Bento for Chemo patient

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Bento for Chemo patient

Postby time_on_fire » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:59 pm

A co-worker's girlfriend (M) just started chemo treatments. Her appetite is not the greatest, but she needs to eat. So does my co-worker (L), who seems to be frightened about taking over the meal planning and preparation. :lol: So, I'm kinda sending home food for two.

I am sending home a desert bento like this one: http://lunchinabox.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29&p=1741&hilit=desert+bento#p1752 but with extra ginger candy to help with the tummy.

Since M is not eager to eat, we think *maybe* the tiny portions and mix of perishable/non-perishable foods might entice her to eat a bit more?

I'd like to make her one for tomorrow - I've got ginger snaps, bunny graham crackers, almond crisps, cheese and crackers... what else do you think might be good? Maybe an omelet roll up made of tortilla, egg, cheese, and red bell pepper for color (the peppers are fairly flavorless, being out of season)? She does eat meat, but I don't really like to handle meat. But maybe something like mild chicken wings, or would that be too rich?

I'd prefer not to cut up fruit because I don't think it would stay pretty and appetizing long enough.
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby Ahorsesoul » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:33 pm

How kind of you to do this! It sounds wonderful. This are great because it give a chemo patient many choices. Sometimes what they can eat changes from minute to minute.
Word for 2009-Christmas: Living each day filled with the Christmas Spirit.
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby veganf » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:53 pm

My parents enjoyed anything that anyone brought during their chemo/rad (my father didn't make it sadly, but my mother recovered). My father requested chocolate sandwich cookies :lol: . My mother isn't a bit eater to start with, but she'd try to eat anything anyone brought her. I remember her enjoying a veggie fried rice I made, and soups. Meals that can be frozen in small portions and thawed as needed are also a great idea...kind of like planning ahead for after a baby is born, LOL.
mama to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1), all born at home. Kids vegan bento lunches: http://disposableaardvarksinc.blogspot.com/
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby PikaMama » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:05 pm

Like Ahorsesoul said many choices as what a chemo patient can stomache can change drastically. When I was having chemo the only thing I wanted to eat was baked potato for some reason whilst my mother in law would only eat my homemade sugar cookies and spicy chili. :o
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby time_on_fire » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:01 pm

Well, the benefit of making something that M can't stomach is that L needs to eat, too! I worry about L getting good food, too. She's not used to cooking. I am staying away from strong smells, though.

I am constantly asking L what M is up to eating. Right now, no acidic foods like oranges or tomato sauce and no beans. I'm thinking of making some lightly flavored mini-quiches. Maybe some mini pasta fritattas. Breads, like banana bread, are going over well, too. I'm thinking of freezing some gingerbread pancakes and maybe making some oatmeal mini-muffins. I've got some nuts and dried fruit, too.

I won't be able to prepare another one until Monday evening.
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby Fabiano » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:10 am

I think I understand that the main goal is to get your friend to eat something, anything. However, I thought I would mention a few ingredients that are known to be helpful for the immune system and recovering from radiation exposure (chemo?)...

Carrots: maybe make some mini carrot muffins or carrot cake.

Miso: Perhaps miso soup or some miso chicken wings.

Following is a long quote you may find worth reading.

"MISO. THE RADIOPROTECTIVE FOOD PAR EXCELLENCE: A remarkable and widely reported account comes from the Japanese medical doctor Shinichiro Akizuki, director of Nagasaki's St. Francis Hospital, which was located only a mile from the center of the atomic bomb blast in 1945. This report comes from Fighting Radiation with Foods, Herbs, and Vitamins by Steven R. Schechter, N.S.

The staff at St. Francis treated hundreds of people for radiation sickness in the aftermath of the explosion. He (Dr. Akizuki) and his hospital staff remained at St. Francis; however, none of his staff members became ill---a remarkable occurrence since they were so close to the epicenter of the explosion and were exposed to enormous doses of radioactivity. Akizuki hypothesized that it was the daily consumption of miso soup taken by him and his staff that protected them from the effects of ratiation." (this full quote taken from The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, by Rebecca Wood, page 215).

P.S. I find these "Special Diets" threads extremely interesting. thanks.
Last edited by Fabiano on Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby time_on_fire » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:31 pm

Carrot mini-muffins are a great idea! Yum!

I've never made anything with Miso, so I guess this is a good time to try it out.

She's not doing radiation, but the suggestions sound very yummy and healthy.
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Re: Bento for Chemo patient

Postby Folly » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:38 am

My mother is 92 and has been living with cancer and taking chemo for almost three years. In the Tips forum I wrote about the special considerations and foods I make for her in a post titled: "Bento for Grandma." viewtopic.php?f=6&t=736 Maybe some of those ideas will be helpful.

Also, in order to encourage her to eat, I reach back into my childhood and make the recipes that she made for the family. I engage her by asking for her advice on how things should be done. I also reach back further, and try to make things from her childhood. Most of these recipes are a far cry from the health-conscious, low-fat, low-salt, multi-ethnic dishes that I make in my own home, but if a smell or taste can entice Mom to eat, it is well worth it. There is comfort in the familiar.
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