Looking for bariatric-friendly snacks can be time-consuming. You’ll need to meet different requirements at every stage of recovery while ensuring that your body gets plenty of protein and nutrients.
So what are the best snacks after bariatric surgery?
Today, we’ll be going over 35 snacks that will help you heal and create a little more variety in your diet.
Bariatric-friendly snacks for the clear liquid diet
You’ll typically be on the bariatric clear liquid diet for 1-7 days after surgery. During this time, you should be able to see through any foods you eat. Here are some of our favorite snacks for that time period:
1. Bariatric protein shots
When you’re transitioning from the hospital to home, your snacks should be as easy as possible. Bariatric protein shots can be mixed into any liquid for a quick boost. You can even incorporate them into your pre-bariatric surgery diet to meet your protein goals.
When looking for protein shots, we recommend hydrolyzed collagen, since collagen has wound healing properties that can help you speed up your recovery!
2. Homemade bone broth
Bone broth has been used as an excellent source of protein, collagen, and other nutrients for centuries. If you’re looking for alternatives to protein shakes, you can’t go wrong with this powerhouse of nutrition.
Bariatric-friendly snacks for the full-liquid diet
A full-liquid diet isn’t necessary for every patient, but when it occurs, you can expect to follow it 7-14 days after surgery. Bariatric-friendly snacks for the full liquid diet should be thin enough to sip without using a spoon.
3. Thinned hot cereals
On the bariatric liquid diet, your meals and snacks will often be similar. Look for cereals that are enriched with vitamins and minerals. You can add variety to this snack by incorporating different spices, like cinnamon, apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or sugar-free cocoa powder.
Bariatric-friendly snacks don’t get much easier or more versatile than yogurt. While you’re on the full-liquid diet, you should thin your yogurt with milk or water and make sure any fruit has been strained out. Keep an eye on the sugar content of your yogurt, too!
5. Shakes and smoothies
Shakes and smoothies are a great way to get your nutritional needs after surgery. You can use whole fresh or frozen fruits, then run your drink through a sieve to get any seeds out.
You may need to thin your shakes just like your yogurts - and don’t forget to add a scoop of protein powder!
6. Creamed soups
You can find creamed soups already canned, or you can make your own! This cream of mushroom soup is amazingly easy to make ahead of time and heat up when you need a quick source of protein and vitamins.
7. Creamy shrimp bisque
This creamy shrimp bisque is an incredible meal or snack at any phase of your recovery. During the full-liquid phase, you can blend it smooth. Once your stomach pouch is healed, you can eat it as-is!
8. Pureed veggies
Cook and blend your favorite veggies before your surgery and freeze them in individual portions. Like other full-liquid snacks, you’ll want to thin them before you eat. You can add spices for variety here, too!
9. Sugar-free applesauce
Bariatric-friendly snacks you can grab at the store are always helpful! Sugar-free applesauce is typically thin enough that you can eat it during the full-liquid phase. The fruit is a refreshing dose of sweetness and makes a perfect pick-me-up!
10. Sugar-free pudding
Like yogurt and cereal, you’ll want to thin this out while your stomach pouch is still healing. Sugar-free pudding is also something you can introduce to your diet before surgery, so you have a familiar snack on hand while you’re adjusting to the new menu.
11. Fruit and veggie juices
Juices can have a high sugar content, so incorporate these sparingly. On the full-liquid diet, though, an occasional fruit and veggie juice blend can break up the monotony. Juices can make meeting your hydration and nutrition goals quick and easy, as long as you don’t overdo it.
12. Fruit popsicles
These strawberry watermelon popsicles are perfect bariatric-friendly snacks for when sticking to your diet feels impossibly hard. The fruit has a high sugar content, so this is another treat you’ll want to be careful not to overdo!
Bariatric-friendly snacks for the puree diet
The puree phase of your diet will usually last from days 15-30 after surgery. During this phase, your food should be thin enough to use a spoon. Make sure the consistency is smooth throughout, with no big lumps. Some examples include:
13. Egg drop soup
A hearty egg drop soup makes for a simple, scrumptious meal or snack during the puree phase of recovery. Start by warming whatever broth you like best. Then, scramble an egg. Stir the broth until it forms a little whirlpool, and drop the egg in.
14. Pureed cottage cheese
When you’re Googling: “What can you eat after gastric bypass?”, every list includes cottage cheese, but few tell you how to keep yourself from getting bored with it! Add in different spices, stewed fruits, or soft veggies like avocado to change things up.
15. Mashed sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, Vitamin A, and fiber, making them an obvious addition to any list of bariatric soft food ideas. You can add salt, pepper, and other savory spices or use cinnamon to bring out their natural sweetness.
16. Pear and ricotta puree
Fruit and cheese are a classic pairing, and this pear and ricotta purée incorporates both into a simple snack. The pear adds fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, while the ricotta will help you meet your protein goals. All you need to do is toss the ingredients into your blender!
17. Italian chicken puree
Bariatric-friendly snacks often focus on dairy as a source of protein, so meat is a welcome addition to the menu! This Italian chicken puree can be made ahead and reheated for a quick snack or meal.
18. Mashed cauliflower
Like mashed sweet potatoes, cauliflower puree is high in vitamins and fiber. This recipe adds olive oil, garlic, and romano cheese for a rich-tasting, nutritious snack. It may even be a favorite after your recovery is over!
19. Baked ricotta
Usually, baked ricotta is found in lasagnas with pasta, ground meat, and other foods you can’t enjoy while you’re in the puree phase. This bariatric-friendly single-serve baked ricotta leaves all that out for a satisfying, high-protein snack or meal.
20. Homemade ice cream
Ice cream has a high sugar and fat content… unless you make your own. This cherry chocolate chip ice cream is made with whole fruit and almond milk, giving you a creamy treat that works for your list.
Bariatric-friendly snacks for the soft foods diet
You’ll be moving to the soft foods diet during the 31-60 day period after surgery. These foods should be soft enough to smash easily with a fork. During this phase, it’s important to make sure all your foods are cooked through. Here are some examples:
21. Poached or soft-boiled eggs
When it comes to bariatric-friendly snacks, eggs are superstars. During the soft foods phase, you can start incorporating eggs as a regular part of your diet. Stay away from regular scrambled eggs or fried eggs at this stage, though, since your stomach pouch is still healing.
22. Baked beans
Avoid canned baked beans since they can be high in sugar and sodium. Instead, make your own baked beans at home. Beans make a great snack while you’re recovering from surgery since they’re high in fiber, protein, and antioxidant vitamins.
23. Silken tofu
Tofu is a softer alternative to meat for still-healing stomachs. You can prepare it in dozens of different ways, including as part of this coconut chickpea curry. Tofu contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs, so it’s perfect when you’re early in the recovery stage.
24. Tuna salad
Bariatric-friendly snacks gain a lot more variety once you’re out of the puree stage. A classic snack like tuna salad can be easily modified to contain the nutrients your body needs!
You might find that your tolerance to different foods like chicken, beef, or dairy has changed. Incorporating foods like tuna and tofu gives you some extra protein options in your diet.
25. Energy balls
Energy balls or protein balls are great bariatric soft food ideas, and you can put just about anything in them! Add bariatric protein shots or powder to any energy ball recipe for a quick, delicious way to meet your protein goals.
Bariatric-friendly snacks for the post-recovery diet
Once you’re 4-6 weeks post-surgery, you’ll start incorporating more and more “regular” foods into your diet after gastric bypass.
At first, you may find that you need to stick to softer foods, but slowly your stomach will adjust. Here are some options for your post-recovery diet:
26. Breakfast cookies
Feed your inner child with breakfast cookies! They’re sugar-free and packed with fiber, making them the perfect grab-and-go snack. Bake up a big batch once a week, and you’ll have an easy boost of energy no matter what your day looks like.
27. Mini charcuterie boards
Meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, and whole-grain crackers are all bariatric-friendly snacks at this stage of recovery. They’re also all you need to make a charcuterie board! Make one large tray and snack on it throughout the week, or package several smaller snacks for yourself.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and potassium, and guacamole is great to snack on any time. Opt for chips made with blue corn or flaxseed, or even dip bell peppers to double up on your veggies!
Another incredible source of protein and fiber, you can dip any veggies in hummus for a quick afternoon boost. Hummus comes in a range of flavors, and you can make it at home, too.
30. Beef jerky
Store-bought beef jerky can be high in sugar or sodium, but when you make your own beef jerky, you have a handy, portable source of protein. Beef jerky doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which means you can keep some with you 24/7 in case of emergency.
31. Whole nuts
Whole nuts make great bariatric-friendly snacks, and they give you plenty of variety. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, or even seeds like sunflower seeds are portable, filling, and delicious.
Edamame beans are whole, immature soybeans. This means they’re high in all the same vitamins that tofu is, but with a delightful crunchy texture. Lightly steam and salt edamame beans in their shells for a fun, nutrient-dense snack that’s perfect any time of day.
33. Ants on a log
Peanut butter, celery, and fruit are all bariatric-friendly snacks, and “ants on a log” put them all together. Celery is hydrating and full of fiber, peanut butter provides protein and healthy fats, and the raisins can help aid digestion and boost iron levels.
34. Deli meat and pickles
When it comes to easy bariatric-friendly snacks, you can’t go wrong with your favorite deli meat wrapped around some dill pickles. It’s crunchy, refreshing, and easy to throw together.
Mug desserts come in all shapes and sizes. Some – like this peanut butter pie in a mug – are great bariatric soft food ideas that can be enjoyed any time. Others – like this protein chocolate cake – are great for stomach pouches that have already healed.
Give your bariatric snacks a boost
Finding bariatric-friendly snacks isn’t always easy, but your health is always worth it.
When you need a quick, easy-to-digest snack, you can’t go wrong with adding some hydrolyzed collagen. It can be a powder added to your yogurt or smoothie, or even a single-serve liquid collagen pouch that you take on the go. It’s delicious, meets your protein needs, and can help speed you through your bariatric recovery in no time.