Recipes and snacks

The following quick meal and snack suggestions are for when you feel too tired or unwell to shop for food or cook, or if you’re missing meals while having treatment. Some may not seem like healthy choices, but if you have a poor appetite it’s important to focus on high-protein and high-energy food and fluids to ensure your body gets all the energy it needs.

You can return to the healthy eating guidelines when your appetite improves. If you have another health condition, such as diabetes, the following suggestions may not be suitable. Check with your health professionals before changing your diet during cancer treatment.

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Meal and snack ideas


  • baked beans on toast with grated cheese
  • crumpets or muffins toasted with cheese, and fruit
  • scrambled or poached egg on toast and a glass of orange juice
  • tuna or sardines on buttered toast with fresh tomato
  • cheese and mushroom omelette with buttered bread
  • toast with cheese, avocado or peanut butter, followed by sliced banana and yoghurt
  • toasted muesli with full-fat milk and yoghurt
  • porridge or rice pudding made with milk and cream

Main meals

  • fresh or frozen fish with chips and salad
  • grilled lamb cutlets, mashed potato with margarine or butter, and peas and carrots
  • pasta with cheese and a ready-made sauce, e.g. pesto or bolognaise
  • lentil dhal with chapatis or rice
  • salmon, tuna or egg with commercial mayonnaise, salad and buttered bread roll
  • frozen or fresh lasagne or moussaka
  • frittata or quiche
  • occasional takeaway such as noodles, stir-fry, curry and rice, hamburgers or pizza (ensure the food is freshly cooked)
  • refrigerated leftover food from the previous day – reheat till steaming
  • microwave potato with baked beans
  • egg, tempeh and cooked vegetables with gado gado (peanut) dressing
  • wrap with falafel, hummus and salad


  • cheese or hummus and crackers 
  • buttered pikelets, scones, muffins, fruit buns, finger buns or raisin toast
  • celery with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • dried fruit and nuts
  • jaffles and sandwiches – try fillings such as egg and commercial mayonnaise, cheese, peanut butter, avocado, canned salmon or tuna
  • milk puddings, such as creamed rice/rice pudding, custard, mousse and instant puddings
  • fresh or tinned fruit with custard, yoghurt, jelly, ice-cream, cream or condensed milk
  • creamy soup made with milk, and buttered toast hot chips, chicken nuggets or fish fingers
  • instant noodles with frozen vegetables
  • potato crisps, pretzels or corn chips with dips
  • yoghurt or ice-cream
  • frozen sausage rolls, meat pies or samosas


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on Nutrition and Cancer.

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Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

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To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
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Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

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Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
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Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in June 2019
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