Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Management of Nausea/Vomiting

Nutrition and Cancer: Nutritional Management of Nausea/Vomiting

Nutritional management of treatment side effects

There is more to nutrition during cancer and cancer therapy than getting enough calories and protein. The foods you choose also help you cope with side effects, such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chewing and swallowing difficulties, and taste changes.

As each person's individual medical profile and diagnosis is different, so is his or her reaction to treatment. Side effects may be severe, mild, or absent. Be sure to discuss with your cancer care team  possible side effects of treatment before the treatment begins.

Nutritional management of nausea and vomiting

If you have nausea and vomiting, choose foods that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest, such as the following:

Try to avoid the following:

Also consider the following to reduce side effects:

If you vomit, do not eat or drink anything more until the vomiting is under control. Then try small amounts of clear liquids. Start slowly with little sips.

Once you can drink clear liquids without vomiting, continue by switching to full-liquid or soft foods such as: fruit juices and nectars, milk, cream, margarine, pudding, plain Jell-O, potatoes pureed in soup, cooked cereal, ice cream, custard, strained or blenderized soup, and vegetable juice.

Be sure to tell your doctor, nurse, or registered dietitian if you have nausea or vomiting because there are a number of different things he or she may recommend for you.

It is important during cancer treatment to get enough calories, protein, and nutrients, which may be especially hard if you have nausea and vomiting. If you find you cannot get enough calories in a day, your doctor may recommend commercially prepared liquid nutritional products for a short time until you feel better.

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