Cancer treatment can change a child’s taste buds. They may become more sensitive to sour or bitter tastes like those found in fruit and vegetables. Taking steroids as part of their cancer treatment can make children feel hungry all the time and crave foods which are high in salt and fat.
If your child has experienced similar side effects from treatment, they may have developed new eating habits which were needed at the time, but not good for their long-term health. Breaking these habits and shifting back to healthier eating is possible, no matter how young your child is.
Establishing a healthy eating routine is important to help your child build positive habits at home and at school.
Scheduling regular meals and/or snack times can be a useful strategy for many families. Creating a routine with your family can help your child anticipate when meals and snacks will be available as well as provide valuable family time that will continue to support your child to thrive.
When creating your schedule, make sure to:
Some after school snack ideas and inspiration which are easy to make:
Cheeky Chicken Meatballs
Makes 25 balls. Prep 10 mins Cook 20 mins Total 30 mins
Adding vegetables to mince, such as meatballs, Bolognese sauce, lasagna and burger rissoles is a common way to add in extra vegies without changing the meals kids enjoy very much (and tasting just as good)!
Get kids involved when rolling balls by hand!
- 500g chicken mince
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 grated zucchini
- 1 small diced onion
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup wholemeal bread crumbs
(blitz 4 slices of wholemeal bread in a blender to make
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)
- Sweet chilli sauce, hummus or salsa for dipping
- Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Add mince, vegetables, egg and breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Mix well.
- Form evenly sized balls using your hands.
- Heat olive oil in a large frypan until just sizzling and add meatballs.
- Turn meatballs to brown for a few minutes and place on the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cooked through completely.
- Serve dipped in sweet chilli sauce, hummus or salsa with vegetables and Lebanese bread.
Fantastically flexible fruit skewers
Make as few or as many as you need. Prep 10 mins Cook 0 mins Total 10 mins
Fruit skewers are a fun way to get kids in the kitchen and enjoy a variety of fruit. Choose fruits that are soft enough to easily thread skewers through, such as strawberries, grapes, rock melon, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, banana, kiwifruit, orange and raspberries. Almost anything goes!
- 3-5 different fruits, such as those listed above
- Bamboo skewers (choose small skewers for younger children)
- Cut up some of your childs’ favourite fruit into bite sized pieces
- Thread fruit onto skewers and serve
Tip: You can also freeze these in summer for a refreshing snack.
Makes 6 small pizzas. Prep 15 mins Cook 10 mins Total 25 mins
Children are often drawn to colorful and visually appealing foods. Pizza faces use a variety of vegetables to create fun and attractive designs.
- 6 mini Lebanese bread circles or 2 large Lebanese bread circles
- ½ cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup cheese, grated (e.g. mozzarella or tasty, preferably low fat)
- 1 cup mixed vegetables, e.g. sliced mushrooms, zucchini, olives, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, etc.
- Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced.
- Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper and place Lebanese bread circles on top.
- Spread bases with crushed tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese.
- Arrange vegetables on top of bases to look like faces.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes (until golden and crispy).
Tip: Pizza people can be frozen for up to 3 months and thawed in a fridge or reheated in an oven.
Please remember to be kind to yourself, as you introduce wholefoods back into your child’s diet. It can take time and persistence to learn what works best for your family to see the results you are after. Remember, Redkite are here to support you if you need it.
For more helpful tips, activities, and recipes, join our ‘Refresh Kids’ Eating’ online program for parents and carers.