Nourishing Snacks and Drinks for Cancer Patients
Nourishing Snacks and Drinks
During cancer treatment, many patients struggle to maintain a healthy weight. This can be caused by a variety of reasons such as nausea and vomiting, suffering from a dry or sore mouth and foods tasting different to normal. If patients are finding they are losing weight and are struggling to eat they should try to consume as many nourishing snacks and drinks as they can throughout the day. It is also extremely important for patients to build themselves up nutritionally prior to treatment so that their bodies are able to cope with the stresses they will be put under.
During treatment, patients may have long periods of waiting around for both appointments and treatment sessions. Travelling to the hospital or treatment centre for appointments can also be time-consuming and leave less time for eating and regular meals. To avoid this impacting on body weight it is important to make sure that a good variety of quick and easy snacks are constantly available, and that a variety of these can be easily transported for when the patient is not at home. Likewise it is very helpful to have quickie meals stored in the home for when patients really don't feel up to preparing more time consuming meals for themselves (frozen, canned or refrigerated meals are ideal).
Useful Tips for Cancer Patients
- Most supermarkets carry a range of ready to use drinks such as smoothies, fresh fruit juices and milkshakes, so stock up on plenty of these and always carry a couple with you when you are on the move.
- Nutritionally rich drinks such as Complan or Build Up can be prepared at home and then taken with you in a flask.
- Avoid buying low fat or diet snack foods and drinks.
- If you are going to be out for some hours it is worth taking a cool bag with you in order to keep relevant foods and drinks cool and fresh. Likewise make sure hot snacks remain hot in order to avoid accidental food poisoning.
Nourishing Snack Ideas
- A flask of hot soup and a ready buttered bread roll.
- Sandwiches made in advance and kept in an airtight container, preferably in a cool bag.
- Cakes, biscuits, chocolate, crisps, crackers, nuts, cheese and biscuits etc.
- Buttered Scones.
- Crumpets, bagels or muffins.
- Small ready made desserts such as trifles, mousses, cheesecakes and full fat yoghurts.
- Breakfast cereals served with fortified milk (whenever you are hungry, not just at breakfast times).
- Instant frozen ready meals that can be microwaved, boiled in the bag or oven baked.
- Toasted sandwiches, omelettes and baked potatoes.
- Milk based puddings or desserts made with fortified milk, e.g. rice pudding or custards.
Nourishing Drink Ideas
- Hot chocolate, coffee, or malted drinks made with fortified milk make superb nourishing drinks. Boost them further by adding cream, marshmallows or grated chocolate.
- Food supplements such as Complan, Build Up and various weight gain drinks are ideal to top up your calories in between meals.
- Whether homemade or shop bought, milkshakes and smoothies are quick, easy nutritious drinks. Bulk up the goodness in home made ones by making them with fortified milk and adding cream, yoghurt or ice cream. Experiment with creating new flavours by adding extra ingredients like fruit, honey or milkshake flavourings.
How to Make Fortified Milk
1 pint of full fat milk
4 tablespoons of dried milk powder
Add the milk powder to a small quantity of the milk and using a spoon mix into a paste.
Stir in the remainder of the milk.
Use and store as normal milk.
Disclaimer: Please note that this information is general advice only, and it is important you consult with your specialist, doctor, dietitian, or nurse before following it. Always follow advice or diets recommended by your medical team in preference to anything you read online or in books.