Recipes for Recovery

Bananas and mangoes next to a smoothie cup

Combat cancer treatment side effects with these nutritious treats

Cancer treatment can affect appetite and digestion making it difficult to enjoy the foods you love. While you might not always feel like eating, it's important to do what you can to maintain your intake of calories, protein and fluids. Think of good nutrition as an essential part of your recovery and do what you can to make it a priority. 

If you are struggling with what foods to eat, these recipes could help. They are a healthy and delicious way to combat some of the most common eating problems during treatment. 

Recipe to Boost Appetite

Banana Milkshake

  • 1 whole ripe banana, sliced
  • Vanilla extract (a few drops)
  • 1 cup milk

Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend at high speed until smooth.

Yield: 1 serving
Serving size: Approximately 2 cups
If made with whole milk: Calories per serving: 255 calories, Protein per serving: 9 grams
If made with 2% milk: Calories per serving: 226 calories, Protein per serving: 9 grams
If made with skim milk: Calories per serving: 190 calories, Protein per serving: 9 grams

Recipe to Relieve Constipation

Apple/Prune Sauce

  • 1/3 cup unprocessed bran
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup mashed stewed prune

Blend all ingredients and store in a refrigerator. Take 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture before bedtime, and then drink 8 ounces of water. Note: Make sure you drink the water, or else this recipe will not work to relieve constipation.

Yield: 16 servings
Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Calories per serving: 10 calories

Recipe to Combat Lactose Intolerance

Lactose-free Double Chocolate Pudding

  • 2 squares baking chocolate (1 ounce each)
  • 1 cup nondairy creamer, rice, soy, or lactose-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt chocolate in a small pan. Measure cornstarch and sugar into a separate saucepan. Add part of the liquid and stir until cornstarch dissolves. Add the rest of the liquid. Cook over medium heat until warm. Stir in chocolate until mixture is thick and comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Blend in vanilla and cool.

Yield: 2 servings
Serving size: 3/4 cup
Calories per serving: 382 calories, Protein per serving: 1 gram

Recipe to Sooth a Sore Mouth

Fruit and Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup canned fruit (peaches, apricots, pears) in heavy syrup with juice
  • Almond or vanilla extract to taste

Blend ingredients in a blender and chill well before serving.

Yield: 2 servings
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
If made with ice cream: Calories per serving: 302 calories, Protein per serving: 7 grams
If made with frozen yogurt: Calories per serving: 268 calories, Protein per serving: 9 grams

Always talk with your doctor, nurse, or dietitian about any eating problems you experience during treatment.