What are some healthy snack ideas for lung cancer patients?

Kylie Buchan RDN, CSO, Savor Health

Sometimes it can be difficult to find motivation the to eat healthy. During lung cancer treatment, food may not taste as good as it used to and it can be easy to succumb to comforting and maybe, not so healthy, snacks.  While all food is fine in moderation, unhealthy snacking can affect your energy level.  Since lung cancer treatments can also contribute to fatigue, so it is important to eat healthy to maintain good nutrition and energy levels.

Below is a list of healthy snacks, both store-bought and homemade (easy!) that you can keep on hand.  Put this list on the refrigerator or pantry door to remind you of the importance of choosing healthy snacks.

Low fat dairy with fruit and nuts

Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are high protein snacks to keep in your refrigerator.  Top with diced apples, pecans, and cinnamon or dried cranberries and slivered almonds. You can also mix a spoonful of pumpkin puree and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice in your vanilla yogurt for a flavorful treat.

Nut butter and fruit

Apples and pears are delicious paired with almond or peanut butter for a high protein and high fiber snack. You can also add a small amount of honey and pinch of cinnamon for a snack or after dinner dessert.

Warm smoothies

Most people associate smoothies with the hot summer months.  But, you can make smoothies all year around!  You can even warm them up slightly when the weather turns cool.  Add 1 cup milk, 1-2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter¸ a small handful of oats, 1 apple or banana, and a dash of nutmeg in the blender. Blend until smooth.  Then warm it up by putting on the stove or in the microwave. 

Oatmeal with toppings

Oatmeal doesn’t have to be just for breakfast.  It can also be prepared in advance for an easy snack.  Make a large batch and then refrigerate for the rest of the week.  When you are ready to eat, place in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until warm.  Top with milk, nuts, dried fruit, or pomegranate seeds.


Who says you can’t have soup for a snack? Soup is perfect for a cold afternoon and full of healthy protein and fiber.  Grab a can of low sodium soup at the grocery store or and heat it up for a quick snack.  When you make soup at home, freeze leftovers in individual portions to make it easier to reheat and enjoy!

 Warm bean dip with crackers or chips

Combine a serving of fat free refried beans and a spoonful of salsa and cream cheese in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave until warmed through. Pair with whole grain chips or crackers for a delightful and high protein snack.

Peanut butter toast

Spread nut butter on a warm piece of whole wheat toast and pair with a banana for a high protein and high fiber snack.  Add a cup herbal tea for a simple and healthy mid-morning treat. 

Additional snacks

 Keep handy hummus with vegetables or pita, cheese and whole wheat crackers, a bowl of whole grain cereal with fruit, half of a turkey sandwich, and trail mix. All can be healthy and delicious snacks! 

To combat fatigue, it is important to eat regularly throughout the day to give your body energy. Not only does eating often help with fatigue, snacks can also provide additional calories and protein to prevent weight loss during lung cancer treatment.  Physical activity can also help boost your energy levels and appetite.  Make healthy snacks and light physical activity an important of your daily routine!


Looking for instant and personalized nutrition advice? Check out Ina®, Your Personal Intelligent Nutrition Assistant. You can communicate with Ina® 24/7 to receive clinically appropriate and “on demand” nutrition support and guidance. She’ll respond with personalized nutrition tips, recipe, and answers to your questions—no phone calls or appointments necessary.

Visit LUNGevity’s website to learn more about Ina®. Click here to sign-up for Ina®.


Related Reading:

Savor HealthSavor Health is a provider of personalized nutrition solutions designed exclusively for cancer patients based on evidence-based science and clinical best practices and provided by a team of oncology-credentialed registered dietitians.

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