The Post-Tonsillectomy Diet

Eating Foods After Tonsils Removed

The tonsillectomy diet can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the nutrition derived from solid foods is essential for out overall health and recovery from tonsillectomy surgery. The very act of swallowing also helps the throat recover. On the other hand, pushing foods past the raw and tender area of the tonsil beds after they’ve been cut and in many cases cauterized, can cause excruciating pain and, even bleeding. We need to go slow.

tonsillectomy diet recipes

Eating After Tonsils Removed


Liquids: The best friend of any tonsillectomy diet

Liquids. Let’s start here. Since you’ll be drinking at least 8 ounces per hour during  tonsillectomy recovery. Put some thought into what you want.   Sport drinks are good. They provide electrolytes and needed calories. Since most of the calories are from sugar, you’ll want to try some other drinks too. Avoid anything acidic, caffeinated, dairy, or thick for the first week. I was amazed by how many things I drank went down like battery acid or left a troublesome film on my throat. (tonsil bed) Water is always good, but it’s hard to stay interested in it. I also enjoyed chicken and beef broths. Don’t heat them beyond, “fairly warm.” Hot has an inflammatory effect on tonsil area tissue.

how to make peanut butter smoothies

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe

Gelatin was the first thing I was given to begin eating after tonsillectomy and I thought I’d gone to heaven. It tasted wonderful and, for some reason, I found it easier to swallow than water. It’s cool, soothing, and counts as hydration. Hands down, Jell-O, Jelly, or gelatin is my top pick for foods for a tonsillectomy recovery. For the first five days I didn’t venture too far beyond the liquids and gelatin. It’s contrary to what your mother might advise but, like sleep, a normally healthy endeavor can result in an hour of searing pain. I tried mashed potatoes on day two and had tears in my eyes.  For about a day after that, I stopped eating .  I don’t recommend this.  Maintaining a good diet is important for several reasons.  Nutrition, activation of muscles in the affected area, and feeling of well being are all benefits of a smart plan. Also keep in mind that most prescription pain killers can cause nausea, especially on an empty stomach.  It’s important to get some kind of food down before taking pain medicine, even if it’s just a liquid food like Ensure.

Try to add as many calories to your day as you can. As your throat allows, try some foods like oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, (NOT al dente. cook it!), ramen noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, or cous cous. Oatmeal was, without question, my breakthrough food as I began eating after tonsillectomy. I’m still eating it almost daily, probably because of the good feeling that  it gave me in my second week. If you have a favorite post-tonsillectomy recipe, please share it in the comments section below.

When I was recovering, I used to daydream about eating steak.  It seemed so unattainable.  I couldn’t even handle mashed potatoes.  When could I ever enjoy a nice juicy Steak??  I told myself, once I got through this, I would reward myself with a delicious slab of beef.  To this day, I love my steak. I’ve put together a collection of items that I think would be helpful, if not essential, to making tonsillectomy recovery a little more pleasant, including items for your tonsillectomy diet. Check out the Tonsillectomy General Store.

21 thoughts on “The Post-Tonsillectomy Diet

  1. Martin English

    I’m from the UK, and had mine out 5 days ago. Here the advice is that you should absolutely maintain a solid food diet, and that soft and watery foods don’t help to clear the area at all, which is supposed to prolong the healing. In fact, I couldn’t leave hospital without first having eaten a packet of crisps (that’s chips to you guys). I have been eating exactly as I would have been since the op (even though my appetite hasn’t always been great) and I have to say that it’s really not been too bad. I find swallowing in the first hour or so in the morning is worse than eating foods throughout the day, and it does feel as though the solid food is toughening the area up. Anyway, thanks for the site, there really wasn’t much information available regarding the recovery so this has been a very useful resource. I’ve also been drinking about a pint of water per hour or so after reading about staying hydrated which I believe has also helped.

  2. anna brett

    I had my tonsils out yesterday and felt not too bad but today,however,i feel horrendous..i can hardly open my mouth…hospital told me to eat normal foods but reading up on here it tells me different and im confused..i guess its trial and error with what i can cope with…do i eat icecream or not?as it increases phlegm?hospital offered me sandwich and orange juice…but on here says avoid citric juice!!any other suggestions?

  3. Bailey

    I am about 24 out and so far almond milk blended with half a banana has been the best. Also organic blended fruit and vegetable popsicles with beet and carrot. Room temp vegetable broth tasted awful but went down well. A bit of organic pumpkin ice cream mixed with maca powder was OK, but left too much phlegm. Will stick to the almond milk for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>