Ideas for comfort foods during chemo?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ScentofCedar, May 5, 2009.

  1. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Hi, everyone ~

    We have a friend undergoing both chemo and radiation for cancer of the larynx. We are looking for ideas for soothing, protein rich foods. What we are coming up with so far are things like popsicles, jello.... Not much protein there. Milky things (like ice cream) will not be good. Maybe baby food? Cold soups? Protein supplements?

    The person is diabetic, so even the popsicles and jello are not premium choices.

    Has anyone helped someone in this position?

    Thanks, guys.

  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    How about some pea soup? Maybe if the ham was diced very very small that would be ok? Or potato soup, or even chowder might be something your friend could tolerate.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think Glucerna makes a supplement drink that's for diabetics. That might be one option. And if it tastes anything like Ensure, etc., then it is best served chilled or even over crushed ice.

    Witz's idea for soup sounds great. You could get inventive with a food processor and experiment with different types of purees. You can whisk an egg into some hot chicken broth and make something like egg-drop soup. Lots of protein there, and easy to swallow I should think.
  4. pigpen777

    pigpen777 New Member

    smoothies are a great for that sort of thing, you can add all kinds of stuff to them. also, i would try and get some nutritional yeast, it is packed with protein and B12. if you've never had it, it has a cheesy flavor.
  5. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    While underging chemo, the persons' stomach is going be the guide. For some reason I liked buffalo wings, potato chips with onion dip-if you knew me I would NEVER eat like this- and Cambell's chicken noodle soup-again, something I would never touch. I did like salad with chicken strips that I prepared and ate alot. I loved hot tea, lemon flavored. I couldn't stomach much else. Anything with sauce, forget it. To this day, the sight of red Gatorade makes me gag. That was the color of the chemo. I think it will be up to your friend to determine what will make them feel the best.-Alyssa
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Soy products can be substituted for Milk. You can readily find Soy yogurts and ice cream. Soy is higher in protein, too. Silk has a "Very Vanilla" flavor that makes a nice shake.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I know in the hospital they have a high protein drink that is clear, like a juice. Not very comforting, but very nutritious. I would ask at a medical supply store. The name is Breeze, but I do not remember who makes it. Not sure if they have a diabetic version,but I would guess so.

    I think I would wait and let the person be the guide for what they want. Chemo can do interesting things to the taste buds.

    Good luck to them
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Boost makes high protein supplement drinks, as does Ensure. You can also find generic varieties. They have chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and something that tastes vaguely like fruit juice. None have lactose or gluten.

    I think that the soups are an excellent idea. Baby food might work too. (I've been known to scarf down a bowl or two of fortified rice cereal designed for babies. Vitamin rich, and doesn't taste horrible. Easy to swallow.)
  9. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    This is what I was coming in to say. :) My stepdad and my grandma ate the strangest things during chemo.

    It's kinda like being permanently stuck in "coming out of a bad flu" stage - y'know, where your tummy is all weird still, and only VERY certain things sound appetizing at all, and everything else sounds yucky.

    Blenders are your friend. Pretty much everything can be blended, with some experience to guide you in what'll taste good. It's a try-fail-fail-fail-fail-succeed! sort of process. :)

    Best wishes for your friend.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    When my mom was undergoing chemo it was basically what she hungered for & what she could tolerate. We did a lot of smoothies; custard, pudding.

    I would expect that there are sugar free substitutes. I'd would think yogurt smoothies (we did a lot of those) for mom; lots of ensure. She tolerated some soups ~ others not so much.

    Yup, up to the patient & what their tummy will handle.

  11. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I thought upallnight was right on when she said:

    "While underging chemo, the persons' stomach is going be the guide . . . . . . I think it will be up to your friend to determine what will make them feel the best.-Alyssa"

    I'm not sure there is much of a rule of thumb as to what chemo patients can tolerate food-wise. There may be some general guidelines, but there are also exceptions to everything.

    It might be that all you have to do is ask your friend for their input. Something like "if you could have anything you want to eat or drink right now(keeping hydrated is just as important as consuming calories) what would it be?"

    If they have zip, zero, zilch, nada for appetitie right now, think bland and keep the servings smallish. Sometimes the sight of too much food is more of a turn off than the food content. Serve it up pretty; maybe an elegant paper napkin and a pretty drinking glass or tea cup.

    There is another consideration that I would like to mention. Does your friend normally prepare meals for anyone else? It might be that bringing over a family meal, with all the fixings would go a long way to giving the patient comfort . . . . . . that their family is being cared for while they rest and recoup.

    As a side note, if your friend is having trouble or pain when eating/swallowing mention that they should mention this to their doctor or other members of the treatment team. Radiation to the area that involves swallowing can produce some pretty intense pain and/or gagging. There are meidcations that can ease this, and make it a little more comfortable for you to take in some nutrition

    The cancer center/hospital/oncology staff may have access to resources. There are sometimes libraries with helpful information and staff dieticians in treatment facilities.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  12. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I noticed a lot of people have mentioned Ensure. If your friend can tolerate it but doesn't want to drink most of the time, freeze it. My step-dad ate a lot of that during the worst of his radiation and post-radiation issues. Mom would freeze it and serve it like ice cream and he seemed to like it that way. I never saw it frozen but if it firms up, I'm sure you could even put some sugar free toppings on it.

    I also saw someone mention potato soup. For some reason, in my family, we HAVE to have peanut butter sandwiches with our potato soup. Maybe this is a possibility too as pb has a lot of protein. (Not sure about the sugar level though....maybe organic pb?)
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I didnt have chemo but when I was so sick...the only thing I wanted was fruit. I lived on peaches and fruit salad in the hospital. Peaches was the first thing I ate as solid food. They tried to give me that ensure stuff...yuck gag.
  14. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    A good idea for a gift for someone who is so sick is to offer to run errands, clean, or do laundry, a gift card to a restaurant - for them or the rest of the family, or a soft hat-even if the person wears a wig-they will want to take it off when they're home. If they have kids, offer to take the kids out- even if it's just for ice cream. If it's someone you hardly know, knock on the door and drop off a small plant-the person will be so greatful. Send a card. Small acts of kindness mean so much during a time like that. The rest of the family suffers too, and may need a break, or cheering up.