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.
A diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment can result in irregular food and fluid intake, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies. There is frequently an increased need for calories and protein while there is usually a decreased appetite.
Chemotherapy, for example, works by killing or disabling cancer cells. Unfortunately, this targets not only the tumour, but some healthy tissues as well, including the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
While some of these drugs produce only mild side effects, others can pack a wallop. The effects of radiation therapy can be similar to those of chemotherapy, but these are usually related to the part of the body that is being treated. This means that radiation to the head, neck, chest, and abdomen can result in a lot of GI distress.
Side Effects That Cancer Patients Experience
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Open, sore areas in the mouth and/or throat
- Loss or change of taste perception
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Feeling of fullness after eating or drinking very small portions
According to most doctors and nutritionists, eating five portions of fruits and vegetables daily is considered sufficient for good health, but a recent study, reported in the International Journal of Epidemiology, posits that the greatest benefits come from eating 10 portions a day.
An analysis of 95 studies assessing the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption have led researchers to believe that eating 800 grams (around 10 portions of 80 grams) of fruits and vegetables daily was associated with the lowest risk of disease and premature death.
One portion of fruits of vegetables was defined as 80 grams – the equivalent to a small banana, pear, or apple, or three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as peas, broccoli, or cauliflower.
The study, undertaken by Lead author Dr. Dagfinn Aune, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues, took into consideration 95 studies that involved almost 2 million participants and around 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 94,000 deaths.
Hey there Fans – it is Foodie Friday again so, following on our post about the health and cancer-fighting benefits of cardomom yesterday, here are some great cardomom recipes that both you and your Child with Cancer are sure to thoroughly enjoy!
Please remember that if there are any specific recipes that you would like for your Child with Cancer (something with their favourite foods) that you think will help them to eat when they are feeling poorly from their cancer treatment, drop us a line on our Contact Us page and we will be happy to research some easy recipes for you.
The same goes for any other information that you would like about Childhood Cancer ~ this blog is for YOU so we always try to post information that you need and/or want.
Have fun trying out the following recipes and let us know what they are like and whether your child enjoyed them.
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.
Following 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.
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.