Discharge Instructions: Having a Full Liquid Diet

Your healthcare provider prescribed a full liquid diet temporarily for you. You may have trouble swallowing solid foods. Or, you may have had surgery and not be ready for solid food or need to advance to solid foods gradually. Here's what you need to know about this type of diet.

Home care

  • Remember, this diet is temporary. You should not follow this diet longer than directed because it might not provide you with enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Contact your healthcare provider if you are on this diet for more than 5 days. You may need nutritional or vitamin supplements.

  • Keep track of the amount of liquid that you drink and anything you eat while on this diet. Keep a log for your healthcare provider.

Choose these foods

  • Choose fruit juices without pulp, such as apple juice, grape juice, cranberry juice, and nectars.

  • Choose drinks such as coffee, tea (hot or cold), fruit-flavored drinks, soda, water, milk (whole, skim, 1%, and 2%), cream, instant breakfast drinks, and liquid meal replacements.

  • Choose desserts and snacks such as fruit ices (without chunks of fruit), plain or vanilla yogurt (without fruit chunks), plain gelatin, hard candy, frozen juice pops, custards, frozen yogurt, smoothies without chunks, ice cream (without nuts or candy), and pudding.

  • Choose broth, bouillon, fat-free consommé, or strained cream soups.

  • Choose thin, refined hot cereals, such as porridge, and grits.

Don't eat these foods

  • Don’t eat canned, fresh, or frozen fruit.

  • Don’t eat soup with vegetables, noodles, rice, meat, or other chunks of food in it.

  • Don’t eat vegetables, bread, whole cereal and grain products, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, meat substitutes (nuts and nut butters, tofu, soy), hard cheese, oils, butter, or margarine.


Make a follow-up appointment, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as advised by your healthcare provider

  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than 1 day

  • Vomiting that does not stop

  • Trouble urinating

  • Trouble passing gas

  • Abdominal pain with bloating and cramping

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