WellSpan Home

Health Library

Nutrition and Cancer: High-Calorie Snacks

Calorie and protein guidelines during cancer treatment

Each individual’s calorie and protein requirements will vary depending on a number of factors, such as age, gender, body weight, and activity level. The current recommended daily allowance for protein for most adults is 46 to 56 grams per day. It is important to discuss your individual calorie and protein needs with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian. With some cancers, the metabolic processes can cause a situation known as hypermetabolism that affects how the body uses proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. With hypermetabolism you may need to increase your calorie and protein intake. Discuss this with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian.

What foods are high in calories?

Listed below are some suggestions for adding calories and protein to your meals and snacks:

  • Add butter or margarine (30 calories per teaspoon) to puddings, casseroles, sandwiches, vegetables, cooked cereal, breads, and pasta.

  • Add wheat germ (25 calories and 2 grams protein per tablespoon) to:

    • Hot cereals

    • Meat dishes, cookie batter, and casseroles

  • Add mayonnaise or salad dressing (35 calories per teaspoon) liberally to sandwiches, salads, and as a dip for raw vegetables or sauce on cooked vegetables.

  • Add evaporated milk (25 calories and 1 gram protein per tablespoon) in place of whole milk in desserts, baked goods, meat dishes, and cooked cereal. This can be added to most foods without drastically changing their flavor. 

  • Add sour cream (26 calories per tablespoon) to:

    • Potatoes, casseroles, and dips

    • Sauces and baked goods

  • Add sweetened condensed milk (60 calories and 1 gram protein per tablespoon) to:

    • Pies, puddings, and milkshakes

    • 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and spread on toast

  • Add gravies (20 calories per tablespoon) liberally on mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, and meats.

  • Ask your healthcare provider about adding nutritional supplement drinks between meals. 

The following snack ideas can be eaten as a meal or in addition to meals.

Meal or snack idea


Calories per serving

Cheese toast

1 oz. cheese

1 slice toast


Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk

2 slices bread

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 tablespoon jelly

8 oz. whole milk


Bagel with cream cheese, jelly, and juice

1 large bagel

1 oz. cream cheese

1 tablespoon jelly

12 oz. apple juice


Cheese pizza

1 slice of cheese pizza


Egg and cheese on an English muffin

1 egg

1 oz. cheese

1 English muffin


Yogurt smoothie

8 oz. yogurt

1/2 c. Half & Half

1 c. frozen strawberries


Peanut butter and banana on toast

1 slice toast

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 banana


Chili cheese fries

1 c. French fries

3 1/2 oz. chili

2 1/2 oz. melted cheese


Nachos with beans and cheese

1 oz. tortilla chips

1/2 c. refried beans

2 1/2 oz. melted cheese

Salsa to taste


Trail mix

1 cup toasted corn cereal

12 almonds

2 tablespoons peanuts

1/3 c. raisins

1/4 c. chocolate chips


Tuna salad on crackers

1/2 cup tuna salad

5 crackers


Granola bar and yogurt

8 oz. fruit-flavored yogurt

2 granola bars


Nutrition and Cancer: High-Calorie Snacks - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Online Medical Reviewer: Levin, Mark, MD
Last Review Date: 2015-12-25T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2016-02-24T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2016-02-24T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2012-06-09T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.