Recipes for Patients with Oral Mucositis (Mouth Sores)

by Dr Krishna Priya
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Oral mucositis may look like little cuts or ulcers in the mouth. This can be a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It can be painful, making it difficult to eat, swallow, or even speak. 

Mouth sores usually appear 2 -3 weeks after the start of treatment and may keep reappearing after each cycle. 

Am I suffering from oral mucositis?

You can use the below checklist to see if your symptoms correspond to oral mucositis:

  • Do you have sores in your mouth that may look red, sometimes with white spots in the centre?
  • Do you experience pain when you chew or swallow?
  • Do you feel like you have a sore throat?
  • Can you see swelling in your gums, or mouth?
  • Is there bleeding from little cuts in the mouth, on the gums or under the tongue?
  • Do you find pus on your tongue?
  • Is there increased mucus in your mouth?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, it may be time to alert your treating team about this. They will be able to guide you to better manage these symptoms, and avoid any related infection. 

What can I eat when I have oral mucositis?

Chewing and swallowing can become difficult during this time. To avoid irritating the soars, it is best to consume foods that do not require much chewing. Semi-solid, soft foods, particularly foods that are cool or mildly cold in temperature, may be easier to consume. This means foods like smoothies, ice lollies, fruit juices can be preferred foods during this time. 

To ensure that you are getting sufficient nutrition during your cancer treatment, our senior nutritionist Dr Krishna Priya has collated a set of recipes for you. These recipes can be consumed safely during this time, and contain optimal amounts of nutrition.  

1. Strawberry coconut milk smoothie

soft diet for mouth soars

Ingredients

1 cup, sliced strawberries

½ cup coconut milk

½  cup yogurt

½ banana

Method

Mix all ingredients in a blender. Serve cool.

2. Jowar, ragi & dates porridge

ragi porridge for oral mucositis

Ingredients

½ cup whole jowar

½ cup whole ragi

4 dates, deseeded

Method

  • Wash the jowar and ragi separately, drain well.
  • Combine with 4 cups of water, and dates, to pressure cook for three whistles.
  • Once cool, blend using a mixer or blender.. 
  • Add water during blending if required. 
  • Pour mixture into a pan and cook over medium flame. Stir continuously. 
  • Once consistency is right, turn off the flame. Serve at room temperature. 

3. Lettuce & cauliflower soup

cancer diet for mouth cancer

Ingredients

3 cups, roughly chopped lettuce

1 cup finely chopped cauliflower

¼ cup finely chopped onions

2 tsp oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Saute the onions in oil for 1 minute or till they are soft.
  • Add the lettuce and cauliflower and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add two cups of water, salt to taste and cook over medium flame for 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, allow it to cool. Then, blend it into a puree. 
  • Serve at room temperature. 

4. Masoor dal & palak khichdi

semi solid foods for cancer patients

Ingredients

1 cup rice

½ cup whole masoor dal

2 cups, roughly chopped spinach (palak)

½ tsp cardamom powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder (dalchini)

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp ghee 

Salt to taste

Method

  • Wash the rice and masoor dal and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Wash the spinach leaves and blend into a puree, strain it to avoid any rough fibres
  • Heat ghee inside a pressure cooker, add the cardamom powder, turmeric powder and cinnamon powder.
  • Add the tomato puree.
  • Finally add the washed rice, masoor dal and spinach puree. 
  • Add salt and 3 cups of water. 
  • Pressure cook till 3-4 whistles. 
  • Once cooked, add a tbsp of ghee and serve at room temperature. 

5. Golden milk popsicle

soothing mouth ulcers with popsicles

Ingredients

2 cups coconut milk

1 ½ tsp turmeric powder

4-5 tsp pure honey

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix till the honey stops sticking to the bottom.
  • Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze overnight, or till frozen
  • Serve cold.

6. Chilled cucumber soup

cancer diet for mouth problems

Ingredients

1 peeled cucumber

1 cup yogurt or curd (not too sour)

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp pure honey

1 tsp fine chopped mint leaves

1-2 pods of garlic

Salt to taste

Method

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth
  • Refrigerate for four hours.
  • Serve chilled.

7. Pumpkin apple soup

easy to eat cancer foods

Ingredients

2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkins

1 cup peeled and cubed apples

¼ cup chopped onions

2 tbs oil

1 tsp chopped garlic

Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan. 
  • Saute garlic and onions on medium flame.
  • Add pumpkin and apples, saute for 1 minute.
  • Add salt and 2 cups water to cook.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20 minutes or till pumpkins are soft.
  • Once cooked, cool and blend in a mixer or blender. 
  • To make the soup thicker, add the blended mix back into the pan and cook to the right consistency. 

8. Vanilla Soy Pudding

diet for mouth and throat cancer

Ingredients

2 cups soy milk

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbs cornstarch

⅓ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

Method

  • Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.
  • Pour in the soy milk, a little at a time, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. 
  • Cook this mixture over a low flame till it thickens. Stir continuously when cooking. 
  • Remove thickened mixture from stove, add vanilla and stir well. 
  • Pour into a serving dish or into glasses and chill for two hours before serving.

9. Avocado pear spinach smoothie

nutritious foods during cancer

Ingredients

1 cup, chopped ripe avocado (peeled)

1 ½ cup chopped spinach

1 cup peeled and chopped apples

1 cup peeled and chopped pear

Method

Combine all ingredients in a blender, along with one cup of chilled water. Serve cool. 

10. Carrot Onion Soup

soups for cancer patients

Ingredients

2 carrots, cubed

1 cup finely chopped onions

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup milk

1 tbsp fresh cream

1 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Method

  • In a pan, heat the butter and add the onions. Saute till soft. 
  • Add the cumin powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder to the onions. 
  • Add the carrots, cover the pan and cook till the carrots are soft. 
  • Once cooked and cooled, add the mix to a blender, with the milk and the stock. 
  • Once blended, transfer it back to the pan to boil. 
  • Add salt to taste and serve with a garnish of fresh cream. 

11. Curd rice

easy food recipes for cancer diet

Ingredients

½ cup pre-cooked, soft rice

1 ½ cup water

1 cup curd

1 tsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp ginger, finely chopped

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp asafoetida (hing)

A few curry leaves

Salt as per taste

Method

  • Mix the rice, with the curd and water. 
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. 
  • Once they splutter, add the ginger and curry leaves. 
  • Once the curry leaves turn crisp, add the asafoetida (hing).
  • Now, pour the hot oil mixture into the curd rice. It’s ot ready to serve. 

12. Chicken stew

best diet for mouth oral cancer

Ingredients

500 gms chicken breast

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2-4 potatoes, peeled and diced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp maida

Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat the butter in a pot, add the carrots and cook till they are soft. 
  • Add the salt, and garlic to it. Cook till the raw smell of the garlic is gone. 
  • Add the maida, and stir till the carrots are coated. 
  • Add the chicken and potatoes.
  • Cook till the chicken and potato are fully cooked and soft. 
  • Shred the chicken and smash the vegetables before serving.  You can also use a blender for this, if the patient is unable to chew the shredded chicken.

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