Having a Child with Cancer in the house means that you are generally stressed and fatigued to the max! This also means that you do not have a lot of time for normal household duties, including cooking elaborate meals.
Added to this, a Child with Cancer very often either does not have an appetite or cannot eat certain foods due to their treatment, mouth sores, taste changes, lack of appetite and various other reasons, so what to do?
Nutrition is really important for a Child with Cancer as they need all the strength they can muster to fight off the monster that is cancer. This means that even if it is difficult to eat o they don’t have much of an appetite, they need nutrition to build up their immune systems.
Today we bring you some easy, quick and minimal-ingredient recipes that we are sure your child will enjoy (you might just enjoy them too, and remember is is just as important to keep your strength up!)
Hola, Little Fighter Friends & Supporters – it is Friday again and we have survived the week, and what a week it was again in South Africa.
Time to forget about work and politics and to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation and re-energise ourselves for next week.
Winter is upon us and it is set to be a cold weekend in the Western Cape with snowfalls on the mountain peaks so some nice winter warmers are called for – the kind of food that “sticks to one’s bones” as our parents/grandparents would say….
We hope that you enjoy these recipes that we publish every week and look forward to some feedback as to whether you have tried them or not, whether your Child with Cancer enjoyed them, and also whether there are any recipes that you would like us to publish.
We know that you as a parent are doing your best to help your Child with Cancer cope with fighting this devastating disease, spending hours at their bedside both at home and in the hospital, still trying to look after the rest of the family, and so much more, and that this takes everything you have.
We realise that trying to cook healthy meals is really difficult under the circumstances, especially when it is difficult for your Child with Cancer to eat, but good nutrition is paramount under the circumstances, which is why we try to make it easier by supplying you with easy, nutritious, cancer-fighting recipes.
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells. Free radicals are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes.
At high concentrations, however, free radicals can be hazardous to the body and damage all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins, and cell membranes. The damage to cells caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, may play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions.
Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralise free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage. The body makes some of the antioxidants it uses to neutralise free radicals, but it also relies on external sources, primarily the diet, to obtain the rest of the antioxidants it needs. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants.
If you are anything like me, you have read many articles regarding various foods or nutrients that supposedly either increase or decrease the risk of cancer.
You will also find many articles that claim that certain foods are so-called ‘superfoods’ that can prevent or cure cancer merely by eating them.
While nature does contain certain natural remedies, and while eating or not eating certain foods may be good for one’s health, it is unlikely that specific ‘superfoods’, on their own, could directly affect the risk of cancer.
Unfortunately there are still those who insist on spreading stories about what is good, not good, what is carcinogenic, and what can/will or cannot/will not cause or cure cancer.
This article will hopefully bring you some clarity on some of the most talked-about foods or nutrients.
Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition in a handy little round package. These little guys are packed with many nutrients – they’re an excellent source of choline and selenium, and a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, phosphorous and riboflavin. In addition, eggs are rich in the essential amino acid, leucine.
Eggs contain zero carbs and no sugar. That means you can eat a well-rounded breakfast during the week without feeling round yourself. Eggs are also naturally gluten free!
Many individuals avoid eating egg yolks due to the bad rap they’ve been given through the years for their cholesterol content, but the latest studies have found that an egg yolk a day has no effect on cholesterol levels, even for people with elevated numbers.
Most of the vitamins and minerals in an egg are found in the yolk. The white of an egg contains about 60% of the egg’s total protein, with the remaining 40% found in the yolk. Additionally, fat and cholesterol in the egg yolk have fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D, E, A, choline, and the carotenoids lutein/zeaxanthin. Read the rest of this entry
A new world-class facility dedicated to advancing research in cancer, the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center, officially opened at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah last month. At the opening, Jon M. Huntsman also announced a commitment from the Huntsman family and Huntsman Cancer Foundation to give $120 million to HCI.
The new centre was opened to expand research in cancers that affect children and families and to accelerate the development of new treatments and cancer prevention strategies.
The 225,000 square-foot expansion doubles HCI’s research capacity. Research enhancements include a biotechnology centre with the latest advanced genetic sequencing and imaging equipment. Scientists and researchers at the centre will leverage the additional space and technology to study the leading disease killer of children, to trace familial cancers, to accelerate the development of new treatments and cancer prevention strategies, and to enhance training programs for the next generation of cancer researchers.
Stem cell transplantation has drastically evolved, not only moving into different types of haematologic malignancies, but also into patient populations of different ethnicities, according to associate director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Tsiporah B. Shore, M.D.
We live in a very multi-ethnic world, and it is more and more vital that all ethnic and racial groups needs can be accommodated.
With the addition of novel approaches such as haplo-cord and haploidentical transplants, an increasing number of patients are able to receive this necessary treatment.
Stem cell transplantation is a very important procedure that should be available for everyone. Looking at the unrelated registry, or even within families, there are very limited donors for many ethnic populations. It is vital that something is done about that so that transplants are available to everyone, even when donors are not available in the registry.
Shore’s centre has pioneered a new method called the haplo-cord transplant and also do cord transplantations and haploidentical transplantations – options which are fairly new and different to what was available five years ago thus enabling the entre to find donors for almost everyone.
If there is one thing that South Africans love, it is their Braai (BBQ), but with all the scares around eating grilled meat, some are querying whether this is still possible, and a Saffa who cannot braai is totally lost. How are they going to watch rugby now, or just have a nice day with friends around the pool or in the lapa of an evening?
Never fear, help is at hand, fellow Saffas, and you can STILL have your beloved braai – and in a healthy way too! When the scent of your neighbour’s braai tempts you to cook your own food on the grill, consider marinating your meat first.
“Carcinogens – substances capable of causing cancer – are produced when meats (animal proteins) are cooked at high temperatures, so grilled meats can certainly increase the levels of carcinogens in the body. Marinating can reduce the formation of one type of potential carcinogen associated with grilling – use an acidic marinade such as vinegar or citrus juice. And no carcinogens are produced with grilled vegetables, so you can grill all the veggies you want.”
Cancer treatment can affect both the appetite and digestion of a Child with Cancer, making it difficult to enjoy the foods they usually love.
Added to the fact that they are just feeling miserable and do not have an appetite because of the cancer itself, they also have to deal with cancer treatment side-effects such as Appetite Loss, Diarrhoea, Nausea and Vomiting, Dehydration, Taste Changes, a Sore mouth, Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia) and more…
While your child may not always feel like eating, it’s important to do what you can to help them maintain their intake of calories, protein and fluids. Think of good nutrition as an essential part of their recovery and do what you can to make it a priority.
Yesterday we gave you some important information about e’Pap, a revolutionary nutrient-loaded porridge that was created to cater to the feeding needs of HIV patients and babies.
Nutrient content in fruit and vegetables has dropped up to 76% over the past 50 years in the USA and Europe. Proof that modern intensive agriculture practices create the problem. The result is a global crisis of mass starvation of micro-nutrients in communities both rich and poor.
Such is the success of e’Pap in improving nutrition, energy and productivity for those who consume it, that up to two million servings a month of e’Pap are distributed in Africa.
e’Pap could be the answer for Children with Cancer – it is full of vitamins, cheap, and easy-to-make; it does not even require cooking so is suitable for use in even the remotest rural areas.
Children with Cancer generally have many problems caused by their cancer and by the cancer treatments they are undergoing, such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy, including losing weight, inability to eat or swallow, and an impaired immune system exactly at the time that they need everything they can get to fight this devastating disease.
Part of the answer to these problems may lay in a nutrient-loaded porridge that was developed by the late Dr Basil Kransdorff, a South African doctor, specifically to cater to feeding HIV patients and babies.
The late Dr Basil Kransdorff and wife Rose’s work helping an NGO called CARE (Community AIDS Response) at the Joburg General Hospital, led to a worldwide debate on Food Security vs Nutrition Security.
Back in 2000 there was no medication and Doctors were telling patients diagnosed with HIV to go home, eat a healthy well-balanced diet and prepare to die. It was a difficult time when little was known about treating those living with HIV.
The standard diet nowadays is packed with processed foods full of chemicals and toxins that contain either too much sugar or salt. In addition there is the rising trend of mass-production and availability of genetically modified foods, something that has caused uproar in almost every first world country.
All of these foods are so different from anything older generations ate that our great-grandparents would not even recognise them as actual food. Some say that we do not eat food in today’s society; we eat food-like products. Eating too much processed food is not good for anyone’s health, and cancer survivors should avoid processed foods and food high in sugar where possible.
There are, however, some very persistent myths surrounding cancer and its causes; one of which is that overly ‘acidic’ diets cause your blood to become ‘too acidic’, which can increase your risk of cancer.
This is biological nonsense. True, cancer cells can’t live in an overly alkaline environment, but neither can any of the other cells in your body.
As if it is not bad enough to suffer from cancer and have to go through all the pain and stress of the many tests, the diagnosis and the treatments, conventional cancer treatments such as chemo, radiation, and/or surgery come with lingering side-effects that make life very difficult.
One such potential problem is that it can become hard to swallow without experiencing significant pain − a condition known as dysphagia, in which swallowing is difficult and/or painful.
It is difficult if not impossible to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets the correct nutrition to help fight their cancer and heal their body during and post-treatment when it is so difficult and painful for them to eat. Read the rest of this entry
One of the side-effects of undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer is that the appetite is often affected; most food tastes like cardboard so not very appealing. The constant nausea also generally makes one not feel like putting anything in your mouth.
Despite the many side-effects and complications caused by conventional cancer treatments, it is vital that a person with cancer consumes sufficient nutrients to help the body recover.
The human body is essentially designed to heal itself, but when it is overwhelmed by poisons, pain, and the inability to smell or taste, food might be the last thing a person with cancer wants. It is important therefore that you ensure that you choose foods for your child with cancer that will stimulate their appetite while delivering the biochemical components necessary to rebuild damaged tissues and fight against infection and inflammation. These foods should also contain properties that eliminate nausea, stimulate appetite, and heal the gastrointestinal tract.