Recipe Remedies for Cancer

The best way to cook for someone undergoing cancer treatments is to fix foods that soothe the symptoms they’re battling at the moment. By: Maureen Callahan, MS, RD

Cooking for Cancer

Cooking for Cancer

Cancer experts are quick to point out that everyone’s experience with cancer and cancer treatments varies. So the best way to cook for a friend or loved one with cancer is to find out what symptoms they’re experiencing at the moment, and then take it from there. To see every potential symptom, check out this American Cancer Society link for a free downloadable booklet. Here’s our look at eight common complaints, and the types of foods you can prepare to help a loved one weather their treatments.

This Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup fits the bill for soothing, homemade comfort in a bowl.

A Strong Aversion to Red Meat

Photo: John Autry

A Strong Aversion to Red Meat

The Overall Plan: Find other good protein substitutes.

What to fix: Poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese. Pair them, if it makes sense, with sweet sauces such as cranberry or apple sauce.

Good Recipe Choice: Cold Chicken and Rice Salad

 

Queasy & Nauseous

Photo: Randy Mayor

Queasy & Nauseous

The Overall Plan: Dish up simple comfort foods.

What to fix: Go subtle with flavor. Best bets: anything with ginger or lemon.

Good Recipe Choice: Lemon Risotto with Peas, Tarragon, and Leeks  

“I Can’t Eat A Lot”

Photo: Randy Mayor

“I Can’t Eat A Lot”

The Overall Plan: Boost protein and calories in mini snacks.

What to fix: Add powdered milk to puddings and smoothies or sub Greek yogurt (it has double the protein) in recipes that call for yogurt.

Good Recipe Choice: Rice Pudding

 

The Only Thing I Feel Like Eating is _____(fill in the blank)

Photo: John Autry

The Only Thing I Feel Like Eating is _____(fill in the blank)

The Overall Plan: Food cravings are normal; honor them.

What to fix: Whatever they want, made as healthy as possible. Cool and creamy usually works (and chocolate is always good).

Good Recipe Choice: Chocolate Pudding Pops

 

My Mouth Is Really Dry

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

My Mouth Is Really Dry

The Overall Plan: Foods and beverages that moisten the mouth.

What to fix: Sweet or tart foods that stimulate saliva.

Good Recipe Choice: Tart and Tangy Bulgur Salad

 

My Mouth is Sore

Photo: Howard L. Puckett

My Mouth is Sore

The Overall Plan: No spicy, salty, or coarse-textured foods.

What to fix: Soft, easy-to-swallow foods and drinks.

Good Recipe Choice: Creamy Four-Cheese Macaroni  

 

A Lackluster Appetite

Photo: Howard L. Puckett

A Lackluster Appetite

The Overall Plan: High-calorie foods

What to fix: Healthy high-fat foods like avocado and peanut butter or healthier milkshakes, smoothies, and ice cream.

Good Recipe Choice: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

 

GI Distress

Photo: Con Poulos

GI Distress

The Overall Plan: Focus on fluids with electrolytes; go easy on fiber.

What to fix: Broths, soups, and sports drinks

Good Recipe Choice: Chicken-Matzo Ball Soup

 

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