Cancer Treatment Shopping List

Featured Article, Healthy Living
on May 8, 2012

In their new book, The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook, registered dietitian Jean LaMantia and Dr. Neil Berinstein offer a detailed guide to eating right during cancer treatment, from sound nutrition information to recipes and survivor tips. In this excerpt, they offer a handy grocery list for foods that are both palatable and beneficial during cancer treatment.

During your cancer treatment, you may not feel much like cooking. Some days, you may be too busy with medical appointments to put together even simple meals. This shopping list is designed to give you ideas for quick, easy, nourishing foods to have on hand in the event that you don't have the time, energy or inclination to prepare a meal. You may also want to bring some of these items with you when you go to appointments, which invariably overlap at least one meal or snack time.

Dairy Case

  • Yogurt, yogurt drinks
  • Cheese, cottage cheese
  • Omega-3 eggs
  • Non-hydrogenated margarine or butter



  • Fresh gingerroot
  • Citrus fruits
  • Cut-up fresh fruits
  • Fresh juices


Grocery Aisles

  • Broth, ready-made soups or stews
  • Canned salmon or tuna (light, not white)
  • Peanut and other nut butters
  • Protein bars, nutrition beverages
  • Dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit and/or veggie bars
  • Pretzels, crackers
  • Ginger ale, flavored waters, sports drinks
  • Baking soda (for mouth rinses)
  • Cereal, fiber biscuits
  • Bread
  • Skim milk powder, whey powder
  • Ready-made puddings
  • Mayonnaise


Frozen Foods

  • Popsicles or other frozen treats
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Frozen fruit and vegetables
  • Individual frozen meals


Excerpted from The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook by Jean LaMantia& Neil Berinstein © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.caReprinted with permission. All rights reserved. May not be further reproduced without publisher permission.

JEAN LAMANTIA, RD,currently provides one-on-one nutrition counseling, cooking demos and lectures for members of Wellspring. She is a former weekly columnist in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, and regularly appears in print, television and radio media. Jean is herself a cancer survivor and lives in Toronto, ON.


NEIL BERINSTEIN, MD, FRCP (C), ABIM, is an associate scientist with the cancer research program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a professor in the department of medicine at the University. He lives in Toronto, ON.