Eating After Tonsillectomy

Eating After Tonsillectomy

Eating after tonsillectomy 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 as we resume eating after tonsillectomy surgery.

Eating After Tonsillectomy
What to Eat After Tonsillectomy

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.

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 foodsfor eating after tonsillectomy surgery.

For the first five days I wouldn’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.  Eating after tonsillectomy is important for several reasons. Nutrition, activation of muscles in the affected area, and feeling of well being are all benefits of smart eating after tonsillectomy.

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.

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.

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 bloody Mary steak marinade recipe.  Try it before surgery, or after you’ve recovered.  Salud!

Tonsillectomy Recovery
Tonsillectomy Recovery

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. Check out tGeneral Store.


  1. four days ago i have removed my tonsils the first night was the worst one after that i eat a little amount of sponge bread. on the third day i ate some soft biscuit on the advice of doctor and also add mango juice to water and started drinking it after an hour and half. now i mange to eat banana and Custer along with some solid food like biscuits and something like that. but in these four days i am in pain but if something can reduce pain after pain killer if is solid food like biscuits etc. hopefully would work.

  2. I am 43 years old and this is day 5 for me. The first couple of days was the worse. I was strictly on water and ice for those days. I didn’t really start trying solid foods until day 3. Foods like mac and cheese, eggs and mashed potatoes. One thing I noticed that helped was to drink cold water with ice and let it sit in the mouth while taking my pain medication. This helped with the soreness and made it easier to swallow without that much pain. Day 4, I was able to eat fried chicken and the soreness in the throat was almost gone. I did encounter a lot of mucus discharge during day 3 and 4 though. Stopped taking the pain meds at day 4. Day 5 is just a tingle of slight soreness when I swallow but not really noticeable but still taking antibiotics until all gone.(amoxicillin). Saturday will be day 10 and I think that’s the day when it will be best for me to eat the foods that I have been craving. We will see.

  3. Hey, I had my tonsills removed yesterday I’m 16 years old. Yesterday I found it really wierd and felt a bit sickly when eating. But I found the more you carry on the easier it gets! I’m on my second day and my throats feeling a whoole lot better I even had chicken nuggets! Eating the harder foods is hard at first but once you are on a roll not only foes it not make you hungry anymore but it also toughens your throat up a lot!

  4. After playing basketball when i drink water i suffer from cold fever and tonsil problem

    My father also had this problem when he was about 23 year old after that he operated…

    What should i do ….

  5. It is now day 7. :(. 49 years old
    I can’t believe how bad it’s been. Was rushed to hospital the day after surgery and they found that my throat was so swollen – my oxygen level was a dangerous 82-90 a mostly hovering between 83 to 86. Spent 3 days without anything to eat.

    Now home and man it’s bad! I can’t sleep for more than a hour at a time, I’ve started coughing which I think is due to little bits of scabs coming off, and I’m so weak I’m afraid to do much of anything.

    I just figured out this morning – duh – have a juicer and yep picked up the items in it for after the surgery. I always loved my juicer before now I love it more!

    Have found Popsicles, broth, applesauce (the best, not chunky), just started with gum and wow does that work well. Pudding is a big no no and my attempt at eggs was not good to feel or anyone else to see,

    Love yogurt – it doesn’t coat like pudding does but really helps things feel better. ( along with stomach upset).

    I have found that as the scabs start coming off it is leaving these very upset patches. Does anyone know how long it takes for these to start feeling better?

    I truly wish the best for anyone who has to go thru this surgery as an adult!


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