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The Best Foods to Eat After a Tonsillectomy

The timeline for recovery post-tonsillectomy can differ based on factors such as age and overall health. Generally, this can take 10 days to two weeks. During this time, it is crucial to give your body the nutrients it needs to help aid a speedy recovery and get you back to enjoying all your favorite food once again.

A bowl of wonton soup. | ENT Family - The Best Foods to Eat After a Tonsillectomy
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Why Food Type Matters After Tonsillectomy

After getting a tonsillectomy, paying attention to what you eat becomes really important for a few reasons. Firstly, the procedure often leaves you with a sore throat, and picking the right foods can go a long way in easing that discomfort. Secondly, choosing certain foods can help prevent potential issues like bleeding or infection, making your recovery smoother. Lastly, making sure you get the right nutrition is crucial for your body to heal well and avoid dehydration after the tonsillectomy. So, it's not just about what you eat; it's about making thoughtful choices to ensure a comfy and nourishing recovery journey.

Best Foods to Eat After a Tonsillectomy

Whether you're preparing for an upcoming procedure or you're in the process of healing from one today, check out these post-tonsillectomy food recommendations to help you nourish your body and promote healing during this crucial recovery period.

1. Easy-to-swallow foods

Opting for soft and easy-to-swallow foods minimizes friction and irritation on the healing tissues, reducing the risk of injury and preventing strain on the healing muscles in the throat.

  • Yogurt

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Applesauce, custard, or rice pudding

  • Scrambled eggs

  • Soft fruits

  • Cream of wheat, oatmeal, or rice cereal

  • Cooked quinoa

  • Rice porridge

  • Soft bread (without crust) soaked in broth or milk

2. Cold drinks or blended smoothies

The cold temperature can provide soothing relief to the throat, helping to alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling. However, it's advisable to limit sugary & dairy drinks to prevent any potential discomfort.

  • Milk

  • Non-acidic fruit juices

  • Yogurt & fruit smoothies

  • Protein shakes

  • Iced coffee, moderately

3. Soups

Soups are highly recommended after a tonsillectomy due to their numerous benefits for the healing process. The warmth of the soup can be soothing to the throat, offering relief from discomfort.

  • Clear broth soups

  • Chicken noodle soup with small pieces of tender chicken and well-cooked macaroni and vegetables

  • Wonton or matzo ball soup

  • Smooth or non-chunky soup

4. Frozen treats

These cold and soothing options can provide relief to the throat, helping to alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling. Including frozen treats in the diet adds variety and can be a pleasant way to stay cool while supporting the healing process. However, it's important to note that these treats are best eaten in moderation as dairy and sugar may irritate the throat and cause other discomforts as well.

  • Ice cream or gelato

  • Frozen yogurt

  • Popsicles

Food to Avoid

When it comes to your post-tonsillectomy diet, steering clear of irritants is key for a smoother recovery. Say no to citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, as their acidity might not be the best for your healing throat. Additionally, it's wise to give a pass to overly spicy foods that could potentially cause irritation. Hard, crunchy, or sharp food should also be avoided to prevent scratching against your throat's healing scabs. Sugar and dairy have also been known to irritate throats

Food to avoid after a tonsillectomy: A jar of spicy seasoning & slices of citrus fruit.
Mykola Lunov \ Benjamin Romero

You'll get back to enjoying these foods soon—just be patient and allow your body the time it needs to steer clear of any additional complications.

Tips for Eating After Tonsillectomy

Having gotten some ideas on the best foods to eat after your tonsillectomy, here are some more tips for eating after your surgical procedure:

  1. Prioritize Hydration: Aim for 8-10 glasses of water daily to prevent dehydration, which can worsen pain.

  2. Start cold and smooth: For the first 1-2 days, stick to cold and smooth textures.

  3. Gradually introduce soft solids: As your throat heals, progress to soft, easy-to-chew foods like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, and well-cooked fish or chicken.

  4. Take Small Bites: Opt for small, manageable bites to make swallowing easier.

  5. Chew & Swallow Carefully: Chew your food thoroughly to avoid any irritation.

Remember to follow your healthcare provider's instructions and recommendations for post-tonsillectomy care. If you have specific dietary restrictions or concerns, consult with your healthcare team for personalized advice tailored to your recovery needs. Wishing you a smooth and speedy recovery!


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Dr. David Eleff, Otolaryngologist/Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist at ENT Family in Hollywood, Florida.

This article has been medically reviewed by  otolaryngologist, David Eleff, M.D.

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