Editor’s note: It’s officially spring and will be summertime before we know it! To celebrate the season, we’re bringing back a favorite Friday Fix on healthy snacks for spring and summer. Explore appetizing recipes, plus snacking tips from Maria Petzel, senior clinical dietitian for the Pancreas Surgery Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

For pancreatic cancer patients who feel up to hosting or attending gatherings with family and friends this spring and summer, finding healthy and beneficial snacks can be difficult.

Dietitians often recommend frequent snacks for pancreatic cancer patients who do not have an appetite for regular size meals. A healthy snack should include a protein food paired with a fruit, whole grain (as tolerated) and/or a vegetable. If you’re experiencing diarrhea, opt for low-fiber bread, crackers or cereals, and peel thick-skinned fruits and vegetables.

“Eat six to eight snacks or small meals daily to ease digestion and maintain the best quality of life,” said Maria Petzel, senior clinical dietitian for the Pancreas Surgery Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “Socializing while eating is another way to cope with a poor appetite. It is natural to eat more when you are not focused on every single bite of food.”

Here are a few snack recipe ideas that are healthy, delicious and simple to make if you are hosting or attending a party in the coming months:

Baked Apple Chips

Golden Beet Veggie Balls with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema (Vegan)


Sweet Hot Pumpkin Seeds with Autumn Spices

Rosemary Garlic Flatbread


Beautiful Toasts

Pancreatic cancer patients often have many questions and concerns about nutritional careMyPlate and American Institute for Cancer Research can be used as resources for healthy diets on a budget. Also, a registered dietitian can work with patients to meet their individual dietary needs.

Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager
For more information about diet and nutrition, including our booklet with specific information for pancreatic cancer patients, contact PanCAN Patient Services.

Come back to our blog each week for a new installment of the Friday Fix.