Bland low fiber diet


Bland Foods: Just What Are They?

A bland diet can be used to treat ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and gas. You may also need to eat bland foods after stomach or intestinal surgery.
A bland diet is made up of foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber. If you’re on a bland diet, you shouldn’t eat spicy, fried, or raw foods. Avoid alcohol or caffeinated drinks.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when you can start eating other foods again. It is still important to eat healthy foods when you add foods back in. Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist to help you plan a healthy diet.

Bland foods you can eat

Here some foods you can eat on a bland diet:

  • Milk and other dairy products, low-fat only
  • Cooked, canned, or frozen vegetables
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Cooked or canned fruit with the skin and seeds removed, such as applesauce or canned peaches
  • Breads, crackers and pasta made with refined white flour
  • Refined hot cereals, such as oatmeal and cream of wheat
  • Lean, tender meats, such as poultry, whitefish, and shellfish that are steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fat
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Pudding and custard
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Soup, especially broth
  • Weak tea

Foods to Avoid
Here are some foods you should NOT eat when you are on a bland diet:

  • Fatty dairy foods, such as whipped cream or high-fat ice cream
  • Strong cheeses, such as bleu or Roquefort
  • Raw vegetables
  • Vegetables that make you gassy, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green peppers and corn
  • Fresh berries and other fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Whole-grain or bran cereals
  • Whole-grain breads, crackers, or pasta
  • Pickles, sauerkraut, and similar foods
  • Spices, such as hot pepper and garlic
  • Foods with a lot of sugar or honey in them
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Highly seasoned cured or smoked meats and fish
  • Fried foods

You should also avoid medicine that contains aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Other diet tips
Here are some tips for when you are on a bland diet:

  • Eat small meals, and eat more often during the day.
  • Chew your food slowly, and chew it well.
  • Stop cigarette smoking, if you smoke.
  • Do not eat within 2 hours of when you go to bed.
  • Stop eating foods that are NOT on the “do not” list if you don’t feel well after eating them.
  • Drink fluids slowly.

Bland diet


A bland diet can be used alongside lifestyle changes to help address the symptoms of ulcers, heartburn, GERD, nausea, and vomiting. You may also need a bland diet after stomach or intestinal surgery.

Alternative Names

Heartburn – bland diet; Nausea – bland diet; Peptic ulcer – bland diet


A bland diet includes foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber. If you are on a bland diet, you should not eat spicy, fried, or raw foods. You should not drink alcohol or drinks with caffeine in them.

Your health care provider will tell you when you can start eating other foods again. It is still important to eat healthy foods when you add foods back in. Your provider can refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist to help you plan a healthy diet.

Foods you can eat

Foods you can eat on a bland diet include:

  • Milk and other dairy products, low-fat or fat-free only
  • Cooked, canned, or frozen vegetables
  • Fruit juices and vegetable juices (some people, such as those with GERD, may want to avoid citrus and tomato)
  • Breads, crackers, and pasta made with refined white flour
  • Refined, hot cereals, such as Cream of Wheat (farina cereal)
  • Lean, tender meats, such as poultry, whitefish, and shellfish that are steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fat
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Pudding and custard
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Soup, especially broth
  • Weak tea

Foods to Avoid

Some foods you may want to avoid when you are on a bland diet are:

  • Fatty dairy foods, such as whipped cream or high-fat ice cream
  • Strong cheeses, such as bleu or Roquefort cheese
  • Raw vegetables
  • Vegetables that make you gassy, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green peppers, and corn
  • Dried fruits
  • Whole-grain or bran cereals
  • Whole-grain breads, crackers, or pasta
  • Pickles, sauerkraut, and similar foods
  • Spices, such as hot pepper and garlic
  • Foods with a lot of sugar in them
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Highly seasoned, cured or smoked meats and fish
  • Fried foods
  • Alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine in them

You should also avoid medicine that contains aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

Other Diet Tips

When you are on a bland diet:

  • Eat small meals and eat more often during the day.
  • Chew your food slowly and chew it well.
  • Stop smoking cigarettes, if you smoke.
  • DO NOT eat within 2 hours of your bedtime.
  • DO NOT eat foods that are on the “foods to avoid” list, especially if you do not feel well after eating them.
  • Drink fluids slowly.

Review Date: 1/13/2018
Reviewed By: Emily Wax, RD, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Most people have had stomach problems at some point in their lives, but when you have an ultrasensitive stomach, any meal time can turn into a nightmare, as if food becomes your worst enemy. If you are one of those people who are looking for better digestion and less discomfort, there are diets that can help you.

Cramps, diarrhea, and other stomach problems can be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, gastroparesis, or cancer. However, oftentimes it is simply a matter of having an upset stomach. Improper food habits or a supersensitive digestive system can be to blame.

A sensitive stomach usually means you will experience one or more of the following.

Symptoms of sensitive stomach

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Feeling full early in the meal
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Burning sensation
  • Excessive gas, flatulence
  • Wheezing
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Foods for sensitive stomach

Dieticians have discovered that certain foods are more tolerable for people with sensitive stomachs. These dietary adjustments tend to be healthier in the long run and give the person more energy to carry out day-to-day tasks. Although everyone’s digestive system is different, the following foods have a track record of being more tolerable for those with an ultrasensitive tummy.

  • Fish and shrimp
  • Stewed meat mixed with rice
  • Well-cooked carrots and celery
  • Oatmeal
  • Cooked lentils and legumes
  • Rice, pasta, and couscous
  • Egg whites
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Non-fat yogurt
  • Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries
  • Potatoes and yams

The above list just offers some examples. There are many other foods that you can enjoy if you have stomach issues. Carbohydrates are easier to digest so they should be consumed. Some fruits can be combined with cheese so that they don’t bother the stomach. Another suggestion is to mix grains with dried or fresh vegetables and fruits. Foods that are rich in magnesium are also highly recommended because they prevent excessive acid secretion.

Foods to avoid with sensitive stomach

There are certain foods that you should avoid if you have stomach problems on a regular basis. If you eliminate these foods from your diet, you will experience better digestion and less pain.

  • Crude fiber such as eggplant skin, cucumber, and bell peppers
  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts and large seeds
  • Citrus fruit
  • Raw broccoli and cauliflower
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Garlic and onions
  • High fructose corn syrup

Tips to avoid indigestion for a sensitive stomach

Here are some tips to help you better avoid indigestion for a sensitive stomach.

  • Eat slowly and ensure you are properly chewing your food.
  • Consume smaller, more frequent meals as opposed to larger ones.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, but avoid drinking too much fluids when eating.
  • Avoid lying down or sleeping soon after consuming a meal.
  • Ensure your diet consists of soluble fiber.
  • Know your triggers, and if there are particular food items that cause your stomach distress, avoid them as much as possible.

Special diet tips for sensitive stomach

When you first begin to modify your diet, getting all the essential vitamins and minerals you need may be difficult, so some medical professionals suggest considering supplementation. Consulting with a certified nutritionist will help you get on the right track.

Some people with ultrasensitive stomachs can pinpoint exactly what they can and can’t eat, while others have to experiment and even keep a diary of their eating habits in order to figure it out. No matter what category you fall into, doctors say the way you eat can make a difference. They suggest that you eat slowly, chew really well before swallowing, and eat frequent small meals instead of eating three big meals per day. They also warn: Do not eat for four hours before lying down. Last but not least, try to drink four to six glasses of fluids per day.

Recipe for sensitive stomach

Sauteed Mackerel


  • Two, 1/2 pound mackerel fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon juice

Heat a sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Season the fillets and place them into the pan. Cook for three to five minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown on the outside and flaky-white in the center. Top with a squeeze of lemon.

Related: Bowel movements: How often should you poop?

Patient Education

Bland Diet (Child)

Your child has been prescribed a bland diet (also called a BRAT diet which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). This diet consists of foods that are soft in texture, mildly seasoned, low in fiber, and easily digested. This diet is for children who have digestive problems. A bland diet reduces irritation of the digestive tract. Have your child eat small frequent meals throughout the day, but stop eating 2 hours before bedtime. Follow any specific instructions from the healthcare provider about foods and beverages your child can and cannot have. The general guidelines below can help get your child started on this diet.

OK to include:

  • Water, formula, milk, clear liquids, juices, oral rehydration solutions, broth

  • Cereal, oatmeal, pasta, mashed bananas, applesauce, cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, and soups with rice or noodles

  • Dry toast, crackers, pretzels, bread

Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, beans, spices.

Note: Some children may be sensitive to the lactose in milk or formula. Their symptoms may worsen. If that happens, use oral rehydration solution instead of milk or formula.

Home care

Children should follow the BRAT diet for only a short period of time because it does not provide all the elements of a healthy diet. Following the BRAT diet for too long can cause your child’s body to become malnourished. This means he or she is not getting enough of many important nutrients. If your child’s body is malnourished, it will be hard for him or her to get better.

Your child should be able to start eating a more regular diet, including fruits and vegetables, within about 24 to 48 hours after vomiting or having diarrhea.

Ask your family doctor if you have any questions about whether your child should follow the BRAT diet.

Reader Mary K. asks, “Can you tell me what is a bland diet for a senior citizen? Thank you.”

Senior citizen or not, some people think a bland diet is one that is tasteless and boring. Not necessarily so. In the field of clinical nutrition, a bland diet—also referred to as soft or low residue—is actually a special diet for certain medical conditions. It is meant to protect the digestive tract from irritation after surgery, for example, as a patient transitions back to a regular diet. People with active ulcers, heartburn, nausea, or vomiting may also fare better with a bland diet. In other words, a bland diet is a way to help the tummy rest and feel better until it heals.

Perhaps it got the name “bland” because it discourages spicy foods such as pepper and chiles which can stir up stomach juices. And as good as they are for our health otherwise, high fiber foods are eliminated on the bland diet, again, to lessen irritation in the intestinal tract. Raw vegetables are discouraged (cooked is fine) to protect the intestinal tract from too much tough roughage.

What can you eat on a bland diet? Eggs (not fried), low-fat milk, mild cheese, yogurt and tofu. Cooked, canned or frozen vegetables such as cooked carrots, green beans or spinach. Creamy peanut butter. Lean tender meats, poultry and fish. Bread, pasta, rice, crackers and cereal made with refined (white) flour. Soups. Tea. Apple juice. Decaf coffee.

What is generally off the menu when you follow a bland diet? Alcohol. Caffeine. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit. Pickles, onions and garlic. Tomato juice. High fat ice cream and other rich desserts. Gassy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and cucumbers. Fried foods (For example: cooked potatoes are OK; potato chips are not.) Whole-grain breads, crackers or cereals. Nuts and seeds.

Hopefully, you will not have to be on a bland diet forever since it is low in dietary fiber and eliminates some very good-for-you foods. Come the think of it, maybe this diet is a bit “bland.”

Experts give us these other tips to help a sore tummy in addition to a bland diet: Eat small meals. Avoid eating a heavy meal right before bedtime. Chew your food slowly and well. Don’t smoke. (Smoking irritates the digestive system.) Sip fluids slowly; don’t gulp.

And follow your health provider’s advice on how to advance to a regular diet if and when the time is right.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian nutritionist affiliated with the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She is the author of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition: The Uncomplicated Science of Eating.” Email her at [email protected]

Bland Diet – What Is It And How To Do It? Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 November 12, 2019

Do you have acidity, diarrhea, or stomach ulcers? Or, did you recently undergo a stomach or intestinal surgery? If yes, stop eating spicy, greasy, and salty foods immediately and start following the bland diet. Read on to know more.

A bland diet doesn’t mean you have to eat tasteless food. Since your stomach is sensitive, you need to ensure you don’t do anything to irritate your stomach or the intestinal lining. So, you must avoid foods that are potential stomach irritants. This diet can also work for those who want to avoid eating spicy food or get rid of breakouts. In fact, many people who started following the bland diet never resumed their older dietary habits because this diet improved their overall health.

For now, remember, like spicy doesn’t equal tasty, bland doesn’t equal tasteless. In this article, we will tell you about the basic dietary guidelines of the bland diet, foods to eat and avoid, bland diet menus and recipes, and yoga positions to help treat your stomach problems. Let’s begin!

1. Dietary Guidelines

You should take utmost care to avoid irritating the stomach walls. These dietary guidelines will help you understand what type of foods you should choose at home or while eating out. Take a look.

  1. Always eat cooked, boiled, broiled, microwaved, baked, stewed, roasted or creamed food. Do not eat fried, blanched or raw food.
  2. Avoid using too much salt or seasoning.
  3. Do not eat the peel of fruits or nuts.
  4. Strain fruit or vegetable juices using a sieve.
  5. Avoid consuming citrus fruits or juices if they irritate your stomach.
  6. Avoid eating whole grain, multigrain, and wheat flour. Opt for white rice, white flour, white pasta, and white bread to avoid irritating the stomach lining.
  7. Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  8. Do not drink aerated drinks, pulpy fruit juices, and caffeinated drinks.
  9. Use low-fat dairy products.
  10. Eat well-cooked lean proteins.
  11. Avoid non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.
  12. Chew your food well before gulping it down.
  13. You can have 3-4 meals per day, but be careful to snack only on the allowed foods.

2. Foods To Eat And Avoid


Food Group Servings Per Day Foods To Eat Foods To Avoid
Fruits And Veggies 2-3 Sweet potato, waxed beans, pumpkins, carrots, beetroot, white potato, summer and winter squash, strained vegetable juice, avocado, banana, fruit juice without pulp, orange and grapefruit without the membrane and seeds, and apple without the peel. Fried veggies, potato wafers, spicy veg preparations, fried potato, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, tomato, berries, and figs.
Proteins & Nuts 2-3 Soy, tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt, cod, trout, herring, soft boiled eggs, lean cuts of chicken, lamb, pork, peanut butter, groundnuts, and well-cooked and soft meat. Greasy, spicy, and highly seasoned meat, fried chicken, fried fish, fried poultry, raw eggs, dry beans, sausages, ham, chunky peanut butter, nuts with the outer cover, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds.
Carbs 6-10 servings White bread, flour pasta, white rice, rice noodles, flour spaghetti, flour flatbreads, rice wraps, flour biscuits, and cornbread. Whole wheat bread, multigrain flour, multigrain bread, highly seasoned biscuits, multigrain biscuits, whole wheat cookies, cookies with dry fruits, popcorn, and brown rice.
Fats & Oils In moderation Butter, mayonnaise, margarine, olive oil, avocado dressing, cream cheese, sour cream, white sauce, cream sauce, and olive oil and dijon mustard dressing. Animal fat, highly seasoned and high-calorie dressings, coconut oil.
Dairy 2-3 servings Buttermilk, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, condensed milk, pasteurized egg nogs, low-fat milk powder, mild cheeses, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk ricotta cheese. Full-fat milk, full-fat yogurt, and strong cheeses.
Herbs & Spices In moderation Salt, olives, and mild spices. Black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili, chili sauce, garam masala, allspice, clove, garlic, ginger, barbecue sauce, sweet chili sauce, strong lemon-based sauces, mustard seeds, and pickles.
Desserts & Sweets In moderation Honey, ice cream, seedless jam, syrup, molasses, chocolate, marshmallow, custard, white flour cakes, pudding, sherbet, hard candies, jelly, and gelatin dessert. Marmalades, donuts, fried ice cream, chocolate with nuts, ice cream with nuts, desserts with fruits, and sweets made from full-fat milk.
Beverages Water, buttermilk, coconut water, strained fruit and vegetable juices. Coffee, energy drinks, tea, alcohol, fresh fruit juice with pulp, and lime juice.

Once you have a clear idea about what foods you can consume and what to avoid, chalking a diet plan becomes easier. Here are 3 diet menus for you. Follow the one that suits you the best. You can also make your own diet chart depending on the foods you are allowed to eat.

3. Bland Diet Menus


Menu 1

Meal What To Eat
Breakfast (8 am) 2 slices of white bread with peanut butter and 1 banana
Lunch (12 pm) Baked trout with carrots in canned pear sauce + white rice
Post Lunch Snack (4 pm) ½ cup low-fat yogurt
Dinner (7:30 pm) Flour spaghetti and tofu balls with butter and a sprinkle of herbs

Menu 2

Meal What To Eat
Breakfast (8 am) 1 scrambled egg + 1 toast with margarine + 1 cup strained carrot juice
Lunch (12 pm) Roasted chicken breast with baked mushroom and asparagus
Post Lunch Snack (4 pm) 1 banana
Dinner (7:30 pm) Sweet potato salad with low-calorie dressing + boiled codfish

Menu 3

Meal What To Eat
Breakfast (8 am) 2 white flour and low-fat milk pancakes with maple syrup
Lunch (12 pm) Blended squash and avocado soup
Post Lunch Snack (4 pm) 1 cup strained fruit juice or buttermilk
Dinner (7:30 pm) Macaroni with tuna and herbs

You don’t have to survive on tasteless food if you are on the bland diet. It is best that you cook your meals to avoid consuming foods that should be avoided by you. Here is a yummy bland diet recipe that will hit your taste buds with a myriad of flavors.

4. Easy Bland Diet Recipe

Spaghetti And Tofu Balls


  • 3 oz spaghetti
  • A large pot of water
  • 3 oz mashed tofu
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon mixed herbs
  • Cooking spray
  • 3-4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated American cheddar cheese
How To Cook
  1. Preheat the oven at 180°C.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and a pinch of mixed herbs with the mashed tofu.
  3. Shape the dough into small balls.
  4. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray.
  5. Place the tofu balls on the tray and spray them with the cooking spray.
  6. Bake them for 10-15 minutes at 140°C.
  7. Boil a large pot of water and add
  8. A teaspoon each of salt and olive oil to it.
  9. Add the spaghetti and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
  10. Drain the water from the spaghetti and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
  11. Prepare the sauce by mixing the egg, milk, butter, and mixed herbs.
  12. Cook it in a frying pan on high flame for a minute. Keep stirring.
  13. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti and mix well.
  14. Drop in the baked tofu balls.
  15. Top it with grated American cheddar cheese.

Though your diet plays a vital role when it comes to curing intestinal irritation and digestion problems, yoga has also been known to cure a lot of diseases effectively. Here are 5 yoga poses that will help alleviate the pain and discomfort that usually accompany stomach problems.

5. Yoga For Treating Stomach Ailments

1. Apanasana


  • Lie on your back and draw your knees to your chest.
  • Clasp your knees with your hands.
  • Rock from side to side. Hold the position for 1-2 minutes and then leave your hands.
  • Repeat this 5 times.

2. Pashchimottanasana


  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Slowly lower your upper torso to touch your toes.
  • Remove your hands from the toes and place them on the floor beside your feet.
  • Hold the position for 1-2 minutes.
  • Repeat this 3 times.

3. Kapalbhati

Image: Instagram

  • Sit on the floor and fold your legs. Place your hands on your knees such that your palms face the sky.
  • Keep your spine erect and close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath and exhale forcefully so that your stomach goes inside as you exhale.
  • Relax your mind, and while you exhale, think about all your ailments being exhaled out.
  • Do this for 5 minutes.
  • Gradually increase the time to 15 minutes.

4. Pavanamuktasana


  • Lie on your back. Relax.
  • Inhale. Fold your legs and bring them forward until your forehead touches your knee.
  • Place your arms around your legs and lock your fingers.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly and come back to your original position.
  • Repeat this 3-4 times.

5. Vajrasana


  • Sit on the floor. Fold your legs and tuck them under your thighs.
  • Close your eyes and keep your spine erect.
  • Position your palms on your knees.
  • Inhale and exhale slowly.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Following this diet plan will accelerate the healing of your stomach and will eventually bid goodbye to stomach ache and/or any other discomfort. Continue following this diet for as long as your physician recommends. Also, gradually introduce spicy or fried foods in your diet when your physician gives you the thumbs up. This will help your stomach and intestinal walls work better.

So ladies, no more cribbing. Fight that painful stomach ache by following the tasty and fulfilling bland diet. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below.

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

Bland Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid – The Ultimate Guide

A bland diet is often recommended to help treat digestive problems or to assist the stomach or gastrointestinal tract recover after surgery or illness. If you have been told to follow a diet containing bland foods, you may be wondering what exactly a bland diet is and what foods you should or shouldn’t eat on this type of diet. But, don’t worry. A diet containing bland meals doesn’t have to mean tasteless or without any color. Bland diets contain many delicious foods that are easy to digest and won’t irritate the stomach.

The dictionary describes the word bland as “lacking strong features, uninteresting, and flavorless”. The good news is that a bland diet can be full of flavor, tasty, and appetizing. For example, meals you can cook on a bland diet can contain many types of meat, bread, eggs, fish, and some dairy products. You can also enjoy delicious snacks and desserts like peanut butter, some fruits, and ice cream.


In the context of a bland diet, foods you shouldn’t eat are generally spicy, fatty or fried food that are difficult for the body to digest. Also, many raw vegetables should be avoided in bland meals and these instead should be prepared by steaming or boiling them. So, the bland diet is usually a way to help your digestive system recover by putting less stress on it until you can eat more typical foods again.

In this article, you will find out reasons why some people should follow a diet containing bland meals. I’ll also look at the many different types of food that you should eat on the bland diet and why certain foods should be avoided.

Why Some People Follow the Bland Diet

The bland diet can help to treat various gastrointestinal problems like heartburn, diarrhea, ulcers, vomiting, and a sour stomach. Bland diets are also useful in helping you to recover from a gastric bypass operation or stomach surgery because they eliminate foods that can irritate the gastrointestinal tissue.


Doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend following a diet containing bland, easy-to-digest foods in cases of gastroenteritis or food poisoning. Eating foods that are soft and not spicy help to reduce inflammation and pain and prevent further vomiting. Until you recover from gastroenteritis, doctors also recommend avoiding dairy products.1

A bland diet can help you recover if you suffer from a peptic or stomach ulcer. For example, The Medical Clinics of North America recommends staying away from foods that increase stomach acid. Some of these are spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. They say that bland and ulcer diets are useful if used for a short time.2

Registered dietitian, Dr. Jennifer K. Nelson advises that if you have had surgery to remove a gallbladder, avoiding foods that are not allowed on the bland diet can speed up recovery. She suggests eating lean cuts of meat and fish as well as vegetables and fruit. You should avoid fatty and greasy foods. Just after surgery, it is also best to avoid foods containing fiber but to gradually increase fiber intake as you recover.3

Foods recommended on a bland diet can help you recover quicker from an upset stomach and diarrhea. The Schiffert Health Center says that if you have an upset stomach and diarrhea, then bland, low-fat foods can help speed up the healing process. You should avoid fatty, fried foods as well as spicy foods. Also, it is best to avoid milk products because they can make your diarrhea worse.4

Foods You Can Eat on the Bland Diet

There are many delicious and nutritious foods that you can incorporate into a bland diet. Many of these foods can be prepared in a tasty and appetizing way and at the same time not cause extra stress on your digestive system. The foods in a bland diet are all types of food that are easy to digest and won’t cause more irritation to your intestines.

Meat / Fish / Poultry

If you have to follow a bland diet for medical reasons or if you have had stomach upset, it is important that any protein sources are cooked in a way to keep them tender to easily digest. Foods like chicken, beef, and turkey, can all be eaten on a bland diet if they are tender cuts and are boiled, steamed, baked, or roasted. The same is true for fish and shellfish.

Here is a list of protein sources you can use in the bland diet:


  • Beef
  • Ham (as long as it’s not cured or smoked)
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Eggs (boiled, scrambled, poached)
  • Whitefish
  • Shellfish

Vegetables to eat on the bland diet

Vegetables are a part of any healthy diet and should be incorporated into the bland diet. The vitamins and minerals in vegetables can help your body recover quicker from illness and surgery. To make sure that vegetables can be easily digested, they should be boiled or steamed. Steaming is preferable because it keeps more of the vegetables nutritional content.

Steam cooking is cooking at a lower temperature than boiling or baking, and thus the impact on the vitamins and minerals is smaller. In addition, it saves the cooking water and preserve most of the minerals in the food. You can steam almost all vegetables – zucchini, squash, carrots and so on.

Using canned or frozen vegetables is also allowed in a bland diet.5 The vegetables on the list of allowed foods in the bland diet are the type that won’t increase activity in the intestines that cause gas or bloating. Here is a list of vegetables that you can use to cook bland meals and use as part of the bland diet:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Cooked or canned tomatoes

You can also consume vegetables on the bland diet by making delicious vegetable juices. Remember that for some people, tomatoes and tomato juice may cause stomach irritation.

Fruits to eat on the bland diet

There are a number of delicious fruits you can enjoy that are in no way bland or tasteless. As with vegetables, it’s important that the fruits in the bland diet are cooked, canned, or juiced before consuming. It’s also important to make sure and remove any seeds and skin from the fruits to avoid causing irritation in the sensitive gastrointestinal tissue.

Some of the best fruits to eat on the bland diet are:


  • Stewed apples
  • Canned peaches or pears
  • Ripe bananas
  • Citrus fruits (although these may irritate the digestive tract of people with heartburn)
  • Melon

Dairy products to consume on the bland diet

Most low-fat dairy products can be enjoyed as part of a meal, snack, or desserts on a bland diet. So, you can choose from the following “bland” dairy products:

  • Low-fat varieties of yogurt, cheese, and milk
  • Ice-cream that is low in fat and doesn’t contain nuts
  • Cottage cheese

Note – Depending on your reason for following a bland diet, you may need to avoid or limit milk and dairy products. Dr. Neil K. Kaneshiro on Medline Plus says that, in some people, dairy products may cause more gas and bloating and make your diarrhea worse.

Grains to consume on the bland diet

Although many diets encourage the use of whole grain products like wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta for their fiber content, whole grains are not recommended in the bland diet because they put extra strain on the digestive system.

However, baked products using refined flour are on the list of allowed foods on the bland diet. You can enjoy the following grain foods on the bland diet:

  • White bread, bagels, and other refined white flour baked foods.
  • “White” pasta
  • Refined cereals such as cream of wheat

Other foods for the bland diet

You can also enjoy the following foods if you have been advised to follow the bland diet for gastrointestinal issues:

  • Tofu (unless you avoid soy based products)
  • Peanut butter (smooth peanut butter, not the crunchy variety)
  • Custard
  • Salt and sugar
  • Soup, especially broth
  • Weak tea

Foods to Avoid on a Bland Diet

The purpose of a bland diet is to avoid any kind of food that irritates your digestive tract and causes your intestines to work harder. In general, if you follow the bland diet, you should avoid foods that have strong flavors, are spicy, and high in fat.

It is important to remember that some foods that are allowed to be part of bland diet recipes may not suit everyone. For example, tomatoes are classed as a “bland” food, however, people who have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease are usually advised to avoid tomatoes because of their acidic content. Also, low-fat dairy products should be avoided if you suffer from diarrhea, even though they are on the “bland diet allowed food list”.6


If you feel that a certain food irritates your stomach or increases abdominal pain, you should stop eating it to see if it helps.

Here is a general list of foods that are not recommended for consumption while following a bland diet.

Most meat, fish, and poultry can be consumed in the bland diet. You should avoid adding spices or other strong flavors when preparing bland meals. To prepare these protein sources on the bland diet, avoid frying meat, poultry, or fish.

You should not eat the following on the bland diet:

  • Cured or smoked meats and fish
  • Highly seasoned meat and fish


Vegetables should not be eaten raw if you want to avoid intestinal issues on the bland diet. Some vegetables should be avoided even if they are cooked because they can cause gas and bloating.

You should not eat the following vegetables on the bland diet:

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips

Fruits to avoid on the bland diet

The same principles apply to fruits as they do to vegetables when choosing what not to eat on the bland diet. You should avoid eating fresh fruit and also dried fruit like apricots, prunes, raisins, and dried figs.

Also, many berries like strawberries and raspberries contain a large number of seeds and should be avoided because they can irritate a sensitive digestive system.

Dairy products to avoid

Certain dairy product must be avoided on the bland diet. In general, these are dairy products that are high in fat and contain strong flavors. For example, cheeses like Roquefort, Cambozola, Gorgonzola, and Brie are not suitable dairy products.

Grains to avoid

Although a healthy diet should contain wholegrain products, while you are on a diet incorporating bland foods, you should avoid any whole grain foods and other foods that are high in fiber.

Other bland diet foods to avoid

Apart from the foods listed above, you should also avoid the following foods as they are not classed as bland food:

  • Pickled foods like gherkins and sauerkraut
  • Spices like hot pepper and garlic
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Strong black tea
  • Popular snacks like popcorn (seeds) and potato chips (fried food)

Practical Advice for the Bland Diet

The reason for following a bland diet is to help your digestive system heal and become healthy again. After following a bland diet, most people are able to return to eating foods they used to enjoy. Also, many people find that the bland diet helps them make positive lifestyle changes in the long run. For example, many people find that after spending a period of time on the bland diet, they are able to easily cut out a lot of unhealthy foods and fake foods, like fried and fatty foods from their diet for good.

Here are some practical and helpful tips to make the bland diet a success for you:

  • When consuming food and beverages, do this slowly. Always chew food thoroughly before swallowing and don’t gulp down drinks.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
  • Don’t eat anything 2 hours before going to bed to avoid putting extra stress on your intestines.
  • Cut out smoking and avoid all alcohol. Both alcohol and smoking cause irritation to your insides.
  • If you are unsure if a certain food can be eaten, remember that most soft foods are fine on the bland diet.

Read these related articles:
1. The Most Effective Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating
2. How to Get Rid of Diarrhea Naturally (Based on Research)
3. How to Stop Vomiting: The Best Home Remedies (Backed by Science)

Article Sources

  1. Mayo Clinic. Gastroenteritis. First aid
  2. Med Clin North Am. 1991 Jul;75(4):967-79
  3. Mayo Clinic. Gallbladder removal
  4. Schiffert Health Center. Upset stomach and diarrhea
  5. Atlantic Coast Gastro. The bland diet
  6. Medline Plus. When you have diarrhea

Bland Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Everyone’s needs are different, so you may want to discuss your dietary choices with your doctor or a dietitian. They can provide additional input based on your specific diagnosis and lifestyle.

Unless you have a preexisting food allergy or intolerance, commonly recommended foods on the bland diet include:

Low-fat dairy

Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and mildly flavored cheeses, such as cottage cheese, are all good options. Be careful, though. Lactose intolerance and milk protein intolerance are common reasons for GI discomfort in some people. And many experts recommend eliminating dairy to help treat peptic ulcers.

Certain vegetables

Vegetables you should eat include:

  • beets
  • carrots
  • green beans
  • peas
  • white or sweet potatoes
  • spinach
  • pumpkin

These vegetables can be purchased frozen, fresh, or canned. However, don’t eat them raw. It’s best to serve them steamed or boiled, with little to no butter or other type of fat.

Some people can tolerate lettuce and other salad greens in moderation. It’s best to exclude vegetables that cause gas, such as those from the cruciferous family. These include broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts, among others.

Low-fiber fruits

Cooked or canned fruits that aren’t fibrous or seeded are generally approved for a bland diet. These include bananas and melon. Avocados may also be tolerated well, even though they’re higher in fiber.

Processed grains

White bread products, seedless rye, and refined wheat products may be good choices. However, some people have worsened digestive symptoms when they eat gluten-containing grains.

If you do not have an intolerance to gluten, then you can also enjoy:

  • plain soda crackers
  • soft white pasta
  • cooked cereals, such as cream of wheat, processed oatmeal (not steel-cut or high-fiber), and farina
  • cold cereals that are low in sugar

Poultry, eggs, and fish

Lean protein sources are safe to eat as long as they’re prepared with mild seasonings and little to no fat. These include:

  • skinless chicken
  • fish, such as salmon and trout
  • shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab
  • eggs
  • silken tofu

Other food items

Cream-based soups or clear broths are excellent choices, provided their ingredients are on the list of foods you can eat.

Chamomile tea, with or without honey, can be a soothing drink choice.

Dessert foods, such as vanilla pudding, marshmallows, and plain cookies should only be eaten sparingly because added sugar can worsen symptoms.

Creamy peanut butter, jelly, and jam without seeds are all good options for spreading on bread.

Many seasonings may be irritating to the stomach, but you can experiment with basil, parsley, salt, and other mild flavorings to determine which ones you can tolerate.

By: Nikki Nies

A gastrointestinal (GI) Soft Bland Diet is commonly used for a variety of consumers, patients and reasons. I recognize the GI Soft Bland diet is a long name for someone to adhere to, yet the use of it is multifaceted. One might be placed on this diet: as a “transition” diet–from clear liquid to a general diet; due to gastrointestinal diseases (i.e. Crohn’s Disease, gastroparesis, diverticulitis); acid reflux and/or due to intolerance to spicy flavors.

A GI soft bland diet consists of low residue, low fiber foods. These types of foods are soft in texture and easy to swallow and digest. While the foods may be “lighter’ in texture, this type of diet is still nutritionally adequate.

It’s also important to identify the difference between a GI soft bland diet and mechanical soft. These two diets are NOT interchangeable. While a GI soft bland diet is for those that have a hard time swallowing, mechanical soft is for those that have difficulty chewing (i.e. those with dental problems).

Essentially, a GI soft bland diet provides one’s GI tract time to “rest”, prior to the reintroduction to a regular-high fiber diet.

  • Indigestible fiber is reduced by using cooked, tender or canned legumes and vegetables.
  • Seeds, nuts and skin must be removed and avoided (i.e. no strawberries due to seeds)
  • Limited to tender, soft cuts of meet–no pork roast or “tough” meats
  • Limit sharp and/or highly seasoned cheeses
  • Limit fried foods, rich gravies and sauces, lunch meats, sausages and/or hot dogs
  • Avoid high fiber grains, such as bran or whole wheat
  • Avoid desserts with chocolate, nuts, dates or raisins
  • No caffeine (i.e. coffee, tea, soda) or alcohol
  • Avoid gas forming veggies such as beans, corn, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, turnips, peppers, etc.
  • Avoid highly flavored salad dressings and/or condiments (i.e. mustard, Tabasco, sriracha)
  • Can eat bananas, but all other raw, fresh fruits should be avoided

While this diet’s recommendations are meant to provide comfort to its patients, one may need to make personal modifications!

Photo Credit: Buzzle


Soft bland diet

Why does my child need this diet?

The bland/soft diet lets your child have foods and fluids when they are not able to tolerate a general diet. After being on this diet, your child will slowly move to being able to have a general diet.



  • Milk, malted milk, milkshakes


  • Any containing raw eggs or caffeine



  • Enriched white, rye or fine whole grain bread, rolls and crackers
  • Plain muffins, biscuits
  • Pancakes, waffles, cornbread, soft tortillas
  • Coffee cake, sweet roll, if tolerated


  • Coarse breads, bran rolls, breads or crackers with seeds, coconut or nuts
  • Doughnuts and other fried breads



  • Cooked and dry cereals


  • Any with bran, nuts, seeds or dried fruits with seeds or tough skins

Desserts and sweets


  • Plain custards, puddings
  • Sherbet; ice cream; fruit ices and frozen pops
  • Fruit whips; yogurt; gelatin
  • Cakes, pies and cookies without nuts or seeds


  • Any with nuts, coconut or seeds
  • Deep fried desserts



  • Butter, margarine
  • Cream and cream substitutes; whipped cream and toppings
  • Gravy
  • Sour cream, salad dressings
  • Mayonnaise


  • Salad dressing that is highly seasoned



  • Cooked, frozen, canned or dried fruits without seeds
  • Avocado, banana, citrus sections without membrane
  • Fruit juices


  • Other raw fruits
  • Canned, frozen or dried fruits with seeds and tough skins
  • Any not tolerated

Potato or substitutes


  • Mashed, baked, or creamed potatoes; sweet potatoes
  • White rice; pasta and noodles


  • Hashbrowns, fried potatoes, potato skins, french fries
  • Wild or brown rice; hominy
  • Potato chips



  • Broth, bouillon, consommé
  • Any made from allowed food items
  • Cream soups


  • Any highly seasoned soups, any made with foods to avoid




  • Raw or strong flavored vegetables
  • Corn, others with coarse skins
  • Fried vegetables, or any not tolerated



  • Seasonings in moderation
  • Mild sauces and gravy
  • Sugar, jellies, honey, syrup
  • Hard candies


  • Highly seasoned foods; pepper
  • Pickles, olives, relishes
  • Coconut, nuts
  • Potato chips and other fried snack foods; popcorn
  • Chocolate
  • Jams and marmalades

Sample menu for child 7 to 10 years old


  • Orange juice (½ cup)
  • Cream of wheat (1 cup)
  • Banana muffin (1)
  • Margarine (1 tsp)
  • Reduced-fat (2%) milk (1 cup)

Morning snack

  • Pudding (1/2 cup)


Afternoon snack

  • Applesauce (1/2 cup)


Evening snack

  • Banana bread (no nuts) (1 slice)

ALERT: Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered b ythis information.

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