein sources: Steamed or poached fish without skin, refried beans, scrambled eggs, canned tuna (flaked), tofu (cooked or raw), soup.
- Dairy sources: String cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, custard, low-sugar pudding.
- Vegetable sources: Steamed, canned, or boiled vegetables (must be very well-cooked); mashed potatoes. Don’t eat raw vegetables.
- Fruit sources: Canned fruits (packed in water or light syrup and drained), applesauce. Don’t eat raw fruit.
- Whole grains: Hot cereal, oatmeal thinned with water or milk.
You may notice that some of the food choices also appear on your full-liquids food list. During the pureed foods stage, you can eat them as you would normally prepare them, or you can continue to thin them as you did in the full-liquids stage of your post-surgery diet. While clear liquids like gelatin desserts are not listed above, you may eat them as well during this stage.