Nutrition Support

 

  • It is important to maintain good nutrition throughout your treatment.
  • Some of the causes of decreased nutritional intake are loss of appetite, changes in taste and smell, mouth tenderness or sores, nausea and vomiting. Below is a list of suggestions for each. For a full list, see the Eating hints book or the Nutrition for the Person with Cancer during Treatment.

 

  • Changes in taste or smell:

    • Use sugar free lemon drops, gum or mints; try fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned, rinse with baking soda mouthwash and brush teeth with non-mint flavored toothpaste.
    • Serve foods cold or at room temp instead of hot. Blend fruit into shakes, ice cream or yogurt.
    • Also try using nutritional supplements when making shakes (in place of milk) to add extra nutritional value.
    • To improve smells, try covering beverages and drink through a straw, choose foods that do not need to be cooked, avoid eating in rooms that are stuffy or too warm.

 

  • Sore or Irritated mouth or Throat:

    • Inform us when mouth is sore or you have mouth sores.
    • Avoid commercial mouthwashes that have alcohol in them. Instead use the baking soda warm water mouthwash.
    • Avoid foods or liquids that make the irritation worse such as tart, acidic or salt.
    • Choose lukewarm or cold foods that are soothing.
    • Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
    • Eat soft creamy foods.

 

    Nausea/vomiting:

    • Try taking anti nausea medications 30 minutes prior to eating.  If these medications do not work, inform us so that we can adjust the medications.
    • Eat six to eight smaller meals a day.  Eat dry foods like crackers.  Eat foods that do not have a strong odor, and eat cool foods instead of hot or spicy foods.  Avoid greasy foods.
    • Keep head elevated or sit up for at least an hour after eating.
    • Sip clear liquids frequently to avoid dehydration.

 

  • Poor Appetite:

    • Try to take 3-5 cans of supplements per day, as tolerated.
    • Eat small meals or snacks every one to two hours; avoid liquids when eating so as not to fill up to fast.
    • Make eating more enjoyable by setting the table nice or playing music.
    • Be as physically active as possible, keep high calorie snacks such as peanut butter, or cheese on hand, and eat your favorite foods any time of the day.

 

  • Nutritional supplements:

    • Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Resource, Ensure, Glucerna, Resurgex