Recipes for people with cancer

For many people undergoing cancer treatment, nausea and other side effects make eating and obtaining proper nutrition difficult. In her book, Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer, author Danielle Cook Navidi offers suggestions on identifying the best kinds of food that will help people stay nourished while dealing with the challenges associated with treatment for cancer. Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, summarizes key points of the book.


In keeping with National Nutrition Month, we sometimes see children and adults undergoing cancer treatment as health care professionals. No doubt many of us are dealing with this issue in our personal lives, with family members and friends.

For many undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, nausea and other side effects make eating and obtaining the proper nutrition very difficult. Children tend to be more of a challenge, as their reasoning skills are not yet fully developed, and they may be more “picky” about what they eat.

The Book
A child undergoing treatment for cancer faces all the challenges posed by the treatment itself as well as side-effects that include nausea, fatigue, mouth sores, diarrhea, constipation and altered taste buds. Staying nourished throughout this difficult time is imperative to staying on course with the treatment. However, for many parents and caregivers, knowing what to shop for, what to eat, or how to identify the right kinds of foods that will best support the patient creates added challenges.

Foreword Fo

“The role of nutrition in cancer cannot be over-emphasized. While good nutrition and healthy food choices should be an integral part of every individual’s daily life, maintaining appropriate nutrition during cancer treatment is crucial, especially for a child. Each year over 12,000 children under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. The cancer and its treatment - chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, can cause change in taste, appetite loss, mucositis, nausea, vomiting and aversion to food."

This book would not have been possible had it not been for the generous support of the following donors: the Bryce Foundation, the Lane family, the Bosch family and Enterprise Holdings Foundation. This book is the first of its kind for pediatric cancer patients. We hope this book will fulfill its purpose, which is, teach the importance of healthy nutrition to patients, their families and cancer survivors. We are deeply indebted to you.

The book is available at Amazon.(3) All proceeds help the Pediatric Cancer Nutrition Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

The author of the book is Danielle Cook Navidi, who runs a nutrition program for young cancer patients, adolescent cancer survivors, their parents and caregivers at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Georgetown Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. She is studying for her master’s degree in holistic nutrition. Her first book, Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer is available now on or locally in Washington, D.C., at Politics & Prose bookstore. Danielle lives in Washington, D.C.

Danielle Navidi Fo(4)


Choose My Plate Fo

Additional Reading – Nutrition for Patients with Cancer
1. American Cancer Society - Nutrition for People With Cancer
2. National Cancer Institute
3. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
4. Stanford Medicine Cancer Guide - Food Guide Pyramid
5. USDA My Plate for Healthcare Professionals

Maria Goldie 2013c

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS articles by Maria Perno Goldie, click here.

To read more about cancer and dental hygiene, click here.

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