Nutritional intervention for children with cancer is challenging, especially for those who do not have the means to employ the use of a qualified nutritionist, but there are many things that one can do at home to ensure that your child with cancer is getting adequate nutrition.
Children with cancer need protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. Your child’s cancer itself as well as the treatment s they undergo will often cause changes in their eating habits or desire to eat.
Not eating can lead to weight loss, and can cause weakness and fatigue. Helping your child eat as well as they can is an important part of helping them through their treatment and increasing their chances of survival.
When your Little Fighter craves comfort-food, have childhood favourites “real-foodified” at the ready and in your freezer. When they have no appetite, make sure you have nutrient-dense soups and smoothies for them to sip all day. Even a Peanut Butter Sandwich with jam or honey is very beneficial.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
If your child’s throat and mouth are sore, this makes a nutritious in-between-meals snack.
Yield: 1 Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana, broken into pieces
- 240 ml soy milk, milk, or coconut milk.
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder.
- Large pinch of cinnamon
- In a blender, layer banana, honey, milk, cocoa powder, and then cinnamon.
2. Process until smooth.
3. Drink immediately.
Grilled Potato and Veggie Foil Wraps
Yield: 4-6 Portions
- 6 red potatoes
- 1 to 2 packages of frozen veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 packet Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- olive oil cooking spray
- Wash your potatoes, but leave the skin on (the skin is where the nutrients are).
2. Dice them into a large mixing bowl and add the veggies. Stir in Italian seasoning.
3. Add garlic and the two types of salt. Mix thoroughly.
4. Take a piece of foil big enough to wrap a handful of vegetables and spray the middle of it with olive oil cooking spray.
5. Wrap the foil around a handful of veggies to create a ball. Repeat until all veggies are used.
6. Place on grill and cook until potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Squash & Red Lentil Stew
Yield: 8 Servings
- 1 cup red lentils or yellow split peas
- 4 cups water 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon each mustard seeds, turmeric, ginger, and cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 cups peeled and diced winter squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Place the lentils and 2 cups water in a pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Cover and cook until lentils/split peas are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Cook the onion in 1/2 cup water until soft and translucent, then add the spices, the remaining 1-1/2 cups water, and the diced squash.
4. Cover and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the lemon juice, cooked lentils, and salt to taste.
Anytime Immune-Boosting Juice
- 2 Medium Apples
- 7 Medium Carrots
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Thumb Ginger Root
- 1 Handful Parsley
- Process all ingredients in a juicer
- Shake or stir and serve.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
This light & creamy Broccoli Soup is a healthy wholesome soup that is made creamy with the addition of potatoes and light with milk. This hearty soup can be served alone for a light dinner.
Yield: 4 Servings
- 500 grams Broccoli , florets
- 1 Potato, boiled
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 cup Vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 cup Milk
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oil in a wok or a heavy bottomed pan. Add in the broccoli florets, sprinkle some salt and stir fry until the broccoli is tender and feels cooked.
2. Place all the ingredients into the blender along with a teaspoon of whole black pepper corns (or less) and blend to make a smooth puree.
3. Once blended pour the soup into the sauce pan and warm it only when you are ready to serve to get the maximum nutrition benefits.
4. Check the salt levels and adjust to suit your taste.
Be careful when blending as not all blenders can blend hot soup – if your cannot, let the soup cool before blending and reheat when ready to serve.
Serve Light & Creamy Broccoli Soup with Garlic Toasted Beans Salad and Sundried Tomato Focaccia Bread to make a complete meal.
Cheesy Vegetable Bake
- oil, for greasing dish
- 400 g sweet potato and pumpkin, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 parsnip and 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup thickened cream
- 1⁄2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a medium ovenproof dish with oil. Layer the vegetables in the prepared dish. Drizzle each layer with a small amount of cream. Top with the remaining cream and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and top is golden brown.
Use whatever vegetables you have.