Nutrition for children undergoing cancer treatment

Nutrition for children undergoing cancer treatment

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Food is one of the most basic needs of the human being: it forms and repairs tissues, provides energy and regulates the proper functioning of the body and, due to its importance for children, it is sometimes a reason for conflict in families, especially when the responsibility falls on us and we face an adverse situation.

After treating illnesses such as cancer and others that require hospital care, diet plays a fundamental role in recovery.

Ana Belén Bautista, psychologist at the Association of Families of Children with Cancer (AFANION), warns us of the importance of addressing the eating problems of children with cancer, to reduce parental anxiety and provide them with greater security, since eating well is always important, but it is even more so for sick children. Chemotherapy is one of the most common and effective treatments to fight cancer, but this treatment destroys cells that grow rapidly, and can also damage other healthy cells, which also multiply rapidly, such as those of the hair, mouth, stomach, intestine. , etc. Consequently, the treatment can cause some side effects, which affect the diet, such as poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. It is important that parents know how to deal with these problems that affect their child's diet.

Dietary recommendations for children undergoing cancer treatment are the same as those for the healthy population, although they are aimed at restoring strength, energy and body defenses, or correcting adverse effects of treatment. Common nutritional advice includes eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, and grains, with a moderate intake of meat, and fatty and dairy products. However, for children undergoing treatment, the recommendations focus on helping them eat foods high in calories and protein, such as drinking more milk, cheese, and eggs, as well as using more virgin olive oil, butter, and margarine.

Children with cancer and their families have to fight not only the disease, but also the effects of their treatment. These little ones and their parents have to fight both physical, psychological or emotional factors: anxiety, depression, fear or changes in routines, which will negatively influence their diet. Therefore, I advise you to consult the guide published by afanión 'Bon Appetite'With it, you can further refine the needs of your child. It contains more specifically the specific dietary advice for: diarrhea or constipation, inflammation and sores in the mouth, alterations in the perception of the taste of food or lack of appetite, among others, it is very useful and simple!

Patro Gabaldon. Editor of our site

You can read more articles similar to Nutrition for children undergoing cancer treatment, in the Cancer category on site.