Tips to Help Your Appetite During Chemo

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 3:50pm

Chemotherapy can come with unpleasant side effects, including nausea and loss of appetite. We asked our social media followers what helped them get through treatment while maintaining adequate nutrition. (Please note: These tips are directly from survivors, not Roswell Park experts.)

  • Chicken noodle soup and crackers for days... Sandy 
  • I drank a lot of Boost (chocolate flavor), Jell-O and cottage cheese. Struggled with getting enough water, so had to have IVs for extra hydration. It was tough, but got through it. Amy
  • I ate a ton of vanilla frozen yogurt. And I know it gets annoying, but drinking tons of water really does help. Also, breathing in some essential oils like lavender or orange can stop a nausea attack in its tracks. –Liz
  • I had the most awful, constant gag reflex, metallic taste 24/7. I pretty much lived off of butterscotch pudding and crab legs  two foods that gave me a brief respite. I was lucky enough to have someone in my life who loved me and could afford the crab legs. –Kimberly
  • Peppermint tea and turmeric ginger tea helped with an upset digestive system. Use the anti-nausea medicine. I also used peppermint essential oil to help with the nausea (breathing in the scent or rubbing it on my stomach). –Amanda
  • My stepdad would always crave a McDonald's vanilla milkshake after chemo. Everything else tasted bland or like he was eating metal. –Jennifer
  • Medical marijuana helped the best. –Caren
  • Eat what tastes good to you. Don't sweat the calories. –Karl
  • My go-to was toast and butter! While in the hospital, I could only eat the cheese pizza the hospital had. I think the spice in the sauce allowed me to have some sense of taste. –Jeffrey
  • Dole peaches and cottage cheese. Peaches made my mouth feel good, and the cottage cheese was easy to eat. Also, lemon ginger tea was about the only warm drink I could handle. –Sharon
  • Lemon iced tea also. Was one of the only things that tasted really good to me. –JR
  • Peppermints! I have them everywhere ... Purse. Car. Bathroom. Bedroom. –Amy
  • Lots of water or Gatorade. Also, listen to your doctors when they say to not eat your favorite foods. –Amanda
  • A lot of ginger chews, smoothies and Zofran. –Cherisse

Thank you to everyone who shared tricks and tips for eating after chemotherapy. Check out all the Facebook responses here. 

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