So, when your TMJ pain starts to get better, but you’re still too sore to do a lot of chewing, what can you eat? I’ve shared what I eat at the “easy-chewing” and “medium-chewing” stages of a TMJ pain flare-up below. The really nice thing is that once you can do some chewing, it is a lot easier to find food at a restaurant that you can eat. My family has even been known to order food to go and eat it with me at home so that I can use our electric chopper to make things like salad small enough to minimize the chewing.
- see if you can just take 1 or 2 hard to chew things out of your favorite recipes
- macaroni & cheese
- cooked vegetables (except maybe corn)
- many pasta dishes (if other ingredients in the dish are easy to chew)
- hot dog
- sloppy joes
- salad (chopped very small)
- hummus on crackers, pita, or finely chopped fresh vegetables
- homemade falafel (as long as you don’t let it get too crispy)
- grilled cheese
- hamburgers (if they’re thin and not too tough)
- put meat through a food processor to chop it smaller
- fresh apples – dice them in the food processor
- sandwiches from Subway, as long as you get the flatbread and avoid crunchy toppings like cucumbers and green peppers. They always toast the flatbread sandwich because it’s too stiff to eat cold, but you can ask them to only toast it a little.
I’m sure these lists aren’t comprehensive, but hopefully they are a helpful start. And if you have favorite easy- or medium-chewing foods, feel free to share them in the comments! 🙂
P.S. If you haven’t read Part 1 (about foods that don’t require chewing and foods I always avoid to protect my jaw) you can read it here.