Taking care of your loved one with cancer, or any serious chronic illness, means you will probably need to help them meet their basic living needs. This includes cooking meals and sometimes helping them eat.

Cooking nutritious and tasty food is a good way to help your loved one stay as healthy as possible.

Pasta with cream sauce is tasty and easy to chew.

Still, cooking for someone with a serious illness - who may be taking medications that make them nauseous or tired or have trouble eating - what is the best way to ensure you are making good meals for her? Try these tips -

Make The Food Simple to Eat

You need to make food not only that she likes. It needs to be easy to swallow and digest. For instance, a favorite casserole with rice, pasta, and/or potatoes is a warm, comforting food that is easy to eat and usually is easy on the stomach. Add cheese, broth or a non-spicy sauce to make the dish easier to swallow and taste better.

If your loved one has a sore throat or mouth, avoid foods that are dry, coarse or acidic. And do not cook greasy or spicy foods that can upset a sensitive stomach.

Official Meal Times May Be Out the Window

When you are dealing with a chronically sick person, she may not be on the normal breakfast/lunch/dinner schedule. Adjust her eating schedule so that you are feeding her when she is hungriest.

Some caregivers find that prepping five or even six meals daily in smaller portions works better than three bigger meals. You may find that breakfast foods such as eggs or cereal could be what appeals to her most at dinner time. When she eats what doesn't matter: Just serve the largest meal when she is hungriest. That might be first thing when she wakes up, but every patient differs.

Increase Calories and Protein

If your loved one is losing weight and getting thin, make sure that the foods she eats are nutrient dense and high in calories. Add chopped meats, hard boiled eggs, cheese, cream and milk into dishes she likes.

You can really help to extend your loved one's quality of life by serving her filling, nutritious meals as her caregiver.