At some point in your cancer treatment, your healthcare team may recommend a special diet or ask you to avoid certain foods. If you have surgery that involves any part of your digestive system, you may need to eat a special diet for a few weeks or that diet may become a part of your everyday.

For example, after a colostomy, you may need to follow a low-residue diet or low-fiber diet to reduce the amount and frequency of bowel movements to limit irritation to your digestive tract while you heal. Side effects from treatment may also cause you to need a special diet. If you are unintentionally losing weight, you may need a high-calorie or high-protein diet.

Here you can find sample menus for specific needs.

The provided menus are only suggestions. Talk to your healthcare team or a registered dietitian for recommendations and meal plans to meet your specific needs.

Download worksheets to plan meals and to get organized during cancer treatment. View worksheets.

Other Resources for Sample Menus

  • Oncology Nutrition, a Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, offers a 2000 Calorie Diet and a Full Liquid Diet sample menu on their website. You can find these menus here.
  • The National Institute on Aging provides 2,ooo calorie a day sample menus.
  • offers sample 2-week menus with grocery lists designed to meet nutrition needs on a budget.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center provides sample menus for regular, vegan, and vegetarian diets. Scroll to the bottom of this page to view the menus.
  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a variety of reduced-calorie daily menus. However, if you are in cancer treatment, it is not recommended that you try to use weight unless your healthcare team advises you to do so. Talk to your healthcare before making changes to your diet.