Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Aliciaw on Sep 25, 2020 11:16 pm

Moms been having no taste to many foods when shes on taxol. Curious I'd there are foods that bring back some taste or what foods people have had on chemo that tasted good. Or recipes?? She couldn't get her chemo this week as her white blood cells were to low. She was pretty bummed becuase of it.

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Runner Girl on Sep 26, 2020 9:11 am

Aliciaw‍ ,

I'm sorry your mom's treatment has been delayed and that she's having a hard time with foods.  

When I was having chemo I generally went with eating whatever I felt like eating or with whatever craving I had.  Twice this included a Big Mac from McDonald's.   I found I wanted spicy foods so I made a lot of chili and spiced it up.  Because I'm so tiny (100 lbs) I couldn't afford to lose any weight so I threw out my good eating habits and went with whatever my body wanted to eat.  After chemo ended I went back to my typical eating habits.

Your cancer center should have a nutritionist available to help your Mom.  She can inquire with her medical team.

I wish you and your Mom all the best.

Runner Girl 
Never stop believing in HOPE because MIRACLES happen every day!

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by ashcon on Sep 26, 2020 9:59 am

Aliciaw
Bless you for looking out for your mom! I hope her blood count returns and she can resume her chemo. 

In my experience, the altered, or loss, of sense of taste doesn't return to normal till after the treatments are done (good news: they DO return!). I came to hate the taste of water, and my toothpaste tasted like gasoline, it was so gross.

But there are some tricks that can be used while those taste buds are off. 
Runner Girl‍ hit on some good tips. 
Like her, I found it helpful to explore different cuisines and flavours. I found some Moroccan, Mediterranean, Indian and Thai recipes that my taste buds weren't used to and seemed to help. 
If foods tasted bland, I added herbs and spices like garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, paprika. 
I replaced regular potatoes with sweeter veggies like sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots. 
Bonus: many of these have great anti-inflammatory or cancer-fighting properties. 
There are some things she should avoid, like antioxidant foods, while on chemo because they can counteract or reduce the effect of chemo. 

The book The Living Kitchen is dedicated to tips and recipes for those going thru treatment, or post treatment.
The recipes are fairly easy and an index helps you find recipes according to side effect that you are trying to combat.
It's still my go-to recipe book today, 2 years post treatment, because the recipes are so healthy and yummy. 

There may be more tips in the group, Eating Well When You Have Cancer
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Essjay on Sep 26, 2020 3:40 pm

Aliciaw‍ sorry to hear your mum is struggling with tastes, but kudos to you for trying to help!

I found eating with bamboo cutlery helped reduce the metallic taste and as others have said adding spices (chilli, curry etc) really helps. I found I liked citrus but couldn’t cope with other fruits, no idea why. I couldn’t cope with dairy in my hot drinks at all (and still don’t).

One thing I learned was distraction when eating. Eating with others or eating in front of the tv helped me to just shovel food in. I tried to eat all the right things like fruits and vegetables, I drank fruit smoothies to help with this. This was especially good for days when I didn’t want breakfast (I had colon issues through chemo that made me reluctant to eat sometimes). 

There’s something about how things feel in our mouths, I forget the term, but I found mushrooms hit the spot in terms of texture and feel. I ate a lot of mushroom soup, and also lentil soup (packs from Costco). I also enjoyed dried fruits and nuts - these were good snacks when the effort to make lunch was too much, and they help with constipation...

Ice pops we’re useful when my mouth had sores - sucked on those a few times.

My nurses told me I should really up the fluids - water, tea, coffee, chocolate, smoothies, soup, icecream - all counted!

Your taste does return - the only things I’ve not picked up since chemo have been cream in my coffee, and wine (really can take it or leave it, it doesn’t bring me pleasure)...

How is she doing this week?

Essjay
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Boby1511 on Sep 27, 2020 9:42 am

I have little taste buds since May. And Mucosistis. Food hurts most things taste metallic or like very bad salt. Almost like the tongue is sweating salt (With tiny knives). I was told to try very bland food to avoid spice. Also something about avoiding certain fruit. But maybe it’s just the Mucosistis. Perhaps they have a nutritionist available? I eat a lot of grapes. 

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by bee1234 on Oct 9, 2020 6:32 am

Hi, My sister who was going through Chemo for breast cancer had the same problem. Her food tasted fine, but only 2 bites of whatever she was eating, after that it tasted metallic. So I told her to try this.

Pretend your dinner plate is a clock, put each item separately on the plate, no mixing like we usually eat. Start at 12, eat around till 12 again.
I told her to eat one item, then move on to the next, then the next, eat every item around the plate, but only once, then start again. 
I know it seems weird, but that was the only way she could eat without tasting metallic and she would throw it out. 

She also found that Alymers brand soup, such as chicken noodle seemed to taste a lot better than campbells or no brand names, I think the broth was more chicken flavored. 

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Wendy Tea on Oct 9, 2020 9:59 am

bee1234‍  Welcome. What great advice for Boby1511‍ . This is such a novel approach but I can see how easy it is and why it works.

How is your sister doing now? Most of us find self care is extremely important so that you stay healthy and can care for others. It is a bit unfair that your sister has kept her cancer a secret but  my diagnosis was 18 months ago and there are people that I didn't tell. 

Thanks again for great advice! 
Healing takes time and opportunity. Wendy Tea

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Nix on Oct 10, 2020 9:18 am

bee1234‍ The metallic can also come from the utensils. My oncology nurse told me
to switch to plastic utensils if I had a metallic taste. Maybe the slower/methodical clock method of eating meant your sister was touching the utensil to her tongue less and that helped with the metallic taste? If your sister is still having the issue maybe plastic utensils may help too. I haven’t had a problem with utensils yet but I can no longer drink from my favourite stainless steel water bottle. When I put my mouth on it all I taste is metal! I switched to a reusable plastic bottle instead and no issues.

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Mammabear on Oct 10, 2020 1:37 pm

It is very disappointing when you don't get your treatment. The treatments are hard but you want to cross it off and have one fewer and closer to being done.
The Living Kitchen is a great cookbook for during and post treatment recipes. 
Love the idea of the bamboo utensils. 

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by law on Oct 10, 2020 2:55 pm

Finding food which tastes good or OK is tough without the taste buds working well.
The only food group I can taste is SWEET. Syrup, ice cream, sugar, not much else of anything healthy.
I pour syrup on my omelets, quiche, veggies, everything except mashed potatoes.
After radiation for tongue cancer, my oncologists let me know they thought this would be my 'New Normal'...and it is.
I am big on the texture of foods ...but, I have taste only for sugar, and smell for garlic, chocolate, feta.
Taste and smell have become less important to me.
law
 

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by Boby1511 on Oct 10, 2020 6:59 pm

law‍ 
I have very little taste buds.... but find the sweets are easier and I'm craving them more.
Can taste chocolate... never used to eat much of it, but now I'm a cookie a day. 
Taste better than anything with salt. Salt is horrible.
Everything but chocolate taste bland.

Re: Foods for my mom on chemo or foods that have some taste when you have no taste.. suggestions

Posted by robegree71 on Oct 11, 2020 11:12 am

Hey Boby, sorry to hear about your Mom. I didn't have to have chemo but with all the drugs they tried on me killed my smell and taste for 5 weeks.
I lost 50 lbs post lobectomy surgery and it went quickly.
Plastic utensils for sure and as with some others here, lots of soups. Try different brands and types.
We spent days trying dry to cans. I believe that literally saved my life. It is such a scary side effect, everything taste like metal and you can't enjoy anything you eat. 
Just keep trying different things, we threw out a lot of food that niether my wife or I liked. It does come back.
Good luck.