Tips for Managing Nausea and Vomiting

  • Eat small frequent meals every 2-3 hours, instead of three large meals.
  • Sip on beverages that provide calories—such as fruit juices or sport drinks throughout the day to help you get enough calories, nutrients, and fluids. Drink clear liquids as often as possible after vomiting to prevent dehydration.
  • Eat bland foods, instead of foods that are very sweet, fatty, greasy, or spicy.
  • Eat dry foods (such as crackers, toast, dry cereal, or bread sticks) when you wake up and every few hours during the day when you are taking medications or when you feel nauseated.
  • Try these tips to avoid strong odors, which can cause nausea:
    • Eat cool foods or room-temperature foods instead of hot foods. (Food odors are stronger when foods are hot.)
    • Eat in a well-ventilated room that does not smell of strong food or cooking odors.
    • Avoid strong odors such as perfume, aftershave, and scented body lotions.
    • Cook outside on the grill or use boiling bags to reduce odors.
  • Avoid eating your favorite foods when you feel nauseous so you don’t develop a dislike of those foods.
  • Try sucking on ginger candies or drinking ginger ale or ginger tea. Ginger can help decrease nausea.

 

 

Tips to Prevent or Manage Constipation

  • Eat at about the same times each day.
  • At breakfast, drink a hot beverage or eat hot cereal to stimulate a bowel movement.
  • Try to drink at least 64 fluid ounces (8 cups) of liquid each day. Getting enough fluid is especially important if you add more fiber to your diet or if you take medicines that can cause constipation. For variety, drink water, prune juice, warm fruit or vegetable juices, decaffeinated teas, or hot water with added lemon juice and honey. Fluids also include foods that are liquid at room temperature, like frozen ice pops, gelatin, or ice cream.
  • If you plan to add fiber to your diet, do so slowly to prevent discomfort. Increase the amount of fiber you eat by no more than 5 grams each day. Continue adding 5 grams a day until you reach the daily goal (usually 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day).
  • To get more fiber:
    • Eat plenty of foods rich in fiber, such as wheat bran, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, popcorn, and dried beans.
    • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of bran on cereal.
    • Add 1 teaspoon ground flax seed to casseroles, cereals, or other foods.
  • If possible, increase the amount of physical activity you do. Physical activity can help you move your bowels more regularly. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise.
  • Ask your doctor before using bulking agents or over-the-counter stool softeners or laxatives.
  • Allow yourself enough time in the bathroom to have a bowel movement.
  • Try not to rush yourself.

 

 

Tips for Managing Diarrhea

  • Drink plenty of mild, clear liquids during the day. Room-temperature liquids are easier on your stomach than hot or cold ones.
  • To replace fluids lost with diarrhea, drink at least 1 cup (8 ounces) of liquid after each loose bowel movement.
  • Eat several small meals and snacks throughout the day, rather than eating two or three larger meals.
  • Drink and eat small portions of foods that provide sodium and potassium (two minerals that your body loses when you have diarrhea). Choices include:
    • broths, soups, fruit juices, sport drinks, crackers, pretzels, potatoes without skin, and ripe bananas.
  • Eat foods high in pectin, such as applesauce and bananas, to firm up your bowel movements.
  • Avoid greasy, fried, spicy, and very sweet foods.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • When you have diarrhea for more than a day or so, limit milk and dairy foods to no more than 2 cups a day. Prolonged diarrhea can cause temporary lactose intolerance (an inability to digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk). If you become lactose intolerant, milk and dairy foods can cause diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
  • Limit drinks and foods that cause gas, including carbonated drinks, vegetables in the cabbage family, and dried beans and peas.
  • If you want a carbonated drink, stir it or pour it into a glass to lessen the bubbles.
  • Avoid foods, chewing gum, and candies made with sorbitol, xylitol, or mannitol. These types of sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
  • When you have diarrhea, limit high-fiber foods (such as bran, popcorn, whole grains, dried beans, cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts) until the diarrhea ends. When diarrhea has stopped, slowly add foods with fiber back into your diet.

 

Type of Food Recommended During Diarrhea

  • Baked or broiled beef, pork, chicken, liver, turkey, veal, or fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt (Avoid or limit milk and cheese if you have lactose intolerance.)
  • Grain foods made from refined white flour
  • Pasta made with refined flour
  • Converted or instant rice
  • Refined cereals such as farina, cream of wheat, cream of rice, and cornflakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Cornbread
  • Pretzels
  • Graham crackers
  • Saltines
  • Canned or cooked fruit
  • Fruit juices or sport drinks
  • Cooked asparagus tips, beets, carrots, peeled zucchini, mushrooms, celery, green beans, acorn squash
  • Baked potato without skin
  • Tomato paste, tomato puree, tomato sauce
  • Broths and soups

 

Tips for Managing Sore Mouth  

  • Drink through a straw to avoid irritated areas in the mouth.
  • Remove food and germs by rinsing your mouth often with a solution made with 1 quart water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  • Avoid tobacco and mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Choose soft, bland foods served cold or at room temperature. Hot foods may cause more irritation.
  • Try pureed fruits, vegetables, and meats; cream soups; cooked cereal; macaroni and cheese; yogurt; pudding or custard; and chicken, beef, or fish that has been cooked until very tender.
  • Try other soft foods like milkshakes, bananas, applesauce, mashed potatoes, pasta, noodles, cottage cheese, gelatin, and scrambled eggs.
  • Soothe your mouth with cold foods and drinks like frozen grapes, banana pieces, melon balls, or peach or mandarin orange slices.
  • Suck on frozen fruit pops, fruit ices, ice chips, or other cold foods.
  • Puree or liquefy foods in a blender to make them easier to swallow.
  • Moisten foods with broth, soup, sauces, gravy, or butter.
  • AVOID foods that are likely to irritate your mouth, including:
    • Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, limes, lemons), kiwi, papaya, pineapple, and tomatoes
    • Irritating spices, seasonings, and condiments, such as pepper, chili powder, cloves, nutmeg, salsa, pepper sauces, and horseradish
    • Rough, dry, or coarse foods, such as granola, hard toast, or crunchy snack foods
    • Alcoholic and acidic beverages

 

Tips for Managing Poor Appetite

  • Eat small amounts throughout the day instead of eating big meals. For example, eat a small meal or snack every 2 or 3 hours or take a few bites every 30 to 60 minutes.  For between-meal snacks, try half a sandwich, a bowl of yogurt, cereal and milk, or a granola bar.
  • Choose drinks that are nourishing, high in calories, and high in protein.
  • Make every bite count by choosing higher calorie foods. Do not fill up on low-calorie beverages like diet soda or coffee.
  • Move around when possible. Walking and other gentle forms of exercise help encourage a better appetite.
  • Keep a list of favorite recipes and meals on hand for friends and family members who help with cooking or shopping.
  • Keep your pantry and freezer well stocked with foods that make quick and easy meals and snacks, such as single-serving entrées and ready-to-eat packaged foods.
  • Use the clock, TV shows, or commercial breaks to remind you to take a sip, eat a bite, or have a snack.

 

Tips for Difficulty Swallowing

  • Consume liquid nutritional drinks if you can’t eat enough solid foods at meals.
  • Drink 6 to 8 cups of fluid each day. If necessary, thicken beverages and other liquids so they are easier to swallow.
  • Choose a variety of soft or blended foods from all food groups to give yourself the nutrients your body needs.
  • Puree foods in a blender to make them easier to eat.
  • Add flavorful and nutritious liquids (such as broth, milk, fruit juice, or vegetable juice) to your blended food to make it the right consistency.
  • Processing foods in a blender may change how they taste, so add small amounts of seasonings at first and then adjust to taste.
  • Serve pureed foods in pretty dishes to make them look appealing.

 

Recommended Foods for Difficulty Swallowing

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Poached eggs
  • French toast
  • Custard
  • Deviled eggs
  • Quiche
  • Chicken salad, Ham salad, egg salad, Roast beef salad, Seafood salad, Tuna salad, Turkey salad
  • Beef stew
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Flaked fish with dill sauce
  • Meatloaf with gravy
  • Minced casserole
  • Soufflé
  • Ground hamburger in creamy sauce
  • Cheese cake
  • Cheese cubes
  • Twice-baked potato without skin
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fondue
  • Grated cheese on top of soup or casserole
  • Cheese topping on baked or mashed potato
  • Cheese sauce on Vegetables
  • Chocolate milk
  • Creamy hot cereals
  • Eggnog (pasteurized, not homemade)
  • Powdered milk mixed
  • into casseroles
  • Hot cocoa made with milk
  • Ice cream, Malts, Milkshakes
  • Mousse
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Pudding pops
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt Bean soup
  • Cream of asparagus, Cream of broccoli, Cream of celery, Cream of chicken, Cream of mushroom, Cream of tomato, Split pea soup, New England clam Chowder
  • Baked beans
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter
  • Pork and beans
  • Tofu

 

 

Tips for Taste Changes

  • To keep your mouth clean and healthy, rinse and brush your teeth after meals and before bed (or every four hours during the day).
  • Before eating, rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 quart water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. This rinse can help keep your mouth clean and improve your sense of taste.
  • If MEATS TASTE STRANGE:
    • Choose other protein-rich foods (such as poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, tofu, and soy milk) instead of meat.
    • Marinate and cook meats in sweet juices, fruits, acidic dressings, or wine.
    • For example, try sweet-and-sour pork with pineapple, chicken with honey glaze, or London broil in Italian dressing.
  • If you have SALTY, BITTER, ACIDIC, or METALLIC TASTE:
    • Add sweeteners or a little bit of sugar to foods. A little sweetness can help to increase pleasant tastes.
    • Season foods with herbs, spices, and other seasonings, such as onion, garlic, chili powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, barbecue sauce, mustard, ketchup, or mint.
    • Use plastic utensils or chopsticks if metal forks and spoons taste unpleasant.
    • Add lemon juice or other flavorings to water.
    • Suck on sugar-free lemon drops, gum, or mints.
  • If you have LOSS OF TASTE:
    • Choose foods with tart flavors, such as lemon wedges, lemonade, citrus fruits, vinegar, and pickled foods. (Caution: avoid these acidic foods if you have a sore mouth or throat.)
    • Blend fresh fruits into shakes, ice cream, or yogurt.
    • Eat frozen fruits, such as whole grapes and mandarin orange slices, or chopped cantaloupe or watermelon.
    • Select fresh vegetables. They may be more appealing than canned or frozen ones.