Food when undergoing chemotherapy

hi, my mum is currently having chemo, and has had her 3rd of 6 treatments. She is really, really struggling to eat, part due to feeling a bit sick, part due to everything tasting of cardboard! and part due to no appetite. Any one give any ideas of what foods are good - she is diabetic (by diet) too so needs to eat, and her lack of eating is giving her no energy at all. Ideally I have told her to eat little and often, but what foods have people found good/give energy??? much appreciate your help, thanks

Hi bones

I have had the same effects with not been able to eat and in the process lost 2 stone. I found that drinking Innocent Smoothies gave me a little energy and gave me nutrients. I also lived on Chicken Noodle Soup. Pineapple Juice does help with getting the taste buds working. Pineapple as enzymes which cleans the mouth and helps make food taste better.

Hope this helps

Kirsty xx

Hi Bones

It might help if she can talk to her breast care nurse (they may refer her to a dietician) as to what types of food she can eat (or not eat) as it can depend on what chemo your mum is having. Did she receive a fact sheet from the hospital when she first went for her chemo as it sometimes lists on there the foods to avoid but because she is diabetic as well it might be wise just to check. I have no knowledge of being diabetic and on chemo I’m afraid.

Good luck.


HI bones.
for the 1st 10 days or so of act I struggled to eat for the same reasons, Someone bought me loads of hi energy cereal bars from a health food shop. They have about 500 cals in each (the sort u would usually not go near unless u run marathons!!) I literally just took a small bite every hour or so that by the end of the day I had eaten one. I would think eating a little bit but throughout the day would keep your mums blood sugars level. Of course if your mum is still struggling in a day or two yes I would ring your bc clinic and explain the problem to the nurses.

Hope mum begins to pick up soon
take care
Chris x

you will have to adapt any ideas as I am not diabetic but I am living on nice solid plain carbs. So it is jacket potato, any potato even chips, fresh baked bread and rolls, pasta, rice and also fish and beef are in for me. I really like expensive jam on fresh bread that bites through the cardboard. Bananas are good for your stomach lining. Little jellies are refreshing. Lollies go through the taste bit too.
At my very worst I sucked rich tea biscuits or dipped them in a hot drink. I also love Ribena at the moment.
I force myself to eat as it does help the other symptoms. Send her a big hug from me
Lily x

Hi I am under Chemo and find my stomach just not working as normal- but here are somethings i have tried and like to share, i found a website which is quite useful

Also I found pineapple is great but try not to eat too much in one go or when its too cold.

Bananas are good - but be careful, when you eat them row they cause more consitipation, when they are riped, they help constipation- it is wired but true

Rice is better than wheat products for me.

Also- soups - clear soup 's best- could be made from any meat, vegs… I am actually making beef bone soups for myself - as it is said to help the white blood cells to go back ( but this is just personal opionin) please check with your mum’s doctor if you are not sure…

hope this helps


hello bones and all

i too am a diabetic on insulin so understand what you mean sometimes i just don’t want to eat, but knowing you have to is worse.

i try anything that just slips down easy, porridge, soup, custard are quite good for me. Fruit juice helps to keep blood sugar levels up, but go careful with these as they are sugary.

good luck to you and your mum


I agree that you should ask to see a dietician at the hospital if you are diabetic and unable to eat. Different thing, I know, but my son has Crohn’s disease, and when he has a flare he loses stones in weight. The hospital dietician (or indeed your GP), can prescribe Ensure drinks and shakes (they come in loads of flavours), which contain lots of nourishment and help keep weight up. Why not ask and see if they are suitable for you?

By the way, I drank smoothies when on chemo, but they gave me terrible diarrohea!