How To

Tonsillectomy-safe foods: what to eat and avoid while recovering from surgery

It can be daunting trying to work out what to eat (and what to avoid) after having a tonsillectomy. We break it down for you to make it a little less scary.

Following a tonsillectomy, the back of your throat will start to scab up as it heals. It’s important to take care of these wounds, especially while eating.

As a general rule, you want to steer clear of foods that are overly hot or cold, acidic, crunchy, salty or spicy. Raw fruits and vegetables should also be avoided white your throat is still sensitive.

So, what do I eat? Check out some of our helpful tips and recipes below:

Porridge (cooled)

Just because you’re written off for a couple of days doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a nourishing breakfast each morning.

You can still start your day with a hearty bowl of oat-based porridge, but just wait until it has cooled down so you don’t put strain on your throat. When cooking up your oats, go for instant oatmeal, which is chopped up finely so it cooks more quickly (and will require far less chewing).

Ditch the crunchy toppings, and instead stir through some blended fruits or raw honey as an easy-to-swallow flavour booster.

Make your own smooth oats at home with one of our warming porridge recipes.


One of the things your little ones look forward to most when getting their tonsils removed is the promise of jelly every day.

It’s soft on the palate, easy to swallow and is wonderfully sweet and fruity – bringing a little fun into your day as you lie on your couch nursing your sore throat.

But pre-mixed packaged flavours can only get you so far before it starts getting a little routine. Why not try making your own jelly instead?

Passionfruit jelly with mango

This passionfruit and mango jelly makes a wonderfully light and fruity treat – just ditch the toppings.

Broths and light soups

Soups are a great way to get your energy levels up and pack in some nutrients while you’re at it. A great place to start is a light chicken broth, with any large chunkThe first couple of days after surgery are especially important to avoid chewing, as this could scratch your scabs and cause bleeding. If you need to, use a hand-blender to blend up the chunks to make it easy to drink with a spoon.

This creamy potato and leek soup is a great tonsil-friendly option. Serve cooled, without the toppings.

Ice, ice baby

While dairy usually isn’t recommended for tonsillectomy recovery foods, light sorbets, flavored ice-blocks, or granita can be eaten.

The cool ice will sooth your throat, and the fun, sweet flavours will keep things interesting while you rest up. Keep in mind, though, it’s important to take care with eating ice-blocks, as sucking motions may place stress on your wounds.

Mashed potatoes

If you’re sick of eating not-so-filling bowls of jelly (trust us – there can be too much of a good thing), mashed potatoes are a great way to get your energy levels up with a nutritious, hearty meal that is easy to swallow.

Try experimenting with different ‘taters to keep it interesting – white potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root veggies like taro can all be steamed and mashed to create unique, tasty dishes. You could also achieve a similar texture with corn-based polenta, or smashed cauliflower.

Keep it interesting by tossing through some melted cheese, herbs, spices or gravy.

Try whipping up a big batch of this easy-to-eat kumara and potato mash – delicious!

Rice and pasta

A few days, to a week, after your surgery, you’ll notice that your throat is starting to feel less sore. When you start introducing ‘solids’, a great place to start is by cooking up some plain rice or pasta.

These filling carbs will help you get your energy back, and provide some much-welcome texture after a week of liquids.

Although it goes against everything we’ve been taught about how to cook pasta properly, it’s worth over-cooking it a little bit so it becomes softer and easier to eat.

This simple and creamy risotto is a great filling dinner option.

Custard, mousse and pudding

This sweet, creamy treat is very versatile and is a tasty way to get a nice dose of calcium and protein.

You can buy pre-made custards and tubs of pudding from your local supermarkets. But if you want something a bit less processed you can try your hand at this white chocolate honey mousse or this adorable cappuccino panna cotta.

Baked custard

This creamy baked custard recipe is the perfect recovery food.

Drink up

Large fluid intake is extremely important after surgery to keep the mouth softened.

Room temperature and cool fluids are best, such as water, sports drinks and bland fruit juices. Avoid hot liquids as this can cause stress on your wounds as they could expand your blood cells.

Using a straw should also be avoided as the the suction may irritate wounds.

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