“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.” – Jonathan Safran Foer
Tucker has been craving Chinese food this week and last week he told me that yakasoba noodles was his favorite food. Both he would of never tried prior to his diagnosis. Steroids and chemotherapy have a strange effects on the diet and diet is something I often find myself thinking about a lot. There really is no rhyme or reason why one food will be his absolute favorite one week and completely uneatable the next. Chemotherapy can turn the smell of a double bacon cheeseburger into the most foul smell ever. While Steroids will cause him to be so hungry that he craves foods he would of never taken a second glace at. Like curry shrimp for example.
(Tucker searches for a snack)
Loss of appetite, changes in taste and smell, mouth sores, nausea and indigestion are all side affects of chemo that affect eating habits during treatment. The American Cancer Society suggests that a healthy diet can help improve recovery during treatment. Proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are all recommended to be apart of a balanced diet. Each bring something to the table. Proteins aid in tissue repair and building lean muscles. Whole grains give much needed energy boosts as well as aid in regularity. Fruits and Veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help with the negative side effects of chemotherapy.
(Tucker searches the fridge)
The best advice that I got when it comes to food is always order extra off the menu at the hospital. Save a Gogurt or fruit for a snack in between meals. The process of getting food to the room after ordering can take an hour. Try new things. Tucker’s tastes and cravings are ever changing so by mixing things up he is getting a wide variety of foods to balance out his diet. Go with the flow. When Tucker is craving something I try my best to accommodate him. If he would rather have peanut butter and jelly than the steak I just cooked. Oh well, it is more important that he eats than insist he eat what I cooked. Have quick and easy snacks around. Tucker like Lunchables or pudding cups. He can grab them up quickly and eat several small meals all day long. This helps to ward off nausea. Lastly stay hydrated. Because chemo can make water taste bad, I try to always have a variety of nutritional beverages around. V8 splash is a good one to sneak in some vegetables. Poweraide type drinks taste good and replace electrolytes. Milk or smoothies are great sources of protein.
(Grabbing a snack at Starbucks; mango smoothie & coffee cake)
It will be interesting to see just how much Tucker’s likes and dislikes will change once he is done with treatment. He may no longer think yakasoba is the best stuff on earth and go back to craving the foods he did before chemotherapy. But for now we are just having fun trying new things and discovering new tastes.