Do you have any tips, suggestions or adapted recipes that you'd like to share?

Hi everyone,

We’re posting today to ask if you’d like to share your tips and suggestions for how to cope with eating at holiday celebrations for our Community news blog.

Towards the end of the year there can be lots of celebrations and parties, including plans to see family and friends, which often involve eating.

When you’re dealing with symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment, eating at mealtimes may look different than it did before. Everyone is different and we understand that for some people, you may feel uncomfortable about meal times with loved ones.

Eating may now look different to those around you. Getting the right nutrition for your body means you no longer eat in the same way as you used to. It might mean that you’re no longer able to enjoy some of the foods you’d usually eat around this time of year.

Do you have adapted recipes of your holiday favourites?

Do you have suggestions of food that you’ve recently discovered and are l looking forward to trying this holiday season?

Do you have any tips on coping with richer foods whilst experiencing treatment, or how you like to still be included if you’re not eating in the same way as your loved ones?

We’d love to hear from you and I’m sure members of the Community would appreciate hearing how you cope with eating during holiday celebrations.

If you’d like to share your tips and suggestions, please post in in this thread or email if you’d like to share.

Thank you and we look forward to reading your posts. 
Macmillan's Online Community team

  • This is such a brilliant idea for us newbie stoma owners.
    My husbands condition should be very healthy sadly my needs are the complete opposite as my stoma dictates what I can have, this Christmas my table will have five.

    One vegan One high protein meat eater, Two normal eat anything and then Whoopi my Stoma.

    I have had my son in law offer to cook who is fantastic, my daughter is vegan so she will be doing that, my brother who lives in Spain will be staying with us and he loves M & S shopping. He will definitely be tempted to buy so I am going to have my pick of so many tempting things it’s going to be great fun because we are all going to be working together my prep will be Christmas Eve and involves preparing all the vegetables and I’m known for doing everything available and this year there’ll be no dairy used so that’ll make it easier when serving as its vegan friendly  

    First we will have our bucks fizz and canapés mixed for all, I will just have the Buck’s Fizz.

    Christmas dinner my intentions are to eat roasted meat small portion with roasted potatoes, mashed swede with salt and butter non vegan, softly caramelised carrots vegan, finely chopped cabbage, petit pois with finely chopped spring onion, home made bread sauce with very largely sliced onions that I can see and pick out and gravy with sea salt added to mine  

    Dessert will be M&S, my brothers got a sweet tooth and really enjoys their flamboyant puddings with fresh cream, meringue, vegan ice cream. I will have meringue with ice cream and maybe a syrup or banana if there’s room. 
    I doubt it though. I have a small appetite now

    We are planning on having a lovely gathering and enjoying the company, this year I won’t be in the kitchen all day as there’ll be a team of us. 
    I am not making a Christmas Cake or Pudding as those that like it can’t eat it.
    So I am of a mind that actually this Christmas is going to be much easier than usual.

    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann 

  • Hi ,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to Megan's post. It sounds like you have such a lovely Christmas planned with your family. It sounds like your tips, especially around working as a team, incorporating non dairy options and largely chopping some elements for others to pick out, might be really helpful for other people on the Community. 

    If you have any other ideas you'd like to share, please feel free to add them to the discussion or email us at

    Best wishes, 

    Macmillan Community Team
  • Thanks Eliza 

    I'm looking forward to others ideas added here. It’s a great post and I’m sure there’ll be lots of inspirational recipes  

    When my daughter changed from vegetarian to vegan I found that daunting however I needn’t of worried as she’s easy to please as am I.
    My biggest miss will be the cake and homemade stuffing. 

    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann 

  • Hi Ann,

    It sounds like you might also find it helpful to look at our 'Tips, Ideas and Recipes' section on Community News. This includes our 'Dining with an ostomate' series, if you've not seen it? There's lots of great ideas for different recipes that might be helpful. Adapting to a new diet for yourself or a loved one can be challenging, and it can always be useful to see other people's ideas.

    Best wishes,

    Macmillan Community Team
  • Easy Bread Sauce


    white bread 


    butter or similar



    casserole dish

    Should be okay for ileostomy,

    check ingredients and adjust to suit.

    This can be made whenever there’s space in the oven. I’ve also managed it in the microwave. It’s very simple

    Chop a white onion large chunks enabling you to remove easily if they cause a problem or chop finely if you can tolerate.

    Put the onion in a casserole dish with knob butter or similar

    Put in medium oven with whatever your cooking til soft.

    Add four slices of white bread with most crusts cut off and roughly cut up or pull apart. Add enough milk to cover mix and allow bread to adsorb milk salt and pepper then mix again add more milk if bread showing as it will toast 

    Put in oven it can fit in around whatever you’re cooking.

    Medium heat for fifteen minutes.

    Remove now mix into a thick sauce consistency to a creamy texture add milk if too stodgy 

    Taste season more if needed mix again

    Return to oven ten to fifteen minutes or until you’re happy with texture

    If serving immediately place in bowls allowing serving spoons to serve. It should be thick and tasty.

    It’s lovely cold in a sandwich with turkey later.

    It can be made up the day before and stored in fridge then warmed in microwave if it’s easier

    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann 

  • hi Artsie - it all sounds wonderful. I buy Panatoni cakes - not Panasonic as spell check suggested ( tradionally Italian cake) these have very little dried fruit and good with custard. If I ate died fruit my little fellow wrbt onion rampage.

    Home made stuffing can be delicious and easy to make: mix paxo with a little hot water, grated carrot, sausage meat and mix thoroughly.I also add finely chopped onion - which you can leave out. with floured hands roll into Balls. These  can be added to cooking roasties or in the meat juices for 25 minutes.

    "don't think about tomorrow"

  • nb my little fellow would go on the rampage. These spellchecks are so frustrating but sometimes very funny such as panatoni instead of Panasonic.

    "don't think about tomorrow"

  • Thanks Kath. They sound lovely. Think I will add that to my Christmas meal. My hubby used to make delicious stuffing but thought I’d miss it out this year as his recipe could upset Whoops

    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann 

  • I'm a bit like one of the TV chefs  - I add butter to everything including roast potatoes and madeira cake as well as veg. I'm wondering could you use toffees(Not toffees- tofu) or another meat substitute for your stuffing? plus paxo, grated carrot and finely chopped walnuts?

    "don't think about tomorrow"

  • I’m a keen believer in butter I spread it like cheese on toast and  add it to roasters. I’ll do my daughter separate roast potatoes and maybe stuffing.

    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann