Category Archives: Onco Parents

Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Children with Cancer


foodiefriday-wp-logoDoctors have yet to find a definitive link between cancer and food. What they have found, however, is a correlation between certain diets — such as the Mediterranean Diet — and the potential for cancer reduction. Doctors call these diets (often specific to a culture or geographical region) anti-angiogenic, which means that they cut off the blood supply of cancerous tumours, starving them of the nutrients they need to grow.

An easy way to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient vitamins and nutrition when they find it difficult to eat due to cancer treatments is to make them some delicious cancer-beating smoothies to drink using fruit and veg that have cancer-fighting properties in them

Smoothies have gotten a bad rap in the past for being sugar-laden and more closely resembling dessert than anything remotely healthy, but while that might be true for smoothies purchased at juice shops or in restaurants, you can make healthy smoothie recipes right at home for a fraction of the price in just minutes.

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Recipes for High-Calorie Shakes and Drinks


foodiefriday-wp-logoHi Folks, it is Foodie Friday again, and following on yesterday’s post regarding ensuring that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient calories and proteins in their diet to help them fight their cancer and continue to develop and grow naturally at the same time, here are some great drinks recipes.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

Some Children with Cancer also find it difficult to eat or swallow as a result of the cancer treatments, son one of the best methods of getting them in ingest nutrition is via smoothies and other healthy drinks.

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High Calorie/High Protein Diet for Children with Cancer


calorie-protein-pyramidNutrition is an important part of the health of all children, but it is especially important for Children with Cancer, who often have poor appetites as a result of the cancer itself, or due to the side-effects of the cancer treatments.

Both cancer and its treatments may affect a child’s appetite, tolerance to foods, and their body’s ability to use nutrients. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

The nutrient needs of Children with Cancer vary from child to child. Your child’s doctor, nurses, and a registered dietitian can help identify nutrition goals and plan ways to help your child meet them.

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When Your Child with Cancer is Taking Steroids


child-cancer-and-steroidsSteroids occur naturally within our bodies, but can also be made in the laboratory for medical purposes. They help reduce inflammation and control different functions in our bodies such as the immune system or the way the body uses food. One of their key functions is to reduce inflammation/swelling and ease associated symptoms, such as headaches.

When your child has a tumour in their brain it is not only the tumour itself that causes some of the symptoms they may have, but also the swelling surrounding the tumour. This swelling puts pressure on surrounding tissues making the effects of the tumour wider reaching. This pressure can cause symptoms such as headaches, sickness and seizures (fits).

To help reduce the swelling, Children with Cancer may be prescribed steroids such as Prednisone or Dexamethasone as part of their treatment. As steroids are fast-acting drugs this could mean that some of the effects caused by the tumour reduce quite quickly. This does not mean, however, that the size of tumour itself has been reduced.

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Helping Your Child with Cancer Cope


cancer-childA cancer diagnosis brings with it not only pain and treatments, but a complete lifestyle change – there are all the appointments, tests, medications, infusions, scans, special diets, and so on to deal with; time in and out of hospital; fatigue, lethargy, boredom and a change in eating habits…

For children things are worse, because they can often not go to school while under treatment due to their impaired immune systems and possibilities of infection; often they can also not even see their friends and need to keep themselves entertained for days, weeks and even months on end. I mean, adult company is OK, but when you are a child you need to play and need other children around…

The sudden move from health to illness and the unwelcome tests and procedures needed to get a diagnosis can be very frightening for a child, and hospital stays can be a scary and overwhelming experience.

It’s very scary for a child to be told their body is not working right, and that they have cancer and it is completely normal for a child or teen to be afraid of new and often painful experiences.

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Summer Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe for Children with Cancer


watermelon-gazpacho

Continuing with the current trend of posting delicious recipes for children with cancer on a Friday, here is another great recipe from the table of Culinary wizard and author of Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer, Danielle Cook Navidi .

After using nutritious, home-cooked food to help nurse her son back to health when he was suffering from cancer, Danielle Cook Navidi is giving back by teaching other parents the cooking skills and recipes to give their cancer-stricken kids strength.

Danielle shares her culinary wisdom and first-hand knowledge by creating delicious recipes dedicated to children undergoing cancer treatment and recovery. These nutrient-dense recipes combine great taste with powerful immune-building ingredients designed to satisfy young palates, while helping set the stage to more effectively battle cancer.

Regardless where your kids are on their cancer journey you will find something useful and uplifting within the pages of Danielle’s recipe book. This book is a big culinary hug to young cancer patients and their families.

Here is another great free recipe from Danielle that is sure to tickle your child with cancer’s tastebuds.

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Yummiest Turkey Burger Recipe for Children with Cancer


Yummiest Turkey BurgerFollowing up on our Nutrition in Paediatric Cancer post yesterday, here is a bit more about holistic nutritionist, Danielle Cook Navidi’s program and another yummy recipe from her.

Navidi’s 11-year-old son, Fabien Navidi-Kasmai, was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the only nutrition advice she received was, “Let him eat McDonald’s. He needs the calories.”

She was appalled, and as a mother and an avid cook with a love of farmers markets and a background in catering, she decided to do something about it. She was convinced fast food was not the answer, so “went back to basics” and…

Navidi began volunteering at MedStar Georgetown in 2008. “I pretty much just asked, ‘Can I take a little spot and make smoothies?’ She would do prep at home, pre-cooking anything that required a stove or oven, and showed up at the hospital with bags of groceries.

Aziza Shad, chief of MedStar Georgetown’s pediatric hematology-oncology program helped find grant money to fund Danielle Cook Navidi’s program and encouraged Navidi to compile her recipes into a book.

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The Role of Nutrition in Paediatric Cancer Treatment with Danielle Cook, MS


danielle-cook-navidiDanielle Cook Navidi learned that her 11-year-old son, Fabien Navidi-Kasmai had cancer, and the only nutrition advice she received was, “Let him eat McDonald’s. He needs the calories.”

Navidi, an avid cook with a love of farmers markets and a background in catering, was appalled.

Fabien’s body, his digestive system, his taste buds and even his cravings were being ravaged by his illness, Stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He would go for days without eating. When he did, he had trouble keeping down even his favorite foods.

Navidi didn’t know how to feed him anymore, but she was convinced fast food was not the answer.

So I started with the basics,” says Navidi, a Washington, D.C., resident. “I grabbed a pot, put a chicken in, added some vegetables. There were days when he’d have chicken soup at 10 a.m. because it worked for him. Now that’s what I tell other parents: Start with the chicken.”

That back-to-basics approach is the backbone of her cookbook, “Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer.”

In this presentation, Danielle Cook, MS, will draw from her experience as the Director of an innovative nutrition program for pediatric oncology patients as well as her first-hand experience with her son’s cancer to discuss pediatric cancer in the United States and the need for sound nutritional support during and after treatment. She will also address the unique needs of adolescent and young adult survivors, and how the nutrition program she created bridges patient needs with cancer protocols.

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Great Recipes for Children with Cancer


Quick-Diets-3-Weight-Loss-Super-Foods-289x300Eating a balanced, nutritional diet is very important for good health, especially for Children with Cancer, as they need the correct kind of nutrition to make help their compromised immune systems fight the cancer and other infections.

Children with cancer need protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.

This is not always easy, however, as individuals with cancer often lose their taste for various foods due to the cancer treatments, and some treatments make one feel nauseous or make everything taste metallic.

It is also often difficult for parents who are struggling financially to try to find something that their child can actually stomach eating – sometimes they can only keep down something like cheesenax, and the parent, just grateful that they are at least eating something, will ply them with this snack – it is not nutritional however, so one needs to try other things.

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Honouring Muhammad Ebrahim Hussain – ^Forever 7^


muhammad-hussainIt is once again a weekend of crippling heartbreak for Team LFCT, and I am sitting here typing this post with tears streaming down my face.

It is with overwhelming sadness that we share with you the news that Little Fighter Muhammad Hussain earned his Angel Wings earlier today.

Muhammad was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in August 2010, at the age of 6 months, and spent his first birthday in hospital. HLH is a very rare blood disease and immune system disorder, and according to Swedish studies, occurs in 1 or 2 cases per million, usually in infancy or early childhood.

After starting a search for a bone marrow match due to HLH, Muhammad was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February 2012, at the age of 2.

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Muhammad Hussain’s Story & Dream Come True


muhammadThis is a story of Devastation, of Hope, of Unconditional Love and of how complete strangers pulled together and restored some Faith in Humanity by being a part of making a terminally ill child’s Dream Come True.

Muhammad Hussain was born to ecstatic parents, Fahrad and Kaamielah, on 15 September 2009, and for the first six months of his Life, Muhammad was a happy, bubbly and normal baby.

At the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in August 2010, and spent his first birthday in hospital. HLH is a very rare blood disease and immune system disorder, and according to Swedish studies, occurs in 1 or 2 cases per million, usually in infancy or early childhood.

After starting a search for a bone marrow match due to HLH, Muhammad was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February 2012, at the age of 2.

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Living With Retinoblastoma ~ Part IV


retinoblastoma2Today we continue with Part IV, the final post of Living With Retinoblastoma, a fast growing eye-cancer which affects babies and young children.

Today’s post covers everything you need to know about your child going to school or going back to school after retinoblastoma, and includes some great tips on how to help your child cope.

Retinoblastoma affects about 1 in 15, 000 live births, and an estimated 9,000 children develop the cancer globally each year. These posts cover living with retinoblastoma for those who have either had treatment for or have been through enucleation (surgical removal of the eye).

The reason for the posts is to help both children with retinoblastoma and their parents cope for the next few years to the rest of their lives…

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