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Cancer Therapy Nutrition

By Angela Medieros, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 3)

If portion size is an issue, “size down” the serving plate to a less intimidating one. It may be easier on your loved one to be given a teacup with soup instead of a bowl, and a quarter or half sandwich on the teacup’s saucer, instead of the traditional serving of bowl and plate. Remind your loved one that “seconds are always available,” or incorporate psychology that benefits you both. “I made extra in case we get hungry later” is one way of leaving the option open for a later meal, with no guilt on anyone’s part for making and putting away the additional food.

Soup can provide both nutrients and hydration, and is a good choice if your loved one is having trouble with small meals. There are many selections in boxed and canned varieties. Allow your loved one to have a variety in case they lose interest in one type.

Bathroom cups are about three ounces and can be filled with soups that taste good cold. Served in this fashion, they can be prepped in advance, allowing your loved one to serve themselves, retaining independence. Covered serving ware can fill the need also, but be sure your loved one can open them by themselves. If conserving strength is the priority, opt for the bathroom cups covered in plastic wrap.

If your loved one is spending time in bed after cancer therapy, consider investing in a portable fridge to keep drinks and snacks in, to allow them easy access and give you a break from preparation and serving.

Cancer diagnosis is devastating to everyone involved. The healthcare system has its imperfections, but with proper navigation, help can be found. Nutritional consultants, adjunct therapy like prescribed supplements and counseling are only a few options that caregivers can access to make sure their loved one is receiving what they need.

Make changes as needed, and allow yourself to adapt to your loved one’s nutritional needs and food requests. You don’t need to empty the pantry and start over. Add a few selections, keeping what works and letting the rest go. Your natural creativity as a caregiver will give you strength and ideas to help your loved one as you both proceed through cancer treatment.

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