Appetite for life

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High-calorie, high-protein: Trail mix makes a great high-calorie, high-protein snack. | File photo

Nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger.

The American Cancer Society offers these recommendations to help you and your loved ones cope with treatment side effects that might affect how well you can eat.

1 Eat several frequent snacks throughout the day, rather than three large meals.

2 Avoid liquids with meals, or take only small sips of liquids to keep from feeling full early (unless you need liquids to help swallow or for dry mouth). Drink most of your liquids between meals.

3 Make eating more enjoyable by setting the table with pretty dishes and playing your favorite music, watching television or eating with someone.

4 Be as physically active as you can. Start off slowly, and increase your activity over time as you feel stronger. Sometimes a short walk an hour or so before meals can help you feel hungry.

5 Keep high-calorie, high-protein snacks on hand. Try hard-cooked eggs, peanut butter, cheese, ice cream, granola bars, liquid nutritional supplements, puddings, nuts, canned tuna or chicken, or trail mix.

6 Eat your favorite foods any time of the day; for example, if you like breakfast foods, eat them for dinner.

7 Ask your doctor what can be done to help relieve constipation, nausea, pain, or any other side effects you have.

The American Cancer Society