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Thread: Recipes for someone who can't swallow solid food

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Recipes for someone who can't swallow solid food

    Hi, My partner has been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer, and of course has problems swallowing. I am really looking for some recipes for high calorie, smooth soups that he can swallow, and that will taste good. He doesn't like to have too many vegetables though, so I was thinking maybe a beef, or tomato based soup, or something like that. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    My Father in Law has EC as well. He is drinking 5-6 Ensure Plus a day to make sure he gets the proper nutrients he needs. (tomato based soups may cause heartburn, so be careful with those.)
    Any soup I prepare is usually a cream based soup, as they are higher in calorie and fat content. I add Whey Protein to EVERYTHING he eats or drinks.
    My FIL has always been a picky eater, but here a a few of his favorites right now.

    Potato Bacon Soup:
    1 can of Campbells Cream of Potato Soup (I omit the water, and only add 1/2 can of milk)
    3 slices of cooked bacon
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 scoop of unflavored Whey Protein
    Blend until smooth and then heat.

    Ham and Pea Soup:
    1 can of Campbells Pea Soup
    2-3 slices of sliced cooked ham
    1 scoop of unflavored Whey Protein
    Blend until smooth and then heat

    Smoothies are also a great way to pack in the protein and calories. Yogurt, fresh fruit, protein powder and milk. You can also make them using the Ensure of Boost drinks instead of using milk, as they have extra calories.

  3. #3
    smooth chili i know it sounds odd but it has the flavor of chili and is very easy to swallow but you have to like chili it's nutritionally sound and extra callories can be added by adding sour cream and shredded chesse.

    1/2 lb ground beef
    1 pack McCormick chili seasoning comes in hot mild and medium
    3 jalapeņo peppers
    3 Serrano peppers
    1/2 onion
    can kidney beans
    36 oz tomato juice
    can diced tomatos

    in 4 quart pan (or bigger)add tomatos beans and juice cook on medium heat for 1 hour until beans have started to break down, stir about every ten minutes turn down if it begins to boil.
    in skillet cook beef until brown add chopped onion and peppers and cook on simmer with lid for about 40 minutes and small amount of water to keep it from burning put in food processor until it is desired texture. in the next step don't get burnt take a separate pan and a strainer drian bean juice and tomato mixture into through the strainer into the pan take a spoon and push on tomatos and beans about half of them are through (this will give the chili some thickness so it's not watery)add all other ingredents and contiue to cook for 1 hour
    -25 married to josh who is the one with cancer. he is 26
    -diagnosed may 12th 2010
    - extranodal nk/ t-cell lymphoma nasal type
    -after 6 weeks of radation it spreed from stage 2 to stage 4
    -4 rounds of smile chemo therapy later it was in remission
    - dec 19th 2010 allogenic bone marrow transplant
    -january relapse
    - long story short docs are confused as to why he is still alive
    -started a new chemo folotyn (pralatrexate injection)

  4. #4
    You can add powdered milk to cream soups and milk shakes to boost the protein content without adding a lot of bulk. 1/3 cup of milk powder has 8 g of protein. (Don't dilute it, just put the milk powder in the liquid that's already there.)

  5. #5
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    For some reason, when people have a heart attack, they get motivated to start eating healthy, but when they get cancer they don't always see the connection between their lifestyle and their illness. Have a long talk with your partner about his eating habits. If he's this stubborn about vegetables, I imagine he has eaten a lot of meat on a regular basis, which is a contributing factor (not the only factor, of course) to the high cancer rates we see today.

    How does he feel about fruit? If he likes fruit, but not vegetables, try making green smoothies. Here's one video (there are many out there) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXr8-jru1KE to introduce you to the process. Experiment with your proportions of fruit to veggies, and you can make a smoothie that doesn't taste like vegetables at all.

    This is no time to be stubborn about old food habits. If getting cancer won't make you start eating healthy, what will? Tell him to be a big boy and eat his veggies.

    Here's a book suggestion. It's my wife's food bible... http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Cancer.../dp/0735201765

    This is serious business. Food can make you sick... and it can make you well.
    My wife was diagnosed with grade II Oligodendroglioma in November, 2009 at age 49. Started Temodar in January 2010. Stopped Temodar June 2011. Recurrence confirmed July 2013. Temodar again from April 2014 to March 2015. Recurrence in April 2015. Radiation May-June 2015. Recurrence January 2016. Tumor is bi-lateral and multi-focal.

    Partial resection in Feb. 2016. Confirmed progression to oligo 3.

    May 2016 diagnosed with breast cancer. Lumpectomy June 2016. No further treatment recommended for breast cancer, due to priority of brain cancer treatment.

    Emergency resection July 2016. Started dex.

    Started Avastin August 2016.

  6. #6
    Top User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I would add an old standby: Carnation Instant Breakfasts, which you can get sugar-free, which I advise. Fairly healthy all around, taste pretty good, and high in calories as well. There is also something called "scandishakes" but I compared and the Carnation stuff offers about as many calories with better nutrition per amount.

  7. #7
    The American Cancer Society has a booklet of tips with high-calorie, high-protein recipes. There's an online version here: http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/Surv...ring-treatment and my infusion center gave me a nice pamphlet from ACS with many recipes.

    With cream-based soups, you can add sour cream as well as powdered milk.

    I struggle to get enough protein. There are some pretty economical high-protein shakes and powder mixes at places like Costco. They taste okay and pack 25 or 30 grams of protein into a small volume of fluid. Most of them use milk protein (whey or casein), but you can also get soy-based drinks.

    And there's always ice cream! Not the healthiest choice, perhaps, but getting enough calories to maintain a healthy weight can become quite a challenge. I always add just a little ice cream when I use Carnation Instant Breakfast -- adding just a little fat to that mix seems to make it more satisfying and not so sugary. Peanut butter milkshakes taste wonderful to me, and have lots of protein.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  8. #8
    Top User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peanut butter (and nuts generally) are excellent as tend to be high in fat AND protein, btw. Now I'm hungry.

  9. #9
    Regular User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Hi, my wife couldn't eat for almost a year due to a pinched esphagus from a lymphatic metastatic tumor.

    Here is what we did.
    -bought a Vitamix brand vita-prep. It's the restaurant version of their powerful blender (and can be bought a bit cheaper from restaurant supply stores).
    -blend every meal into a paste/soup and then drink it.

    So basically, think about what is a balanced meal for a cancer patient. Lot's of fresh veggies, maybe some cooked veggies, some protein source (egg, cooked chicken/meat/fish, tofu,beans,nuts,etc).
    Get all the major food groups in there and make it nutritional.
    Then add enough water/soymilk/milk or some liquid into the blender to blend it into a drinkable texture.
    It takes a couple minutes of belnding to get really smooth.
    Also add all his/her supplements in there. The pills, tables, capsules will get blended and broken down also.

    And don't just feed them ensure or some energy/hospital drink. It's very high in sugar and there are almost no enzymes left in that to help break it donw in the stomach.
    It's better to make stuff fresh and blend it just before consuming, to keep enzymen levels high and avoid oxidation.

    Here is the next step:
    If it get's to the stage where they cant swallow the blended soup, go to the hospital and get a food port installed into his/her stomach and then inject the above blends directly into their stomach.
    They will be able to take in more food in less time. And won't end up starving and shriveling up and getting weak.

    Good luck and best wishes

  10. #10
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    Try the HopeFULLs company. They started their business by providing recipes and equipment to make whole food pops (i.e. hide the vegetables and good for you stuff) to provide nutrition to cancer patients. lINK REMOVED AS PER FORUM POLICY.

    FYI, I have no affiliation with their company. I have purchased BellyFULLs (the version for small kids) and love it.
    Last edited by Didee; 11-19-2012 at 02:47 AM. Reason: Please read the rules for new posters.


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