Provide nutrition support to children with cancer by Cuddles Foundation

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Reshma is winning her battle against cancer!

Reshma was 10 years old when she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. She had to undergo bone surgery and chemotherapy but her tiny and fragile body was in not ready for such intense treatment.

She is from a poor family and her parents did not have enough money to give her the food and nutrition she needed to endure the treatment. Without nutrition, the body reacts to chemotherapy like it is being poisoned. Reshma's condition only got worse over time.

She had no strength left in her hands and could not walk without a walker. She was weak, in pain and forgetting the last time she felt normal. She had lost hope of reaching there again.

When Cuddles discovered Reshma, they enrolled her in their program. They gave her a high-calorie protein-rich diet. They helped her build strength to accept the strong treatment that she needed.

Reshma gained weight and began to restore herself over time. She is still undergoing her treatment but now has a real shot at beating cancer.


By donating to this program

you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries

About The Program

What the beneficiary gets
What you get
Tax Exemption
Periodic Reports
Program Description

Cuddles foundation through this program works on providing holistic nutrition to underprivileged children suffering from cancer.

Most cancer affected children from low socioeconomic background are malnourished at diagnosis. As a result of this, their bodies are not strong enough to withstand the treatment.

**Food Heals Cancer**

When a child is well-nourished, she experiences fewer side-effects and treatment complications. This ensures that the child completes her treatment timely thereby improving her chances of survival.

At the hospital, every child is assessed by the Cuddles nutritionist who makes a customized diet plan for the child which includes important nutritional supplements like protein powder, protein biscuits, feeding tubes etc.

When you donate to this program you will help a child fight cancer with food.

... Read more

About The NGO

Cuddles Foundation
Cuddles Foundation Logo
Cuddles Foundation

Feed a Child. Starve Cancer.

Food Heals:

Childhood cancer is mostly curable. But in India, with up to 40% of children with cancer being malnourished at diagnosis, survival is a problem. Cuddles Foundation is on a mission to change that with its FoodHeals Program. Here’s how:

• Provide trained nutritionists to government and charity cancer hospitals.

• Share food and supplements with patients and families.

• Support caregivers with the knowledge to make the right food choices.

Good Food Helps Medicine Work:

By sponsoring the FoodHeals program, you help children experience:

1. Lesser side-effects and treatment complications

2. Fewer breaks or delays in treatment

3. Improved chances for survival

4. Better immunity against infection

5. A feeling of being supported and cared for

Cuddles Foundation’s FoodHeals Program is customised to a child’s medical condition providing the right nutrition needed for the child to complete her treatment successfully. Here's how:

• Assess: Screening and assessing the nutritional status of every child seeking treatment for cancer in their partner hospitals

• Evaluate: Evaluating side-effects that may negatively impact her nutritional status

• Prescribe: Finalising the right nutrition therapy and prescribing a customised diet plan.

• Provide: Aiding and supporting the child and family by providing nutritional supplements, hot meals, in-meals, eggs, bananas and monthly ration baskets for a family of four.

• Monitor: Continuously monitoring her nutritional status and reassessing plans, if necessary.

• Support: Supporting patient families with the knowledge to make healthier food choices by organising parent support group meetings, videos and talks on the subject.

Cuddles Foundation is nourishing children in:

• 30+ government and charity cancer hospitals

• 20+ cities

• Working with 250+ paediatric oncologists

... Read more
Founded in 1991
NGO Leadership

Purnota Bahl

areas of operation
Area of Operation
Area of Operation

Cancer | health

location of work
Location of Work
Location of Work


Awards And Recognitions
Awards And Recognitions

2019: Outlook Poshan Special Jury Award

2020: Panna Dhai Award from the Mewar Foundation

2018: Akshaya Patra and UN Global Compact Award

2016: National Award for Child Welfare (President's Award)

last audited
Last Audited
Periodic Compliance Checks by GiveIndia

December 2018

Program Updates

Program Updates

22 September, 2023

An update on the program you are supporting


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Total number of beneficiaries impacted was 16300 in PAN India with 34% being females

Challenges faced and next steps

97% of children followed up on their treatment plan when nutrition was a part of it, 82% of patients improved or maintained their nutritional status, despite cancer therapy like chemotherapy or radiation.1,85,000+ counselling sessions were conducted and 16,300+ patients engaged.

Stories from the ground

Nurangina, a 4-year-old girl, is battling Pre B ALL, a type of cancer, at a hospital. Her mother, Ruksana, is by her side but facing resistance from her unsupportive husband. With the help of a nutrition program supported by the organization, Nurangina receives the nourishment she needs to fight the side effects of cancer therapy successfully. The program has helped Nurangina go from being mildly malnourished to well-nourished. Despite their financial and familial struggles, Ruksana is determined to get her child the best treatment possible. Nurangina's success has inspired her to become a nurse in the future. The story highlights the importance of caregiver support and the empowerment that comes with it.

2 December, 2022

Provide nutrition support to children with cancer


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Through this program, we provide important nutritional supplements like protein powder, protein biscuits, feeding tubes, etc which help children to overcome side effects and treatment complications. We have successfully been able to provide nutritional supplements, to patients across different hospitals in 21 cities. From Jan 22 to June 22, we distributed nutritional supplements to approx. 84 children.

Challenges faced and next steps

We will continue to provide nutrition support to children with cancer in need at unfunded hospitals and we are not facing any particular challenge.

Vision - To ensure all children fighting cancer have a chance at cure through clinical nutritional care

Mission 2027 - To bring life-saving nutrition to 80% of children seeking treatment for cancer. FoodHeals Programme active in 70 hospitals across India.

Stories from the ground

The fear of the unknown can be paralysing. Even for the best of us. When it comes to childhood cancer, this fear comes in the way of getting a child the right treatment at the right time. Contrast that with the knowledge of solutions - being aware of cancer-related side effects and being prepared to follow through with the treatment can make this road to recovery easier for both the patient and the caregivers.

Tabassum Begum, the mother of six-year-old Syed who was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), stands by this. She says, “When my son was diagnosed with cancer, we had no idea what to expect. My husband is an auto-rickshaw driver, and we live on that income. We did not know how to deal with his treatment. But we have learned a lot since he was admitted at MNJ (Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre) Hyderabad. I feel more confident. I want to tell everyone who has a child with cancer that they should not worry if anything happens. It is important to be prepared for all the side effects and be ready to face it with a lot of courage.” Chemotherapy can trigger a host of side effects, and luckily both Tabassum and her son found the right support in Anusha, our nutritionist at MNJ. Tabassum adds, “During chemo, Syed experienced pain, burning, and redness in the mouth because of mucositis. I was very worried because he had completely stopped eating. But Anusha helped me relax so I could manage the situation well. Her counselling helped me understand Syed’s condition so I could support him without panicking. We are very happy with the nutrition support we have received from the Cuddles Foundation in terms of the ration, supplements, and daily counselling. Our child refused to eat before, but after Anusha’s counselling, he is doing better.” Thanks to your support, Syed has improved and gained some weight. Although still mildly thin, he’s made a journey in the right direction from being severely thin at diagnosis. Anusha, our nutritionist, adds, “Syed is still under treatment, and he has a long way to go. But I am happy that he and his mother have the right attitude towards his treatment. They are more aware of nutrition and hygiene, which greatly improves Syed’s chances of a full recovery. Syed makes sure that the food he eats is fresh and his surroundings are clean. And he is always asking me to tell him something new about health and hygiene. This is a very good place to be in.” These new habits are saving Syed’s life and teaching him valuable lessons in healthy living. Syed also wants to start painting because he feels calm and relaxed. You are the force behind Tabassum and Syed making peace with their current situation and moving steadily towards a healthy future. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity.

2 June, 2022

Provide Nourishment For Needy Children


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

We have successfully been able to provide nutritional supplements, fruits, eggs, milkshakes, etc. to patients across different hospitals in 19 cities, even during lockdown and travel restrictions. From July '21 to December '21, we distributed 20,200+ nutritional supplements and 2,78,400+ in meal supplements (fruits, milkshakes, etc.).

Challenges faced and next steps

Travel was also impacted for several patients. Hence, we ensured that every time a child visited the hospital, she/he was given sufficient aid for more than one visit. Hence, even if she/he wasn't able to visit the hospital on her next visit, she/he did not run out of supplements. We ensured a sufficient stock of nutritional supplements was maintained at the hospitals.

Stories from the ground

When you support a child, you support their whole family!

A story of how you make caregivers stronger.

Like Shahid’s family, a large majority of Cuddles’ beneficiaries come from households that earn less than Rs. 10,000 per month. 80% of caregivers also have very little knowledge about the right foods to feed their children when they are first diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer therapy can trigger many side effects. These effects are often exacerbated by poor appetite, and that further compromises a child’s nutritional status. That’s where good food saves the day. And that’s why the ration bundles you help fund give many children like Shahid increased chances of a complete recovery.

These monthly ration bundles help feed a family of four. Each bundle packs cereals, pulses, millets, nuts, oilseeds, ghee, oil, spices, condiments, and basic personal hygiene products. At 4,400 kcal/day, the ration bundle fulfills 100% of the child’s total calorie requirement per day. Given their poor financial condition, Shahid’s family also needed support by way of food and nourishment. It is important for the family to be physically strong so that they can cope with the logistics of taking care of a sick child. Therefore, the ration bundle contributes to the nutritional needs of caregivers too and adds 3,200 to their income per month. This financial aid, coupled with nutritional counseling, ensures that Shahid has a chance to reclaim his life despite his humble background.

Shahid’s story comes with a silver lining. Shahid’s time interacting with doctors and nutritionists at Sion Hospital has triggered his interest in the medical profession. Vibha Mehta, our nutritionist at Sion Hospital, adds,

“Shahid is very fascinated with how cancer therapy works. He follows the dietary instructions and shows a lot of interest by initiating conversations about his treatment. I have also witnessed a clear change in his behaviour from when I first met him. He is outgoing and mixes well with the people at the hospital. ”

Shahid is in class two, and he views his treatment as an extension of his studies.

He says, “I enjoy studying a lot. Every time I talk to a doctor or a nutritionist, I learn something new. They are my teachers right now.

We hope that Shahid recovers fully and can pursue his quest for knowledge. This would not have been possible without your support. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

25 November, 2021

Bracing for the 2nd lockdown


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Milestones - We added two new hospitals1. Cachar Cancer Hospital & Research Center, Silchar [15 May 2021]2. SRCC, Mumbai [01 Jan 2021]We are now present in 20 cities across the country4100 patients impacted [Jan01-June30] with 48000+ counselsThey were given Nutrition counselling & Aid, which helped them undertake chemotherapy, with reduced side effects & infections and maintained or improved their overall grade of malnourishment

Challenges faced and next steps

Challenges faced - Patient turnout impacted on account of lockdown. Vendor delivery also impacted on account of Travel restrictionsTo overcome these hurdles we gave additional Aid to patients to take care of the period when they are unable to travel. We also distributed Masks & sanitisers to help with hygiene during CovidOur Goal for the next 6 months is to add 5 more Hospitals and reach out to more children

Stories from the ground

Our influences during our formative years shape the rest of our lives. The importance of teaching healthy habits during childhood cannot be emphasised enough considering how malleable a child's personality is. A nurturing environment can empower a child to deal with any crisis as an adult. 15-year-old Mohit (Name changed due to privacy laws) is lucky to have parents who raised him on a steady dose of love and yoga. Unfortunately, his resilience was put to the test when he was diagnosed with B-Cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) in 2019.  "My father used to hide and cry when I started receiving chemotherapy and IV injections because my mother and I were initially unaware about cancer. Then one day, when I read in my file 'Leukaemia,' I Googled it and realised I have cancer," says Mohit, who can be an inspiration for both adults and children. Mohit's awareness of his condition and the ability to articulate it bravely is a source of strength for him and his family. Despite his diagnosis, Mohit has stuck to his early morning routine of doing yoga at 5. "It helps me de-stress and gives me a clear state of mind," adds Mohit, who is now under maintenance cycle and is back in his hometown, Buldhana, which is 490 km from Mumbai.  "Initially, we were very overwhelmed with the cost of the treatment because Mohit's diagnosis happened in the middle of the lockdown. I work in the local court, and my work was affected because of this. The city of Mumbai can be tough to figure out if you are from a small town. But the help we received because of Cuddles’ Ration, In-Meal and Supplement Program made a lot of difference. I am positive about Mohit's recovery," adds Mohit's father, who is also his son's listening board and source of strength.  Samina, our nutritionist at KEM Mumbai, adds, "Mohit and his family are one of the nicest people I have met. They look out for themselves and others around them. Mohit's father would often check on how my family was coping with the lockdown during our interactions. Mohit is also a very mature and sweet boy. Thanks to the emphasis on healthy habits in their daily lives, it was easy to work with him and his family. I am very hopeful about his recovery." Before Mohit's diagnosis, he was aiming to become an IES officer. But this experience of surviving cancer has made him rethink his life over the last few years, and he now wishes to be an Indian classical musician. Your support not only helps many children like Mohit, but it also helps to build a bright future for our society with well-adjusted human beings like him. So, thank you.

23 March, 2021

Begining again post Lockdown


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Our operations in all hospitals, which were closed for certain months due to COVID-19, have restarted fully. OPD has opened in all the Hospitals. We saw an increased number of children in almost all Hospitals, as COVID-19 seemed to be relenting. We continued our projected Nutritional supplements and Ration Distribution to all the Children.

We also started operations in a new Hospital - BALCO in Naya Raipur

Our nutritionists, who were giving telephonic counselling during the lockdown, had started going to the hospital on a rotation basis immediately after the lockdown taking all the safety measures. There were a couple of close calls when our Nutritionists fell sick, but thankfully, it was not COVID-19. In fact, we celebrated Children's day & Diwali together in November, and surprised our children with a small gift and some tasty nutritional treats! In December, we celebrated Christmas although we could not get a Christmas tree and decorations etc as we were limiting all physical contact. Children enjoyed the surprises and welcomed the celebrations, although they were subdued, with a big smile and hope.

We thank you all for your continued support during these difficult times and wish you all a Happy, Safe and a Healthy 2021!

28 September, 2020

Become part of the Food Heals program and make a difference in the children's lives


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Become part of the Food Heals program and make a difference in the children's lives

Childhood cancer is mostly curable. But in India, with up to 40% of children with cancer being severely malnourished at diagnosis, survival is a problem. Our mission is to change that with our FoodHeals Program. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Place nutritionists in government cancer hospitals- We partner with government hospitals that need nutritional support for a large number of pediatric patients. We carefully select and train a team that has both the heart and the skill to counsel children with cancer nutritionally.

  2. Provide food aid to patients- We support children and their families with free food and nutrition like nutritional supplements, hot meals, in-meals, eggs, bananas, and monthly ration baskets for a family of four.

  3. Provide nutritional knowledge to caregivers

Our FoodHeals program is customised to a child’s medical condition to provide holistic nutrition to her until she finishes her treatment at the hospital. It is done as follows-

● Assess: Screening and assessment of the nutritional status of every child seeking treatment for cancer in the hospital
● Diagnose: Identification of treatment complications with nutritional implications
● Prescribe: Nutrition intervention and prescribing a customized diet plan
● Provide: Provision of food and nutrition like nutritional supplements, hot meals, in-meals, eggs, bananas, monthly ration baskets
● Monitor: Continuous nutrition monitoring and reassessment
● Support: Supporting patient families with the knowledge to make healthier food choices

By sponsoring the FoodHeals program, children experience

  1. Lesser side-effects and treatment complications

  2. Fewer breaks or delays in treatment

  3. Improved chances for survival

  4. Better immunity against infection

  5. A feeling of being supported and cared for

5 August, 2020

Food heals


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Food heals

We extended our reach to two new hospitals during this period - BHU Cancer Hospital in Varanasi and SRCC hosital in Mumbai.
We celebrated Diwali and Christmas with the children and gave them some extra nutritional goodies like Dry fruits. We also had puppet shows and Christmas tree decoration and selfie corners with the Santaclaus who distributed the goodies to the children. We continued our projected Nutritional supplements and Ration Distribution to these Children. During Nov, we were in the Hot Seat along with Amitabh Bacchan in Koun Banega Crorepati which helped us spread awareness to many more people about our program to provide holistic Nutritional support to the Children Fighting cancer.
All was going well as planned till March, when we were all hit by the Covid Pandemic. The initial days saw us discussing on how to tackle this new situation and we quickly got our act together. We have started doing Nutritional counselling on the phone as parents are unable to travel to Hospitals.
We had planned our annual training of nutritionist for April in Mumbai, but now with this pandemic we conducted it online during the lockdown and utilised the period.

3 December, 2019

Children receiving the care and support


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Children receiving the care and support

22 July, 2019


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Program Update

50,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in India, of which only 22% make it to hospitals for treatment
40% of the children seeking treatment are malnourished. 90% of the pediatric oncology patients come from a low socio-economic background and 45% of these children come from BPL families.
60% of these children are from the villages and smaller towns and not from
the main metropolitan cities. Their parents earn meagre incomes, so they either end up living on footpaths or dharamshalas (shelter homes)
8 out of 10 children of these lose the fight against cancer because of lack of proper nutrition and guidance on nutrition. One of the reasons is that malnourished children are 5 times more likely to develop chemotherapy intolerance leading to refusal or abandonment of treatment, and resulting in death. We try to give such children a fair chance to fight cancer.

On most days, parents go without all 3 meals and sometimes so do the children. Since most of the families migrate to urban centers seeking treatment for the children, they do not have access to any source of income during treatment. They typically come to the city with meagre savings which get depleted quickly. Hence, they have no means of fulfilling the nutritional requirement of the children which is much needed to complete treatment. To help in this we provide ration to the families who have the cooking facility to ensure that they have one less thing to worry about and focus on ensuring the treatment of the child.

Story from the field

5-year old Manav (Name Changed for legal reasons) was admitted multiple times at various hospitals for his Cancer treatment. Things weren't going well for him at all, so at one point his parents abandoned his allopathic treatment and even switched to Ayurveda. That didn't help and Manav's health was beginning to clinically deteriorate further. His parents finally brought him to our partner hospital, Wadia, in Mumbai.

When we first assessed him nutritionally, Manav was diagnosed as Moderately Malnourished. He started with chemotherapy and was admitted in the ward for about a month because of complications. Due to chemo his food intake went down - what we call chemo-induced malnutrition. We closely monitored and patiently counselled him daily throughout his hospital stay. Our nutritionists would discuss and chart out nutritionally rich recipes with his mother that Manav could also enjoy. His parents diligently followed these instructions and with our combined efforts Manav's food intake started increasing. You'll be happy to know that Manav is now in maintenance and has enrolled back in school!

Even after his discharge, Manav's parents continue to follow all dietary instructions and are in touch with our nutritionists at every OPD visit. It's so amazing to see Manav run around and be the cheerful Spiderman-crazy kid that he always has been. He recently stood first in running at his school's Annual Sports Day! Thank you for feeding his hunger for life!

What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?15000
What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date13753
Village/City/State where project is locatedPan INdia
Total Budget for the project for FY18-1910514901
Total Expenses for the project YTD9640763

30 October, 2018

Cuddles Foundation's Update


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Program Update

Good nutrition is especially important when a child has cancer. Both cancer and its treatments may affect a child's appetite, tolerance to foods, and their body's ability to use nutrients. Eating a well balanced diet before, during, and after treatment can help a child stay healthy and tolerate the treatment better.
Eating well during the treatment will help the child:

  1. tolerate treatment and treatment side effects

2)Stay closer to the treatment plan schedule
3) Faster Recovery
4) Have less risk of infection during treatment
5)Keep up their weight and their body's store of nutrients, thus better strength and energy.
6) Keeping up with normal growth and development.

Our supplementation program along with nutrition counseling largely helps us achieve the above in most kids. As most kids suffer from poor nutritional intake and supplementing their diet helps give a push to start feeding and improve grade of malnutrition.

In this financial year we have started our operations in two more hospitals thus reaching out to more children to nourish to fight their battle against Cancer.

Story from the field

Aditya Patel (name changed due to security issues), a 9 year old, was admitted with complain of fever, headache etc. On Investigation he was detected to have AML- a type of blood cancer. He was put on Chemo treatment. His first cycle of chemo went smoothly, but he returned in around 1 week with a complaint of fever, and severe pain in abdomen. Due to the side effects of Chemo, the child could hardly eat anything. Also, he used to cry aloud because of his abdominal pain and that's when he got detected with colitis (inflammation of the colon). He now was only meeting 20-30% of his calorie intake and his weight had reduced by1.5kgs from 20.5kgs to 19kgs.
Because of his colitis doctors advised strictly, 'No food intake by mouth' for few days until the inflammation settles. The child had already lost weight and would still loose weight if no food was given by mouth.
Therefore, we started him on total parenteral nutrition - which is Nutrition given through veins containing amino acids, fats and carbohydrates.
The parents were not able to afford the parental feeding bag, the cost of which is around 3000 per day which is really expensive so we procured this bag at our own expense and supported the child by giving appropriate nutrition required. We kept stepping up his requirement and by day 3 his inflammation subsided and we started him on clear liquids. By day 4 his total parenteral bag was weaned off and partial parenteral was advised which contains everything except fats. The child slowly and gradually started having full liquids to soft food. by the end of his stay when he fully recovered he gained 400 grams more which is 19.4kgs. After 1 week of his follow up he was now 20kgs and intake was also appropriate according to his requirements.
We could not have done this with out your help. A big thankyou from Aditya and Us for your care.

Expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-192148
Number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program this year1214