Having had jaw surgery twice, I’ve had plenty of time to create the perfect ‘alternative’ menu for a maxillofacial osteotomy. When recovering from jaw surgery, it’s vitally important to make sure you’re eating as many calories as you can! The liquid diet already restricts this, plus the general queasiness and fatigue post-anaesthetic added to a broken/healing jaw means food becomes one of the hardest parts of your day. As a massive foodie, I tried my best to get round the constant flow of soup and yogurt. Not that I don’t love a good homemade soup, but when you’re stuck on this diet for over a fortnight (and then you go through this whole process again), trust me, you search out other options as soon as possible. Here are my top six alternatives to soup and yogurt:
1) Avocado and tabasco mash (or jaw-surgery-friendly guacamole)
This was an honest stroke of genius and (as usual when it comes to culinary awesomeness), the credit must go to my mum. Very simply she just mashed an avocado with a small splash of Tabasco, salt and pepper. I’d recommend adding a dollop of crème fraîche as a slight variation – but with or without, this is a healthy, delicious, refreshing alternative to soup.
2) Chocolate spread
The first time I had jaw surgery was over Christmas – I know, talk about rotten timing! I love my mum’s homemade Christmas dinner and treats, so when the day came and I had mashed potatoes, mashed carrots and gravy, the lack of festive food for over two weeks really hit home. I put a smile on for the fact it wasn’t just yoghurt and soup, but I still felt sad – an aching jaw, feeling exhausted and watching everyone tuck into selection boxes and delicious cheeses wasn’t the best way to celebrate Christmas. However, my brother had thought about how to get around the fact that I was a chocoholic that couldn’t so much as eat a chocolate coin. The answer: chocolate spread. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, Nutella, mixed chocolate – it was fantastic. I know this seems so simple, but considering your jaw surgeon will want you consuming calories by the bucket- (or more likely teaspoon-) load, this is a delicious, guilt free excuse to easily eat as much chocolate as you want, completely pain-free!
3)Cheesy mash/mash and gravy
This is fairly simple, but my gosh it makes a difference to the same old soup. Just make sure to add plenty of milk so the potatoes are smooth and creamy. This is also the best way to stomach sitting with your family as they tuck into their roast dinner (or in my case, Christmas dinner).
4)Cheesy (or not) soft scrambled eggs
Again, a very simple, straightforward one, but remember to put plenty of milk in to keep the eggs runny. Also, I'd recommend cooking the eggs in a non-stick frying pan so that they don’t get over-cooked. This is a delicious alternative to yogurt for breakfast. I would strongly recommend mixing in a big handful of grated cheese too (but only once you’ve cooked the eggs in the pan so the cheese can melt without breaking up the egg too much).
5) Melted camembert
Saying it like it is – this is one of the best things you can eat post-jaw surgery. It feels special and different, is perfect for feeling full and is a great source of calories. This is so luxuriously delicious and so simple to make, it’s the absolute best treat to have in the midst of feeling tired and watching your old DVDs (or Netflix marathon).
6) Stewed apple and chocolate buttons