Tips for Bringing a Meal to a Cancer Family

During the stress and uncertainty of cancer treatment, a home-cooked meal from a friend can be a welcome relief. If you're considering bringing a meal to a family facing childhood cancer, here are a few things to think about to make sure your good deed is most appreciated.

  • Think beyond dinner. If the family has a circle of friends rallying around them, they may be drowning in casseroles. Make them your personal favorite or opt for an easy-to-grab snack or treat instead of a meal. Even better, bring a breakfast food like fresh bagels or your favorite baked egg dish.
  • Ask about allergies and intolerances. Before making a meal, be sure to check with the family to see if there’s anything a family member can’t eat. It may also be helpful to ask what kinds of things sound good to the child battling cancer, as some treatments can make kids nauseous or lessen their appetite.
  • Try to choose a healthy option. It can be difficult for parents to focus on their own health and well-being when all their energy is going towards the health of their child. Help them out by making a meal that is delicious, but also good for them.
  • Make it as easy for the family as possible. If you can, package the meal in a disposable container or a dish you won’t need back, so the family doesn’t have to worry about returning it to you. If the family is often in and out of the house, consider buying them a cooler to keep on the front porch so friends can drop off meals at any time.

For more tips, download our guide Beyond “I’m Sorry”: Supporting a Family Facing Cancer.

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