Danielle 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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