• Make small portions. Put food in freezable containers for easy reheating and to avoid too many leftovers due to taste changes that can occur during treatment. Packing a smaller portion of a meal can ensure they aren’t faced with a fridge full of food they can no longer stomach as well as making it easier to microwave when they are able to eat.

• Clean up if you cook in their kitchen. Make sure you don’t leave your friend with dirty dishes, or bring food to them in disposable containers they don’t have to return to you.

• Create care baskets with a variety of bland food offerings to counter taste changes. Solid foods such as saltine crackers can be a blessing when a patient is barely able to eat. Dry soup mix or even plain chicken broth makes an easy warm meal.

• Gift teas with different flavors and benefits. Tea can be really soothing. Consider giving a variety of herbal teas that address different needs, such as ginger for stomach issues or lavender for nerves.

• Be flexible with celebrations. Rescheduling a birthday party or anniversary celebration to a day right before the patient’s next treatment cycle may help ensure they aren’t suffering from as many side effects or developing new shifts in taste.

• Don’t try to push what foods they should and shouldn’t eat. While encouraging a patient to eat is good, trying to dictate how much or what kinds of foods they eat can have a negative effect. They’re already facing a life-changing diagnosis and this may not be the time to try to alter their eating habits drastically. Instead, be supportive and ensure they eat what they can every day.

• For patients, don’t force yourself to attend a meal-centered event. If you are nervous to go out to eat or eat at a friend’s house, suggest something else. Go for a walk, watch a movie or do activities related to common interests instead you would both like doing.

Relationships & Caregiving





Santa Fe New Mexican