My name is Corinne and my best friend Jasmin was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.  After the initial shock of realizing that Jasmin was about to go through an emotional and physical life-changing experience, I wanted to help. But, I wasn’t the only one.  Many of our mutual friends and family members reached out to offer their love and support to Jasmin and her family during this time.

One of the most important ways to help someone going through treatment is to bring them food. However, you don’t want everyone bringing food all at the same time or just at the beginning of treatment. With a little organization, you can coordinate a system for dropping off meals that will sustain a patient and her family throughout this experience. This is called a “meal train.”

Creating a meal train is as easy as matching volunteers to a list of the dates that meals are needed. This can be done through e-mail or an online meal train program.

We focused on bringing dinners to Jasmin. Friends and family would drop off dinner the day before or the day it was needed. If no one was home or Jasmin was resting, the meal could be left in a cooler that was placed by the front door. Between attending appointments, juggling their two small children and trying to get adequate rest, Jasmin and her husband always had a hot, homemade meal to enjoy. It’s one of the simplest, most helpful things you can do for someone going through treatment.

In this LiveLaughLearn video, I outline a few suggestions for putting together a meal train. If you’re looking for some ideas of what to include, here are a few!

Comfort food is always welcome. Casseroles or pasta that is comforting and easy to eat.

Freezeables are a brilliant idea.  You can prepare a stew or chili that can be frozen and eaten at any time.  This also applies to baked goods, like muffins or banana bread.

Fruits and Veggies are easy to prepare.  Cut them up so they’re ready to go!

Green Juices are a favourite.  They are loaded with nutrients and simple to digest.

Soup is a great idea because it can easily be reheated and served. Try to avoid any recipes that are overly spicy.

Some other suggestions are nuts, granola bars, salads & easy-to-assemble side dishes, and bagels & cream cheese.

Make sure to check with your friend/loved one to see if she has any dietary restrictions, and ask if she’s craving anything in particular.

Time to put on that apron and get cooking!

-Corinne Murray