This Mother Uses Healthy Food to Help Cancer Patients [VIDEO]

To Danielle Cook, chicken soup really is the best medicine.

Jul 6, 2016

They say chicken soup is the best medicine, and for Danielle Cook that sentiment certainly rings true. When her eldest son was diagnosed with cancer at 11 years old, her first instinct was to go back to the basics - and help to heal him through her cooking. She started to see dramatic changes in his demeanor, mood and physical stamina, even while undergoing severe rounds of chemotherapy - all from eating nutritious meals that she planned in accordance with his doctor to reflect the most well-suited recipes for his particular condition.

Next, Cook started to volunteer in the oncology ward of her local hospital, offering cooking classes to patients and their caretakers, After her son went into remission, she went back to school to get her Masters in nutrition and has since co-founded Happily Hungry, a nutrition program for children battling cancer and other chronic illnesses. Recipes include comforting rice pudding to help settle the stomach and alternative takes on typical liquid shakes that are especially crafted for energy, hydration and kid-friendly tastes like watermelon gazpacho and a mango lassi. All the recipes are thoughtfully constructed to combat side effects from treatments, like nausea, fatigue, mouth sores, irritable bowels and altered taste buds.

Cook has led over 250 cooking workshops in hospitals and authored a book, also called Happily Hungry, enabling patients and their loved ones to understand the crucial role nutrition plays on the way to recovery.

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Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.