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Food and Cancer: quick meals and snacks
Here are a few ideas for quick and simple meals:
- baked beans on toast with melted/grated cheese
- sardines on buttered toast served with fresh tomato
- fried fish (bought prepared) or fish fingers with chips and fresh salad
- canned creamy soup made with milk and served with buttered toast
- grilled lamb cutlets, mashed potato with margarine, served with peas and carrots
- crumpets or muffins toasted with cheese, followed by fruit
- a sandwich with a glass of high-protein milk with flavouring such as Aktavite, Milo or Horlicks
- toast with cheese or peanut butter, followed by sliced banana and yoghurt
- salmon, tuna or egg with salad and mayonnaise, served with a buttered bread roll
- scrambled or poached egg on buttered toast and a glass of orange juice
- a ham and cheese omelette with salad and buttered bread
- pasta with cheese or a ready-made sauce
- take-away foods such as barbecue chicken, a hamburger, pizza or doner kebab.
If you have a freezer, prepare casseroles, soups and desserts and freeze them in individual portions. You can heat them on days when you don't feel like cooking.
Here are some suggestions for quick snacks:
- Cheese and crackers
- Celery and cream cheese
- Cheese or peanut butter on toast or bread
- Potato crisps or corn chips with dips
- Jaffles and sandwiches. Good fillings are peanut butter, cheese, avocado, egg and mayonnaise, cold meats, salmon or tuna
- Creamy soups
- Hot chips
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Instant noodles
- Leftovers from previous day
- Milk puddings, such as junket, creamed rice, custard, mousse and instant puddings
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Fresh or tinned fruit. Serve with custard, jelly, ice-cream or cream
- Fruit cake, muesli and health food bars, sweet biscuits, cakes and slices
- Buttered pikelets, scones, muffins, fruit buns, finger buns, raisin toast
- Yoghurt and ice-cream
- Nutrition supplements.
Food-type nutrition supplements
Nutritional supplement drinks such as Ensure, Sustagen or Resource can provide extra energy kilojoules/calories), protein, vitamins and minerals if you aren't eating well. These drinks can boost a small meal or snack or replace solid food.
Glucose powder supplements can also provide energy, but they don't provide protein, vitamins or minerals, so they shouldn't be used as meal replacements. You can sprinkle glucose powder on food or stir it through to give meals and snacks extra energy.
Talk to your dietitian or doctor about these options, or other specific products for people with cancer who have lost a significant amount of weight.