Food, Drink & Nutrition

Eating, drinking and ensuring you maintain a healthy and balanced diet can be challenging for survivors of Head and Neck Cancer. For many, it can take some time to eat and drink regular foods again and often softer foods are needed in the early days of rehabilitation.

The Make Sense campaign have produced some fantastic guidance on this issue. Their booklet, which they have kindly allowed us to make available at the bottom of this page includes information, advice, top tips and some fantastic recipes (provided by survivors of Head and Neck Cancer themselves). A brief overview of the document can also be found on this page.

If you want to know more about the Make Sense Campaign, you can also visit the Make Sense Campaign website.

What to expect after cancer treatment
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Inability to eat solid foods
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Lacking confidence to eat in front of others
Tips to improve your diet
  • Puréeing, blending or incorporating naturally smooth foods such as yoghurt, can make them easier to swallow
  • Soups and smoothies are an excellent way to maintain calorie intake and consume plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Choosing higher-fat alternatives such as whole milk, grated cheese, high-fat yoghurts, extra virgin olive oil and fruit juices, will introduce additional calories and nutrients
  • Work with a healthcare professional to incorporate the necessary nutritional supplements into a regular diet, to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients
  • Softer foods, including flaky fish, casseroled meats, soft-cooked vegetables and bananas can be easily mashed
Nutrition for survivors of Head and Neck Cancer
PDF / 3.17 MB

Download: Making Meals Make Sense

A cookbook and guide for people following Head and Neck Cancer treatment
With thanks to the Make Sense Campaign

Making Meals Make Sense - A cookbook and guide for people following Head and Neck Cancer treatment