When I talk to caregivers about some of the challenges they face when preparing meals for their loved ones, they often say they find it hard to find recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, nutritious and tasty while keeping in mind that appetite and side effects can change day to day.
Additionally, it can be difficult to prepare meals that meet the needs of everyone in the household. For example, how can you prepare one meal for everyone if the person with cancer needs to gain weight but other family members don’t?
I recommend starting with a healthy, lower-calorie, low fat, and plain recipe as a base. This recipe will provide a
healthy meal for most of the family and anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy weight. Lower fat meals can also help people experiencing nausea or
diarrhea. Extra fats and
oils, and protein can be added as “boosters” for people who need the extra nutrients.
Calorie boosters include:
- Olive oil or butter
- Gravy and other sauces that are high in calories
- Homo milk or cream
- Coconut milk
- Dried fruit
Protein boosters include:
- Eggs (cooked, or pasteurized liquid eggs)
- Chicken or fish (cooked or canned)
- Nuts and nut butters
- Seeds and seed butters (such as tahini)
- Milk or milk alternatives such as soy milk
- Protein powder such as skim milk powder, whey protein powder or vegetarian protein powder
Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with these items to enhance meals.
And since tastes can change throughout treatment and afterward, let the family customize their meals by adding their own herbs, sauces and other flavours to their own serving.
Have a nutrition question you want answered? Email me at
Christy@ELLICSRkitchen.ca or tweet me