Disease Information & Support


The Word:


Disease and treatment side effects such as loss of appetite, nausea and mouth and throat sores can make you cringe at the thought of eating. But getting enough calories and protein is essential to your recovery and well-being. If eating is difficult for you, try these tips to get the calories and nutrients you need:

  1. Eat frequent, small meals or snacks, four to six times a day.
  2. Keep prepared snacks or small meals on hand.
  3. Drink liquids such as juices, soups or shakes if eating solid food is a problem.
  4. To add calories, blend cooked foods or soups with high-calorie liquids such as gravy, milk, cream or broth instead of water.
  5. Sip water and other clear liquids such as broth, ginger ale or lemonade frequently to prevent dehydration.
  6. Choose soft foods or foods that can be cooked until tender.
  7. Cut foods into bite-sized pieces or grind or blend them so that less chewing is needed.
  8. Bring snacks when you're away from home.
  9. Try new foods and recipes to accommodate changes in taste or smell.
  10. When possible, take a walk before meals to improve your appetite.
  11. Eat with friends or family members when possible. When eating alone, listen to the radio or watch TV.
  12. Accept help with food shopping and meal preparation.
  13. Look into cooking classes for people with cancer. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society chapter in your area may be able to help you find some.
last updated on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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