Simple snacking tips for patients undergoing cancer treatment

Siddhi Shroff

Siddhi Shroff

Written by Siddhi Shroff, a registered dietitian at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

Maintaining good nutrition during cancer treatment is vitally important: It helps you keep up your strength, maintain your weight and stay properly nourished.

Unfortunately, cancer treatment often causes a number of undesirable side effects that affect appetite and can get in the way of a healthy diet.

One way to combat those side effects is by making small, easy snacks a staple of your diet.

Simple, frequent snacks can help you maintain your weight, and eating a variety of different kinds of snacks can help manage poor appetite and other side effects, such as nausea or taste changes.

Preparing meals and snacks ahead of time also saves you time during the week and prevents extra trips to the grocery store.

Here are some examples of quick and easy snacks to keep stocked in the pantry or fridge. Try these options to see what works for you and continue following any diet restrictions given to you by your doctor.

  • Cottage cheese and fruit.
  • Peanut butter and crackers.
  • Cheese and crackers.
  • Ice cream.
  • Nuts, seeds and nut butters.
  • Sandwiches: egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, and peanut butter and jelly.
  • Vegetables with dips (sauce, dressing, hummus, etc.)
  • Homemade milkshakes and smoothies.

Check out highlights from my most recent cooking demonstration at Markey to learn more about the benefits of simple snacking!

Interested in attending our next cooking demonstration? Here’s information for the November event:

November Cooking Demonstration

Who: Presented by Ben Fatula, executive chef at Campbell House
What: Join us in making a healthy, flavorful two-course meal you can recreate at home! This cooking demonstration is free and open to patients, families and the public. RSVP to Siddhi Shroff by calling 859-323-4769 or via email
When: Monday, Nov. 13 from 3-5 p.m.
Where: Food Connection Kitchen, located on the second floor of The 90 on the UK campus. Parking is available in the William T. Young Library Visitors’ lot off of Hill Top Avenue.

If you’re looking for more healthy cooking tips, don’t miss the upcoming heart-healthy cooking demonstration hosted by the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute:

Lecture and cooking demonstration by cookbook author

Who: Jane Esselstyn, author of the heart-healthy cookbook, The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook
What: The event, which is hosted by the UK Women’s Heart Health Program, kicks off at 8 a.m. with an optional free yoga session. Esselstyn will take the stage for a brief lecture at 9 a.m., followed by a cooking demonstration at 10 a.m. and tastings at 11 a.m. Registration is $15 and spots are limited. To register, contact Karen Michul at or call 859-218-0121. More information.
Saturday, Nov. 18
UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A Auditorium. Free parking is available in the UK HealthCare parking garage at 110 Transcript Ave., directly across South Limestone from Chandler Hospital.

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