Cooking for Kids with Cancer is a new book by Chef Ryan Callahan, the award-winning author of Cooking for Chemo...and After! We're so glad there's now an edition out there focused specifically on the food challenges facing children undergoing cancer treatment.
Cooking for Kids with Cancer is not a cookbook - although there are some sample recipes (we include one at the bottom of this post for you to try out!) - but instead a "parent's crash course on food and flavor during and after your child's cancer treatment."
The book begins with an exploration of flavor through all the senses - taste, smell, touch, sight, sound - through the unique lens of a child battling cancer.
An excerpt: "Finding Roundness of Flavor is the key in feeding people going through cancer treatment. Because their senses are all out of alignment, the flavor balance that may taste great to you, might taste terrible to them. When we are cooking for kids with cancer, we want to use Roundness of Flavor to realign our senses to compensate for their flavor changes.
I found that those undergoing cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy, prefer to eat foods that are a little extra sweet and a little extra savory. Some people have even told me that all they could eat were spicy foods. And others had to avoid spicy all together.
Roundness of Flavor helps you address your individual needs. It breaks down the puzzle into manageable pieces so that you can put the puzzle back together in a way that individually works best for your loved one going through cancer treatment. Keep a tasting journal to track what flavors your loved one enjoys and the ones that they don’t."
Chef Callahan's 242-page book is a terrific tutorial for parents looking for ways to keep their little cancer-fighter nourished and comfortable. We love anything that empowers parents with knowledge and tools to help their child through treatment - a scary time when caregivers often feel helpless.
Chef Callahan's book includes a chapter on combating common treatment-related side effects like metallic taste or nausea, chapters on kitchen basics and food safety for the novice cooks among us, plus a science-based overview of nutrition basics, practical tips for meal planning, and a ton of great recipes (a sample smoothie recipe is below) and charts on measurements, spices and more.