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.

Facebook Comments

Russ C
April 23, 2014 6:29 am

Mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, bean burritos and pasta are the foods I have eaten the most in the past 1 days. I have also had plenty of yogurt and freeze pops. Luke warm soup is also something i have had too. I found it was better to deal with pain and force soft foods down that have an empty stomach or a stomach full of only yogurt/liquid.

April 8, 2015 4:54 pm

Yes I agree..I’m in the US and just had my surgery yesterday.. I am in the most pain while trying to sleep as I guest that is when the nasty thick mucus starts to build up which makes me continuously have the urge to swallow!! I am already eating my soft foods my first meal around 7 in the evening post surgery yesterday was cream of wheat.. This morning had boils eggs and a little mashed potato..right now I am having vegetable soup (Campbell’s, I also diluted with more water due to the sodium factor) my pain is mild I gargle wlevery once in a while to remove so much of the mucus but my biggest complaints are these sore muscles from the anesthesia!! This is the worst its taking over my surgery pain!!

May 2, 2014 5:22 pm

I had mine out 4 days ago. I’ve tried pudding, yogurt, ice cream, water ice, gummy bears, and mac and cheese. Everything except the gummy bears and water ice stuck in my throat and either left a film or some noodle residue on the scabs. I want to eat real food so badly, but I just can’t manage anything other than these two things without major pain or side effects. The gummy bears are great for helping to reduce the ear pain and provide a little bit of nourishment, which is why i chose them. The water ice is soothing and cold on my throat without creating thick mucous the way ice cream does, and doesn’t have sharp edges the way that crushed ice does. I’m 24 years old.

May 2, 2014 7:14 pm

Welcome Mindy. Stick with what’s working!

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