If your child is scheduled to have their tonsils removed, you’ll want to review this list of foods they can eat after a tonsillectomy. This is certainly not an all-inclusive list but it’s a good place to start with some bonus advice about what to expect along the way.
Please know, I am not a physician nor do I know your child’s individual dietary needs such as allergies and food sensitivities.
I am, however, a mom with a medical background (I am a physical therapist) who recently helped her five year old son recover from a tonsillectomy.
I can only tell you the ins and outs of what I experienced and what my child’s doctor told me.
It is up to you to use discretion and direct any questions you may have to your physician. I highly recommend running this list of ideas past your surgeon to get the green light.
Check out my related post, What to Expect After a Tonsillectomy, for a more thorough look into our experience. It’s a great read with lots of tips and advice.
Before I go over what you can eat, let me tell you what you cannot. My son’s doctor gave us this list of ABSOLUTELY NOTS following surgery:
Things to Avoid After Tonsillectomy
- Crunchy foods like pretzels/crackers/popcorn/nuts/chips/cereal for TWO weeks
- HOT drinks, soups or foods
- Citrus such as lemons, limes and oranges as well as tomato based sauces due to the high acid level
- Peanut butter. It’s too sticky and hard to swallow
- Drinking through a straw for one week (increases the risk of bleeding)
Now that you’ve read the list of things to avoid, let’s move on to foods that are comfortable to eat after tonsil removal.
Foods to Eat after Tonsillectomy
Make sure your child gets enough fluids following surgery. I was informed that, for the first few days, they won’t want to eat much and perhaps nothing at all. I was also told that that was completely normal and OK. Don’t panic.
As long as they are getting adequate amounts of liquid they will be just fine.
Here is a list of the drinks we had on hand in the days following my son’s tonsillectomy.
- Juices (NO citrus juices like orange juice/lemonade due to high acidity)
- Chocolate milk
- Popsicles/fudge pops (these count as a liquid)
- Smoothies made with milk/almond milk, frozen fruit and peanut butter powder or a kid-friendly protein powder
Important note: make sure you use peanut butter powder and NOT peanut butter in smoothies. Peanut butter is too thick and can get stuck to the back of your child’s throat. Make sure smoothies are a bit thinner by adding more milk/almond milk as a base. A thinner smoothie is easier to swallow and gentler on the throat.
Below is a list of soft foods kids can eat after having their tonsils removed. Keep in mind, every kid is different. My son flew through this list and was eating Z-bars and other soft granola bars by the 4th day. I have friends, on the other hand, whose kids were still eating nothing but applesauce 7 days out. You know your kid and what they can handle best.
- Apple sauce
- Squeezable fruits and veggies in a pouch
- Ripe bananas
- Ice cream
- Jello (with whipped cream)
- Cottage cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Hummus (with a soft tortilla)
- Refried beans*
- Scrambled eggs*
- Mac and cheese*
*These foods are traditionally served hot but, after a tonsillectomy, they need to be eaten at room temp or maybe a bit cooler.
Again, this list is certainly not comprehensive but it is a great place to start. It is also applies to adults undergoing tonsillectomy, too.
Good luck to you as you help your little one heal and recover.
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RELATED POST: What to Expect After a Tonsillectomy
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