Colorful snacks: hummus with cucumbers, carrots, peppers; apples with cheese, crackers, nuts; avocado toast with hardboiled eggs

Snack Combos to Keep Your Strength and Energy Up During Cancer Treatment

The Reason You Should be Snacking

Snacks can help you get more nutrients in and improve energy levels during cancer treatment and beyond, especially if eating is difficult. If your appetite has changed or food tastes and smells “off,” small snacks might help you eat better. Snacks can also improve focus and help curb fatigue.

Nutritionist-Approved Snacks

Deciding what to snack on and preparing those snacks can be overwhelming at times. To simplify that, choose a snack that contains both fiber and protein. Fiber paired with protein as a snack provides several benefits. Fiber-rich foods provide vitamins and nutrients that help regulate blood sugar and bowel movements. Protein-rich foods are building blocks for muscles, blood cells, and other tissues that need repair.

Mix-N-Match Fiber and Protein Foods for Every Taste

Pairing fiber with protein is a great combination when making a snack. Choose a fiber food and a protein food mixing and matching to find various combinations you like.

Bonus: Add Fats

Adding some fats to your snacks helps too, especially if eating is difficult lately and/or you’re losing weight unintentionally. A great option is to add fats like olive oil or avocado oil drizzled on top of hummus, toast, or open-face sandwiches. You can also add sliced avocado, nuts, nut butters, or seeds to most types of snacks.


Fiber Foods

Protein Foods

Whole wheat English muffin with avocado slices (and/or a drizzle of avocado oil)

Hard-boiled egg

Fruit –sliced apples, bananas, berries, pears, peaches, melon, oranges, pineapple, mango, etc.

Oven-roasted turkey slices

Whole grain tortilla chips

Cheese – any kind

Raw vegetables – carrots, bell peppers, celery, snap peas, broccoli florets, cauliflower, etc.

Hummus (drizzle olive oil)

Whole wheat toast 

Low-fat cottage cheese (drizzle with avocado oil)

Whole grain crackers

Nut butters – peanut, almond, cashew, walnut, or sunflower butter

Whole wheat pita bread

Seeds – (sunflower, pumpkin, hemp hearts)

Roasted vegetables – sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, broccoli

Yogurt – plain Greek or Icelandic

High-fiber breakfast cereal (5+ grams of fiber/serving)

Tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, chickpea salad, tofu, or lentil salad


Super firm tofu


Mini quiche


Turkey meatballs




Roasted chickpeas

To schedule a nutrition visit and/or learn more about one-on-one and group nutrition programs, speak with a nurse. They will get you connected with a member of our nutrition team. Our goal is to meet you where you’re at with the resources and up-to-date facts you need to make confident, informed choices about eating well during cancer. 

This article meets Iris standards for medical accuracy. It has been fact-checked by the Iris Clinical Editorial Board, our team of oncology experts who ensure that the content is evidence based and up to date. The Iris Clinical Editorial Board includes board-certified oncologists and pharmacists, psychologists, advanced practice providers, licensed clinical social workers, oncology-certified nurses, and dietitians.