Tips for Feeding Your Child with Cancer
Your child is diagnosed with cancer. You can expect a lot of changes to happen. Visits to the doctor and the hospital are customary. Your child’s diet will also change. This is important as it can help support their therapy for pediatric cancer. Likewise, provide them with what the best nutrition they need to preserve their strength during their treatment. It’s also helpful to maintain this diet afterward so your child stays strong in case side effects manifest.
Fluids are Important
Dehydration is common among many cancer patients. This is because of diarrhea or vomiting as side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Thus, they end up dehydrated. Alternatively, some children might not be drinking enough at all. Nonetheless, staying hydrated is essential to preserve the body’s ability to flush out toxins. Likewise, it helps maintain body temperature. It can also help prevent constipation, which makes a child loss appetite.
Aside from water, juices and soups can also supplement your child’s hydration needs.
Essential Nutrients Your Child Needs
Children with cancer will require more protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Cancer can drain the body’s immune system. Hence, your child can easily get tired.
Protein can provide the necessary nutrition to help the body recover and rebuild its immune system. Hence, it can help your child recover faster from the effects of chemotherapy. At the same time, keep other infections at bay. Make sure to add milk, eggs, fish, beans, cheese, and other types of good protein to your child’s diet.
Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body. Hence, gives your child the energy they need throughout. Sources of carbs to consider are potatoes, corn, beans, and bread. It’s also advisable to add whole grains for fiber. This can helpful against constipation.
Fats are also needed. Treatments can cause a child to lose weight. Fats provide the necessary calories they need. Plus, it’s helpful for storing energy. Consider fats like nuts, olive oil, and avocado.
How to Get Your Child to Eat
You can expect your child’s appetite won’t be the same as it used to be. So, it can be frustrating at times. Nonetheless, be patient. If possible, divide up meals according to your child’s appetite. Prepare smaller amounts at first. If your child has more appetite then increase the portions. It’s also best to have food at hand. This can be as simple as crackers, a fruit, or a shake when they ask.
Remember these tips to help keep your child strong while battling cancer.