A full liquid diet has liquids or foods that are liquid at room temperature. Liquids are easier to swallow and digest than solid foods. You can have more types of liquids on this diet than on limited liquid ones. You may need to eat this way:

  • To get ready for a test or procedure
  • After you have surgery
  • If you have problems swallowing or chewing

Avoid solid foods on this diet.

Foods Allowed

You can eat anything that is liquid or liquid at room temperature, such as:

  • Water
  • Milk, soy milk, eggnog
  • Fruit juices without pulp
  • Strained veggie juice
  • Sodas, tea, or coffee
  • Plain ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, or popsicles
  • Yogurt without fruit pieces
  • Gelatin
  • Liquid supplement drinks or instant breakfast powders
  • Soup broths that do not have any solids
  • Sugar, honey, and syrups
  • Butter, margarine, oil, cream, or sour cream
  • Custard, pudding

Talk to your doctor or dietitian about whether you can have small amounts of:

  • Cooked cereals
  • Strained meats—baby food
  • Potatoes pureed in soup

Foods to Avoid

Do not eat:

  • Mashed foods like mashed potatoes
  • Raw or cooked veggies
  • Cheese
  • Fruits (fresh or canned)
  • Meat or cereal that your doctor or dietitian has told you not to eat
  • Ice cream or other liquid foods with solids in them like nuts or chocolate pieces

Diet Length

Most people will only need to eat this way for a short time. If this is a long term diet, you may need to get more calories. Some steps are:

  • Add protein powder to milk, pudding, custards, and milkshakes. There are many types, such as whey, pea, and collagen powder.
  • Add strained or pureed meats (similar to baby food) to broths—check with your doctor or dietitian before adding meat
  • Add butter or margarine to hot soups
  • Add sugar or syrup to beverages

You may also meet with a dietitian to plan meals for balanced nutrition while you are on this diet.


American Gastroenterological Association

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders


Dietitians of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada


Clear liquid diet. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Accessed July 23, 2021.

Modified diet: Full liquid diet. UW Health website. Available at: https://assets.ctfassets.net/4yx69hifndy8/348.pdf/175ede61b3db51abada20f83a9239d0d/348.pdf. Accessed July 23, 2021.

Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN  Last Updated: 7/23/2021