• What kind of foods are good to stock up on prior to beginning chemo?

    Asked by BuckeyeShelby on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    What kind of foods are good to stock up on prior to beginning chemo?

    I'll be starting chemo in about 3 weeks. Are they certain kinds of foods that made you feel better? Weird cravings? I understand, it'll be individual, just like some pregnant women crave ice cream while others want salty stuff.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think you answered your own question. I wouldn't stock up on much in advance. Once you start treatment you will know what you do and do not want to eat. For me it ended up being cheese. I pretty survived on cheese and crackers and mac and cheese, which is something I rarely ate before chemo and don't eat anymore since. I also ate a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. What you might want to go ahead and get are some cracker sandwiches...you know, those packages with crackers with cheese or peanut butter between them and maybe some microwavable soups. Have a few things available that don't require much in the way of preparation for days you don't feel well.

      over 8 years ago
    • Cheryl2's Avatar

      We had a neighbor who mainly ate tapioca pudding.

      over 8 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I know you can't stock up on fruit. For me fruit was constant while going through treatment. I loved strawberries, grapes, oranges, apples, bananas, watermelon, melon, mangoes, apricots, peaches, etc. My diet usually changed depending on side effects. I tried to maintain a balanced diet but sometimes that was hard to do because of side effects (nausea, diarrhea, constipation). You can keep some Ensure in stock. I drank this anytime I needed to supplement. I also always kept high fiber cereal and soy milk available. I couldn't drink cows milk during most of my treatment. It was too rough on my digestive system. I also liked eating cream of wheat with cran raisins. :) Go with what works for you and what your body is able to take.

      over 8 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hello. I found this neat little book from the National Cancer Institute that talks about nutrition before, during, and after chemo. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/eatinghints You might receive advice to buy those nutrition drinks like Ensure or Boost. Nobody here can stand the taste of them. See if they have them in your chemo room to try. Alternatively, what I do for my dad is make a milkshake with Carnation Breakfast Essentials http://www.carnationbreakfastessentials.com/Public/Default.aspx 1 cup of whole milk, 1/3 cup dry powdered milk, a scoop of ice cream if you like, and a little ice in the blender to thicken it. This helps to get a little extra protein and calories in, especially when he doesn't feel like eating much. Then he takes a daily multivitamin. I think the other advice you received here is good-- crackers and peanut butter. Soup with beans. You can even add some beans to the soup, or puree them to get them in. Things that are easy to prepare. Get things that you enjoy eating. It all depends on how you feel during chemo. Some people in the chemo room here were bringing in fast food. Others weren't feeling so hot.

      National Cancer Institute has a good book called Chemotherapy and You http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/chemotherapy-and-you.pdf

      The American Cancer Society also has a page on nutrition http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment/NutritionforPeoplewithCancer/index

      If you get stuck with ideas for food, try the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345) and ask if they still have a dietitian on call program. Someone was telling me about that, and I don't know if they still offer it.

      over 8 years ago
    • JoannaV's Avatar

      My aunt had chemo for uterine cancer (stage 3) 2 years ago and was told to try and eat plenty of protein as it would help her recovery. Hope things go well!

      over 8 years ago
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar

      These are all great suggestions. Let me just throw one thought out there. All through my chemo, my tastes would change. I would crave something, my friends would go and stock up and then 2 days later it was the last thing i wanted to eat. I found stocking up wasn't the best idea because my tastes changed constantly. I got a little at a time as I desired things.

      over 8 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I agree with Carol. Your cravings can change within days so you may not want to stock up on things.
      good luck to you on your journey.

      over 8 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I stocked up on high fiber foods (nuts, seeds, oatmeal, bean soup, high fiber cereal, granola bars, etc.) because I had problems with constipation during my chemo treatments. I focused on foods that required little to no preparation (e.g., soup).

      over 8 years ago
    • kkettelll1's Avatar

      not sure how often your treatments are but you should shop from one treatment to another. log your feelings and shop accordingly before the next treatment period. high protien low prep meals. many small meals thru the day as opposed to 3 larger meals. accept any help offered. you ARE worth it.

      over 8 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      Everyone is right--your tastes will change. I couldn't stand the metallic taste of coffee until about 10 days after each chemotherapy. Also, I made a vat of thick vegetable soup (about 10 different vegetables, plus chopped ham and a can of tomatoes). It has lots of flavor, enough vegetables to help fight constipation, very nutritious. Freeze in containers small enough that you won't be eating it for too many days in a row. I couldn't handle very dry foods such as crackers until about a week after chemotherapy. Also, raw salads of any type were too hard on a fragile digestive system. Many of the comfort foods mentioned below worked well, but I tried not to OD on them as they usually are extremely fattening. That said, if that's all you can handle eating, then do so. Eating lots of protein helps to rebuild blood levels, so do try to eat high protein foods. I found that eating a honey flax cereal with lots of raisins helped with constipation, too. You'll probably have to experiment a bit before you figure out what works best for you.

      over 8 years ago

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