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Cooking for a Person with Cancer

Know that meal times might be meaningless
Work with your loved one to see if a non-traditional eating schedule might help them eat more.
Sometimes five or six smaller meals or heavy snacks will work better than three large meals. Sometimes breakfast foods, such as scrambled eggs or cereal, may be the most appealing choice for lunch or dinner. Plan to serve the biggest meal when the person is most hungry, regardless of the time of day. Often times, this may be first thing in the morning.
Bump up the calories and protein
If a person isn’t eating much or is losing weight during treatment, it’s important to make the foods they do eat count. Increase the amount of protein and calories in what you serve by adding chopped meat, hard-boiled eggs, or dairy products such as cheese, milk, or cream into dishes they already enjoy.
Snacks can be a great way to increase calories and protein, too, so offer options such as cheese sticks, puddings, and protein bars or shakes in between meal times.
Make food safety a priority
Some people with cancer or who are undergoing cancer treatment may not be able to fight off infections or illness as well as people with healthy immune systems. This means that it’s especially important to follow some basic rules of food safety.
Avoid contaminating food with harmful microbes by washing your hands before and after preparing meals, washing all fruits and vegetables, and using a clean knife and cutting board when cutting different foods. Cook foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs thoroughly to cut down on the risk of food-borne illness. Make sure to check expiration dates and throw away food that might be old or spoiled