Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011 ; Partial revision Jul 2019

Post procedure diet - post operative (light)

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet that contains foods lower in fat, gas-forming foods and spices (also known as light diet).


Physiologically this diet has no advantages over the standard full diet, but traditionally it has been used for patients who cannot tolerate the full diet and want mildly flavoured, easily digested food. This diet does not have to be soft, bland or low fibre. Small meals selected from a normal low-fat menu may be a suitable alternative.


  • post surgery / medical procedures
  • nausea
  • as a transition from a liquid to a normal diet.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


Individual likes and dislikes need to be considered when planning this diet.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes

All others

Strongly spiced dishes (e.g. curries, satays)

High-fat dishes >15g fat per serve (e.g. fried foods and pastries)

Dishes containing nuts or legumes

Sauces, graviesAll -
Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice

Boiled, mashed or roasted potato

Plain pasta or rice

Fried potato chips or wedges
VegetablesAllCorn, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, capsicum


Lentil, broccoli, potato and leek soups

Sandwiches All others Pickles, chutney, gherkin
Salads, dressings None -
Breads, cereals

All other cereals

All breads

Bran-based breakfast cereals
Spreads All -
Hot breakfast choices

All egg dishes

Canned spaghetti

Bacon, sausages, baked beans
FruitAll other fruitsRhubarb, prunes, dates, pineapple
YoghurtAll yoghurts -

All others, including plain cakes

Any desserts >10g fat per serve (e.g. pastries, pies, cheesecake)
Milk and cheeseAll-


Biscuits All -
MiscellaneousAll supplements (as prescribed by clinician)Cream


  1. Benhamou D, TĂ©csy M, Parry N, Mercier FJ, Burg C. Audit of an early feeding program after Cesarean delivery: Patient wellbeing is increased. Can J Anesthes 2002;49:814-9.
  2. Dietitians Association of Australia (WA Branch) and Health Department of Western Australia. Nutrition manual. Perth: DAA (WA); 1997.
  3. Brooks F. Effect of diet on gastric secretion. Am J Clin Nutr 1985;42:1006-19

Change log

July 2019

Section updatedChange
Title of Specification Title changed from Post procedure diet - Operative (light) to Post procedure diet - Post operative (light)
Specific menu planning guidelines - Miscellaneous In Allowed, added All supplements (as prescribed by clinician)
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