Overcoming poor appetite
If you can’t manage to eat much or you are trying to gain or maintain your weight, there are ways to take in more energy (kilojoules/calories) without having to eat more food.
- Eat small snacks frequently e.g. every two hours.
- Have your biggest meal of the day when you are hungriest.
- Planning your meals is important so that you don’t skip meals and will help you to make better food choices. Use a food timetable to keep track of all your meals and snacks
- Keep meal and snack times interesting, enjoy a wide variety of foods and flavours (as tolerated)
- Add ‘extras’ to your basic foods at meal times. For example:
- Include good quality protein such as fish (e.g salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring) lean meats, dairy or soy products, nuts, seeds or add a protein powder.
- Include high calorie, good quality fat sources (as tolerated), such as avocado, cook with olive, canola, peanut and sesame oils, try nut/seed butters or grind nuts/seeds and add to food
- Speak to a dietitian about high calorie nutritional drinks and products which may be used to accompany meals.
- Relax dietary restrictions. Gaining weight or maintaining your weight is more important when you have pancreatic cancer than avoiding extra amounts of fat and sugar.
- Eat in a comfortable relaxed place.
- Chew slowly, do not chew and talk at the same time which can mean swallowing extra air causing gas.
- Engage in light exercise before eating as this may help to stimulate appetite
- To work out if you are eating enough, you can weigh yourself once or twice a week to see if your weight is stable or check with a dietitian.
Ideas for Quick Meals
- Tuna or sardines on wholegrain toast with fresh tomato and basil
- Fruit smoothies - try adding natural yoghurt, nuts, seeds and/or a protein powder
- Soup served with fresh bread - e.g. chicken/vegetable
- Sandwiches with your favourite fillings
- Salmon, tuna or egg salad and a wholegrain roll
- Scrambled or poached eggs on toast with avocado
- Vegetable and fetta cheese omelette
- Wholemeal pasta with a ready made sauce
- Prepare casseroles, soup and desserts and freeze them in individual portions
- Celery/carrot sticks with ricotta, cream cheese or hummus
- Cheese and crackers
- Toasted sandwiches - fillings could include salmon, tuna, egg, or avocado
- Yoghurt with crushed nuts and seeds
- Museli and health food bars
- Fresh or tinned fruit, served with yoghurt or natural ice-cream
- Dried fruit and nuts (as tolerated)
- Muffins, fruit buns and raisin toast
- Fresh fruit and vegetable juices