My first and foremost piece of advice to anyone post-op is to make sure that you get plenty of fluids - I was drinking water like crazy the first week, but I am convinced it helped with both the swelling and the bruising.
Beyond that, I think that just about the main thing to remember for that period of time when you're restricted to a liquid/pureed foods diet is that just about any food can be pureed in a blender (if you don't have one, a lot of people here seem to love the Magic Bullet) and diluted with an appropriate diluent. Most savoury foods can be blended with diluents such as broth/stock (vegetable, chicken, beef or fish), whole milk, vegetable juice, tomato juice or puree, V8, pureed baby foods, gravy, or sauces (cheese sauces are a great way to add calories!). Creamed soups can even be diluted with half & half or cream for an added calorie kick if weight loss worries you. Sweet foods, fruits, etc
. can be diluted with fruit juice, milk, cream, or yoghurt.
Don't neglect starches and cereals - potatoes, pasta, porridge/oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc
. And, again if weight loss is a concern, consider high calorie supplements such as Ensure Plus or Boost Plus (the "Plus" varieties are more calorie-packed). Protein powders are also a good idea to mix into your blenderised meals; powdered milk is an easy way to boost both calories and protein, and could be added to a blended cream soup, an ice cream smoothie, or just about any other blenderised meal. Don't forget foods like eggs, cheese, and especially beans and pulses, which will all be great sources of protein, and which also lend themselves well to being pureed.
found and shared with us the 8 Weeks Wired
site which has myriad ideas for what to eat when limited to a liquid/pureed foods diet. The broader site has many other resources! Check it out!
One thing that can certainly help you get a decent sized meal inside you more quickly when you are limited to liquids/purees is the Zip-N-Squeeze bag. These are currently available only through the Zip-N-Squeeze web site
- they are based in the USA, but do ship to other countries.
Once you start to be able to open your mouth a little bit, have baby spoons on hand - they're great. (A baby toothbrush too, for cleanup) I also found that after the first few hours I was comfortable to drink water from a cup, but for the first several days I did personally prefer to use a disposable cup - I didn't feel comfy with a glass against my lips. If you are considering using a baby's "sippy cup" please remove the gasket - sucking is to be avoided for the first couple of weeks post-op. (So regular straws are out too!)
Your options open up massively when your OS clears you for either soft chew or a "fork smash" diet ("fork smash" means mashing each forkful of food with the fork before eating it - means no chewing is necessary). At this stage you can look at the whole range of soft foods - as Lynn
mentioned above, there is a soft foods section over on the main ArchWired web site. Whilst you definitely can puree even things like fish, or tender meats, some people don't like to. But there's definitely no reason not to indulge in them once you progress to fork smash/soft chew. Your world will also open up then to things like pancakes or muffins, baked potato (not including the skins), and so forth. If you go out to eat, never be shy to ask for special consideration - for example, two weeks post-op when eating out, I requested the vegetables be very slightly overcooked, so that they would be soft enough for me to manage; generally restaurants are more than happy to oblige, especially if you explain why. Also, in your early post-op days, take along your own silverware when eating out - until you regain sufficient ROM (range of motion) post-op, it sometimes happens that the forks and spoons provided at restaurants might be a bit large for you to use.
For the meat eater, as you start to progress (under instructions from your OS) from the softest foods towards a more normal diet, bear in mind that some cuts of meat are more tender, and that in general some cooking techniques make for more tender meats - meat in curries, stews and casseroles tend to be more tender than grilled or sauteed meats.
I was incredibly lazy during my post-op period. I'd had grand plans in the months preceding surgery to cook up a selection of wonderful homemade soups, but as the "big day" drew closer I wanted to think about it less and less. So when the time came I relied on chiller case soups from the supermaket (grocery store):
Generally I would puree the whole tub at once, then microwave and eat just half, saving the rest for later. I'd bought a selection and would not eat the second half of a tub at the next meal (perhaps saving it for the following day) so it gave me plenty of variety. One word of warning: avoid anything with too much tomato in the early days post-op, since tomatoes are pretty acidic and that can sting a little when the incisions are still in the early stages of healing!
I also indulged my sweet tooth with pre-made, fibre-fortified smoothies (I diluted those with whole milk) and puddings (in UK parlence, something more like an Angel Delight or Instant Whip than what you may think of as pudding):
Happily for me, my OS allowed me to subsist off a liquid/puree diet only for the first few days post-op, then insisted I try soft-chew. For that stage I mainly enjoyed a wide range of pastas and sauces - it's simply amazing the selection you can find at local supermarkets!
Good luck to all of you who are preparing for orthognathic surgery!