What may help

Talk to your Doctor

First, your doctor can check out what may be turning you off food and suggest possible treatments. Even if conditions such as mouth ulcers and sore throats cannot be prevented, they may be eased.

Changes to diet

A dietician may suggest foods that are easier to chew and swallow. Ask your doctor for a referral.

Other suggestions include:

  • Try not to miss meals.
  • Eat small meals often or even just a few mouthfuls of food.
  • Make sure what you eat and drink is nourishing. Fruit juice,milkshakes or liquid supplements can be suitable meal substitutes.
  • Keep snacks handy to eat whenever you can (eg. nuts and dried fruit). 



Strawberry smoothie - 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup high protein milk, few drops vanilla essence, pinch cinnamon. Blend fruit thoroughly. Add all other ingredients to fruit and blend again. Serve chilled. Add sugar if you like a sweeter drink.

High-energy milkshake - 1 cup high-protein milk, 1 scoop ice-cream, any flavouring. Whisk together and serve chilled.

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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015