The big C.  As we get older, it crops up more and more as we, and those close to us, are directly or indirectly affected by cancer.

I have been told that, during treatment, food cravings can vary dramatically.  Sometimes only a greasy burger will do, while other times comforting and homely foods are what hits the mark.  Most chemo patients describe a metallic taste in their mouth and, as taste buds can become dulled, they might crave very spicy or foods with strong flavour.

While I can only imagine what it feels like to be going through chemotherapy, I do know what good food feels like; the type of food that truly nourishes your body.  I know that when you feel drained, you don’t want anything too heavy or hard to eat.

Many of the following dishes are comforting soups and stews made with bone broth, which is extremely nutritious, light and easy to digest.  It provides many minerals, gelatine (good for our joints and for gut health) and protein.  I’ve also included recipes that are packed full of greens, colourful veggies and fruits to boost overall health.

One thing is for certain, anyone undergoing cancer treatment will be appreciative that someone has taken the time and effort to cook for them.

Super Greens Stir-Fry: A beautiful and clean stir-fry that is fresh and healthy with a mix of Chinese greens, some of the healthiest foods out there.

Moroccan Chicken Broth Stew: So delicious and warming from the spices. Bursting with healthy ingredients.

Mulligatawny: Mildly spiced Indian soup with turmeric and coconut milk, lentils and veggies.

Pho: This one is a must!  Such a light and tasty, nutritious soup.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Marmalade Dressing: Sounds silly perhaps, but this salad is so cheery.  All that orange together with a light and zesty dressing!

Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Feta: Lentils for sustained release and fibre, beets and the beet greens for healthy anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Thai Green Chicken Curry: So comforting with strong, yet balanced flavours.  Add as much heat as required.

Toasted Coconut, Cinnamon and Sesame Granola: An addictive granola with lots of interesting flavours and textures. Salty and sweet, warm and nutty.

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins: Made with oats, not flour, so they are gluten free.  They also have flax or chia seeds and one of the healthiest fruits, rhubarb!

DIY Energy Bars: Full of goodness and ready to eat on-the-go.

Chocolate “Truffles”: Made only with raw cacao powder, ground oats, banana and sweetened with dates.

Whether you’re a partner, friend, parent or child, the person in your life will, undoubtedly, enjoy these amazing recipes. You just have to include the special secret ingredient: love!

Share your thoughts and recipe ideas with us below.

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  • I lost my husband a year ago to cancer and I found that whatever he wanted for dinner is what we had. There were so many things he just didnt feel like eating so i was just happy that he would eat.


  • Thank you for this, will keep for later. This would had been handy back in 2012 for my third son, he got through it ok.


  • This looks so good, unfortunately I know a few people to share this with but I’d also live to try it for myself. Thank you


  • Keep the foods simple and soft for the mouth ulcers that can form. Nothing shows caring more than preparing a lovely meal for the chemo patient.


  • Have shared your recipes with my neighbour who has just started Chemo. Being a diabetic also makes it hard for her to choose healthy things. Thanks for sharing


  • My sister has just started chemo. Problem is, I know she will not eat any of the above. She is not an adventurous eater. Whilst I know and like some of these, I know she won’t eat them. However, I’m all for making some of her favourite meals in smaller portions for her to have on hand.


  • What a wonderful article, thanks for the recipes.


  • Some amazing recipes. Probably good for us all.


  • oh that is awesome that you have truffles on this list. great list and hope it is helpful for some


  • I have a relative currently undergoing Chemotherapy so I know what foods seem to aggravate the nausea. I have also had friends who had Chemotherapy in the last 6- 10 years. Some although they have bowel cancer (down verylow and doesn’t require a colostomy bag) or similar suffer from heartburn. The slightest amount of the wrong food can cause vomitting. It may not even reach the upper intestine.


  • Some beautiful recipes here. So important to eat nutritious food whilst on chemo as it might help to beat the cancer. I would be careful with any recipes containing sugar/syrups as cancer cells feed on sugar.
    I remember from my sister as well she had loss of appetite, was nauseous most of the time and had difficulty to keep her weight up.


  • With cancer so prevalent today, these recipes would come in handy for a lot of people. My mother in law had mouth ulcers to contend with as well as loss of appetite due to nausea. Made it very difficult to find something she would eat


  • I was reading in a book that, when cooking for cancer patients, we should prepare bland foods. Almost thinking like we are feeding a baby. Smooth and creamy consistency.

    • Thanks for sharing that. I had heard that too. Needs to be very comforting mainly. That’s why I think soups are great.

      • Yes, absolutely. Charlotte Wood, in her book “Love & Hunger”, wrote a chapter about cooking during chemotherapy.


  • I went to China with my mother in law for chemo treatment, which was very holistic. The doctors recommended an alkaline diet. The doctor brought in sweet potato saying how good it was for cancer patients. They looked at treatment scientifically and looked at lifestyle.


  • Those who suffer from nausea sometimes only want plain basic food which is easy to digest.
    If they suffer from indigestion during their treatment they do nor want food that aggravates – certainly not spices and vegetables which are part of the onion family. They would rather have lack of taste than heartburn for hours on end that doesn’t respond readily to the usual medication or other treatment including herbal. Tests proved no sign of heart prtoblem. Some have issues swallowing and can only eat soft food. I am not referring only to throat cancer patients. There is various types of chemotherapy. Also it can be done by a combination of IV and tablets.

    • Thanks for this helpful information! I spoke with my mum who went through chemo when I researched for this article, and she said exactly the same, that she wanted bland comfort food the majority of the time. But occasionally she wanted a lot of spice to help her taste again. Then a friend of mine wanted almost all junk food. I think its wise to ask the person if there are any cravings or sensitivities.


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