Nutrition is the basic requirement for the health of a child and especially for those undergoing cancer treatments. It is important to provide them with a proper and balanced diet to reduce the side-effects of cancer treatment.
It is common that the child may not feel to eat and may have difficulty in eating. It is important to seek professional help to fulfil the daily required nutrition for the child.
To eat right is very important for the child undergoing cancer treatment. The nutritional requirement differs from child to child. So, they need a specific diet plan to fulfil their dietary requirement.
Usually, a child suffering from cancer needs an increased intake of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. But that too depends on the condition of the patient. A nutritionist can recommend a specific diet plan for the child.
Healthy eating habits
- Encourage the child to eat healthy to recover fast.
- Do not skip breakfast. The child needs food to remain energetic throughout the day.
- Try to eat together as a family. That would encourage the child to enjoy their meal.
- If the child doesn’t feel like eating, then offer small servings at regular intervals.
Children suffering from cancer often have poor appetites due to side effects of radiation, depression, having pain during intake of food, loss of taste, side effects of medicine, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea.
As healthy food is important during a child’s recovery process they must be encouraged to eat nutritious food.
Good nutrition will help the child to heal faster, minimise the side-effects of chemotherapy or radiation, for growth and development, and to maximise their quality of life.
Children having side effects of nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea must be encouraged to drink water properly to avoid dehydration.
If they don’t feel like eating then easy to digest foods should be given in small and at regular intervals.
The intake of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates will help the child to heal faster from the side-effects of radiation or chemotherapy, replenish the immune system, prevent infection, insulate body tissues, provide energy to the body, and for the proper function of the organs.
The inclusion of fibrous food will let the child feel fuller for a longer period of time and to avoid constipation.
A nutritionist will be the right person to guide on the diet plan. The diet plan must be strictly followed to get optimum results.
Generally, dietary supplements are not recommended for children unless needed. No supplements should be offered to children unless the doctor recommends it.
Some children lose their appetite due to their treatment and in some children the appetite increases due to the steroid medication.
Increase a child’s appetite
- Provide smaller meals at regular intervals
- Avoid spicy and acidic foods
- Offer foods that are easy to digest and swallow
- Keep the foods in reach in case the child suddenly feels hungry
- Offer plain meals
Limit the child’s appetite
It is important for a child to maintain a healthy weight and must be encouraged to follow healthy eating habits.
Steroid medicine makes them hungrier and may lead to weight gain.
- Set a time for serving food including meals and snacks.
- Provide healthy snacks.
- Offer fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Avoid fast food, unhealthy snacks, processed foods, and frozen meals.
The child must lead an active life. Encourage them for light exercises and approach an expert who can recommend a proper exercise chart according to their health condition.
The inclusion of exercise will help them to maintain a healthy weight and fight the side-effects of treatment. The child should be encouraged to stay active.
It is at times hard to expect the child to focus on their nutrition but it is essential. Cancer treatment can be stressful for the child and if they are taking chemotherapy they may face the side-effects of the treatment which may subside after the completion of the treatment.
To deal with the side-effects of radiation or chemotherapy they need a proper and healthy diet. The side-effects may include mouth sores, constipation, diarrhoea, dry mouth, nausea, changes in taste, sensitivity to food smells or temperatures, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing.
According to the problem, the nutritionist will recommend the diet to deal with the side-effects and the same must be strictly followed.
Be supportive to the child in each and every step of their cancer journey as the child may go through a lot of trauma in dealing with the situation.
The child needs the right balance and a wide variety of food. The variety of foods will encourage them to eat well.
They need an adequate amount of food to remain active. Parents need a lot of patience and creativity to convince the child to eat nutritious food.
Certain treatments affect negatively a child’s appetite and they may lose interest in eating. But to fight the disease and the side-effects of treatment it is essential for them to eat nutritious food.
The intake of nutritious food plays a vital role in a child’s recovery process. They develop better tolerance for treatment and its side-effects. The child will have a lower risk of infection and can heal fast.
Healthy food will boost the immune system and fight the disease effectively. A proper and balanced diet will help their body grow and provide strength and energy.
Cancer is a complex disease and needs lots of patience and tolerance to deal with the disease. The child and their family go through a very tough period during the treatment.
A supportive family tries their level best to bring fun in eating so that the child does not lose interest in eating. A balanced diet is of utmost importance for the recovery of the child.
It provides stamina and strength to fight the disease. A nutritionist must be approached to take guidance to provide healthy and balanced food to the child. With healthy food habits and by staying active the child may win the battle against cancer and may also help in cancer treatment .